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Students Support CSUMB Faculty Who May Strike | News

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Students Support CSUMB Faculty Who May Strike
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By Jacqueline Tualla - email      

MONTEREY - Students at California State University, Monterey Bay, are backing teachers who may soon walk out.

The California Faculty Association has already starting voting on a possible strike that could take affect next semester.

Michael Frederiksen is a student at CSUMB and member of Students for Quality Education.

It's a group standing by faculty members in their fight for a contract agreement.

Students said education is under attack and they're taking a hit.

"The faculty working conditions are student learning conditions, so if they're overworked and overpaid that affects the quality of education I receive in the classroom," Frederiksen said.

After 22 months of contract negotiations and mediations with a third party, the CFA is fed up there's still no pay hike or contract agreement.

"It's become harder and harder for me to provide the education that I came here to provide for my students," said Karen Davis, lecturer at CSUMB. "The quality, the classroom size, the conditions, the stress on the students."

Student Alex Aliferis said he's afraid classes will get bigger.

"If they're even bigger than now then it'll be really hard to get classes, especially G.E. classes," he said.

If the 241 active CFA members walk out, they said it could delay the fall semester.

Representatives at chancellor's office said this is a difficult process and it's committed to reaching an agreement.

They said the CFA's proposal would cost the system around $504 million over the life of a new agreement, money CSU does not have.

"We don't want to strike," said Steven Levinson, vice president for CFA at CSUMB. "We understand the impact that will have on students but the chancellor's insistence on take-backs in the contract, cutting into faculty stability and faculty workload is forcing us into the position where we have to strike."

The last step in the official bargaining process between the CFA and CSU is "fact finding," where a third party helps out.

That could take a month or two.

If there's no contract agreement from that, it could boil down to a strike.

There are 23 CSU campuses.

A strike would impact roughly 24,000 CFA members and 400,000 students.

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