The California State University and the Board of Trustees are concerned that the California Legislature is considering reducing the university's budget by one percent, funds that were approved by the two-house legislative conference committee in June.
A cut of approximately $28 million of this year's budget will require reopening almost all labor contracts that were only completed in the last few months after lengthy negotiations. These contracts reflect increased compensation to the university's employees and begin to restore more competitive salaries for faculty and staff. This action most likely will result in reductions in the salary gains attained in recent collective contract agreements and will jeopardize the stability and working relationships between the university and all employee groups.
The reduction will exacerbate the financial difficulties the California State University has faced since the beginning of this decade due to more than $500 million in budget cuts applied during a three-year budget crisis in the state. For instance, in the 2006-07 academic year, CSU served nearly 8,300 more students than the state actually funded at a cost of $46 million. An additional cut may result in denied access to thousands of students.
“It's time for the state to decide if it wants world-class universities, or world-class prisons,” said CSU Chancellor Charles B. Reed during a press conference Thursday with the California Faculty Association. “Reduced funding from the state would hinder the CSU's ability to meet the workforce needs of the California economy.”
A letter was also sent to the Legislature Wednesday asking to continue the CSU budget approved by the legislative conference committee.