Cal State faculty approve 4-year contract

New deal largely preserves current labor terms, but no pay raises either

LONG BEACH, Calif. - California State University faculty members overwhelmingly ratified a new four-year contract, which will now move to the CSU Board of Trustees for final approval, the union representing teachers announced Tuesday.

Members of the California Faculty Association began voting on the proposed deal Aug. 13, and 91 percent approved the deal, according to the union.

The California State University system operates a Satellite campus in the Coachella Valley.

There was no word early Tuesday how the new contract would impact the CSU, San Bernardino Palm Desert Campus.

"The final agreement has produced a balanced, good contract in light of difficult times," CFA President Lillian Taiz wrote in a letter to union members announcing the vote results. "It acknowledges years of slashed public funding for the CSU and stands firm on the things faculty need to provide quality education to our students."

The tentative deal was reached at the end of July after about two years of negotiations. About 95 percent of CFA members had voted earlier to authorize a strike if a deal hadn't been reached.

The proposed agreement covers 23,000 faculty, coaches, counselors and librarians at campuses across the state.

The contract -- which would run through June 30, 2014 -- calls for no salary increases for 2010-11 and 2011-12 but leaves open the possibility of renegotiating salary and benefits for the following two years. CSU also has the ability to reopen talks, as early as October, if state funding fails to improve or gets worse.

"At the start of these negotiations, CSU outlined its bargaining objectives in terms of seeking changes that would promote academic quality and
procedural clarity," CSU Vice Chancellor John Swarbrick said. "We believe that this agreement, particularly in relation to the changes made to faculty
appointments, evaluations and payment for low enrolled summer courses, represents positive progress on both issues."

The CSU board is expected to vote on the proposed deal during its Sept. 18-19 meeting.

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