Faculty publish letter regarding pending strike

Dear Sonoma State Faculty and Students,

As department chairs, we support the CFA’s fight for a 5 percent salary increase and re-instituting salary step increases (SSIs). Every faculty member on our campus deserves a fair salary.  As chairs, we have seen the dramatic negative effects on faculty of no meaningful salary increase for almost ten years.  We have seen:

·      Talented faculty leave our University because of stagnant pay and deteriorating working conditions;

·      Top tier candidates choose to go elsewhere because we can’t offer adequate starting salaries;

·      Associate and full professors making less than new assistant professors;

·      Lecturers unable to move upward through promotion by range elevation;

·      Many faculty at all ranks forced to take on multiple jobs to make ends meet;

·      Larger classes and increased workload with no pay increase, and in turn a decrease in the quality of education at SSU.

The list could go on and on.

Faculty play the pivotal role in the University’s core mission to provide a high-quality education to meet the diverse needs of California. Yet, while faculty continue to invest their time and energy to promote student success, they struggle to support their families.  By comparison, last year alone 34 percent of CSU administrators got more than a 5 percent raise and 18 percent of CSU administrators got an increase of 10 percent or more.  Even as the number of administrators and their salaries continue to grow, the Chancellor tells us while we deserve to be paid more there is not enough money in the CSU budget.  

A neutral, outside factfinder has confirmed that the raises we are fighting for are affordable, reasonable, justified, and necessary.  In her report, the factfinder told the CSU to change its priorities to reinvest in faculty and students.  The report concludes that funding faculty raises “… is in the interest of students, who need caring faculty, and certainly in the public interest as our country needs a well-educated population.”

Our students deserve better than to be treated as a statistic on a graduation roster; and faculty deserve better than to be treated as disposable widgets.  We are willing to strike to alter this destructive pattern and reinvest in our University system.  We are willing to strike to stop the decline in one of the nation’s best public higher education systems.  We are willing to strike to provide our students, our communities, and our state with the kind of public education they deserve. 

Students, join us!  Let Chancellor Tim White know you support your faculty on strike by emailing him at twhite@calstate.edu.  Tell your faculty you support them in class, and please join us on the picket line. 

Faculty, join us!  Pledge your support at http://www.calfac.org/sonoma-state-university .

Best to all, 

Mike Ezra American Multicultural Studies

Jennifer Shaw Art and Art History

Margie Purser Anthropology

Carmen Works Chemistry

Patricia Kim-Rajal Chicano and Latino Studies

Marco Calavita Communication and Media Studies

Maureen Buckley Counseling

Eric Williams Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies

Kelly Estrada Curriculum Studies and Secondary Education

Chiara Bacigalupa Early Childhood Studies

Jennifer Mahdavi Educational Leadership and Special Education

Farid Farahmand Engineering Science

Chingling Wo English

Laura Watt Environmental Studies and Planning

Matthew Clark Geography and Global Studies

Matthew James Geology

Kathleen Noonan History

Stephanie Dyer Hutchins School of Liberal Studies

Steven Winter Kinesiology

Kathy Morris Literacy Studies and Elementary Education

Brigitte Lahme Mathematics and Statistics

Christine Renaudin Modern Languages and Literatures

Brian Wilson Music

Deborah Roberts Nursing

John Sullins Philosophy

Catherine Nelson Political Science

Elisa Velasquez-Andrade Psychology

Kristen Daley Theatre Arts and Dance

James Dean Sociology

Don Romesburg Women’s and Gender Studies

Note: This letter was sent by a member of the California Faculty Association and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Sonoma State STAR.