The UCSB Faculty Association executive board endorses the five-day strike scheduled for all California State University campuses April 13-15 and April 18-19. It has been called by the California Faculty Association, the union representing faculty at the nation’s largest institution of higher education. The CFA is fighting for a 5% pay increase after years of declining real wages, plus service step increases for many eligible faculty. Despite a breakthrough report by an impartial fact finder, which validates the union’s demand and the capacity of CSU to pay it, University administrators have pleaded state budget austerity and the need to keep tuition stable, add classes, and repair buildings in rejecting the CFA pay request.
The UCSB Faculty Association executive board therefore believes that this strike is about much more than a badly needed pay boost for CSU faculty. In an era of growing income inequality and a regressive tax regime, it is a long overdue defense of higher education as a common good, a financial and moral responsibility of the entire society, especially for an institution where more than 95% of all students are California residents. Equally important, the bold leadership demonstrated by the CSU’s California Faculty Association should be an inspiration to those of us who have seen an erosion in the University of California’s system of shared governance. Only a united and democratically organized faculty can revitalize that UC tradition and challenge the increasingly autocratic power wielded by the Regents and our own top UC administrators.
UCSB FA Executive Board