Faculty Senate contemplates CFA contract

Greg Kane

Sacramento State?s Faculty Senate kicked off its spring session Feb. 15 by debating what type of position it should take in the ongoing contract negotiations between the California State University and the California Faculty Association.

The senate passed two resolutions regarding the stalled contract negotiations and the Faculty Merit Increases that are expected to come from them, during the meeting. Many members voiced concern that FMI, pay raises that reward instructors not only for teaching performance but for other scholastic endeavors such as writing, may lessen the importance of teaching.

“It seems now that we?re caught in a fight with our department and external forces, including the chancellor, asking us to do other things,” said executive committee member Joan Bauerly. “It seems to me that we have to have a discussion on this.”

The first resolution adopted a set of 12 principles put forth by the Academic Senate of the CSU that will act as guidelines when the time comes to implement the FMI. These guidelines stipulate that FMI cannot be established until the salary gap between the CSU and other schools is eliminated, and that is why FMI being rewarded must be clearly defined.

“There really isn?t any serious discussion of whether merit pay is here or not,” President Donald Gerth said. “The question is how to do it.”

“We accept merit pay and that it?s not going away,” said statewide senate member Tom Krabacher, adding that what the senate will need to do is identify how they?d like to see them work.

The second resolution of the day called for a working group made up of faculty senate members to find ways to make FMI work for the Sac State campus. The resolution had also contained a paragraph that stated acceptance of merit pay, but it was deemed unnecessary and deleted.

“There is room for us to shape a sense of what we want to happen on campus,” Krabacher said. “I think we should take control and say, ?This is what we [want] our university to be like 10 years down the road.”

The senate also discussed a resolution passed in January that urged “outside of bargaining” assessment of other merit pay policies. This will allow the senate to determine the best way to approach setting up FMI at Sac State, said statewide senate member Christy Jensen.

The CSU-CFA negotiations and the merit pay increases were not the only topics discussed at the meeting.

A resolution that lowered the minimum graduation requirement from 124 to 120 units was also passed, meaning that if students can fulfill their general education, foreign language, second semester composition and major requirements in 120 units, they will not be required to take any extra classes to graduate, said senate chairman Bob Buckley.

Several senate members were also appointed to the 2001-02 Committee on Committees, which helps coordinate the committees on campus. Appointed were senate members Linda Buckley, Elaine Alexander, Roger Leezer, Ken De Bow, Ed Christenson, Francisco Reveles and Andrew Banta.