News Column

Cal State Instructors Get a (Tiny) Pay Hike

August 29, 2013

Sarah Rohrs

California Maritime Academy's marine transportation instructor Scott Saarheim hasn't gotten a raise in about six years but he and others in the college system will soon get a small, but welcome, pay boost.

The California State University and the California Faculty Association reached an agreement to provide instructors with a 1.34 percent raise to all full-time equivalent faculty members.

The boost amounts to about $900 more per year for each instructor in the 23-campus state college system, said Saarheim, the president of the California Maritime chapter of the California Faculty Association.

"It's a welcome change in the chancellor's attitude toward faculty. We have a new chancellor and our relationship appears to be much more favorable. It's a step in the right direction," Saarheim said.

Timothy White replaced outgoing chancellor Charles Reed in May.

Gov. Brown's tax packages voters approved late last year enabled the California State University to reopen an existing contract to discuss salary increases, Saarheim said.

The next round of negotiations which begin later in the fall could include more salary and benefit changes, Saarheim said.

While the minor boost in pay is welcome, some faculty members are worried that the administration may want them to take on a greater share of their health and welfare benefits, Saarheim said.

Under such conditions the raise would get offset, he added.

"If we don't stand our ground on that we may be looking at a decrease in pay and that would hurt," Saarheim said.

Meanwhile, CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp said the boost in California's economy, plus the state's commitment to reinvest $125 million into the CSU system allowed for the opportunity to offer teachers the raise.

The last time CSU teachers received a raise was in the 2007-08 fiscal year, he said.

In another, but related, matter, CSU announced it had reached a salary agreement with the Academic Professionals of California (APC) members.

The accord allows these employees to get a 1.34 percent pay hike retroactive to July 1.

Contact staff writer Sarah Rohrs at srohrs@timesheraldonline.com or (707) 553-6832. Follow her on Twitter @SarahVTH.

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(c)2013 Times-Herald (Vallejo, Calif.)

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Source: Copyright Times-Herald (Vallejo, CA) 2013


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