Semester parking fee increase held up in CFA-CSUS negotiations

Greg Kane

A proposal to nearly double semester parking fees over the next three years ? currently pending approval by the California Faculty Association ? has been lost in the shuffle of the CFA?s negotiations stalemate with the California State University.

The proposal was brought up just before bargaining was cut off this summer, with CFA representatives rejecting it, said CFA Sacramento chapter President Jeff Lustig.

“Our bargaining team came back and said we?re opposed to the increase, because it?s another increase on faculty salaries,” Lustig said.

Vice President for Administration at Sacramento State Ed Del Biaggio said it is too early to tell whether the proposal will eventually be accepted. Even though the CFA initially rejected it, Del Biaggio said, it could go the other way once negotiations resume later this month.

“That may be their current position,” Del Biaggio said, “but you never know until the negotiations are over.”

President Donald Gerth said he was unaware the proposal had even reached bargaining.”My understanding is that they have not yet had the opportunity to present it at the table,” Gerth said.

The proposal was made in May by Gerth to create funding for two new parking structures on campus. It would raise semester parking fees by approximately $20 three times over a 36-month span, starting in summer 2002. Semester parking fees are currently $63.

Since students, faculty and staff would all be affected by the increase, the unions representing faculty and staff members, the CFA and the California State Employees Association, must first approve the proposal, Del Biaggio said.

Lustig claimed Sac State and other CSU campuses would have more money to spend on parking structures if administration salaries weren?t so high.

“It?s another example of the bad priorities of the system,” Lustig said. “All those raises they?ve given to administration could easily defray parking costs.”

Sac State Director of Support Services Ronald Grant said in May that aside from private donations, there is no way to finance the construction of the structures but to raise the parking fees. State law allocates funds from the budget, tuition and even parking citations to other areas.

Should the proposal be rejected, Gerth has said he would consider looking at a tiered parking fee system, where fees would stay at a base rate for the lots further from the campus and become more expensive the closer they got.

Del Biaggio said the university is still looking at the tiered system as well as others should the proposal be rejected.

“If that should happen, obviously we?d be taking a look at identifying a method for certain individuals paying more than others (for parking),” Del Biaggio said.