Thursday, November 17, 2011

CSU teachers hold one-day strike to protest pay freeze, fee increases

CSU Faculty Association members demonstrate at CSU East Bay. Photo by Justin Beck, via Twitter.

Teachers from the California State University system protested today at two campuses after two years without pay raises, and they used social media in an attempt to urge students to support their cause.

Professors rallied at both CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills -- the first-ever labor action since the California Faculty Association got collective bargaining rights in 1983.

Demonstrators at CSU East Bay marched in front of multiple sides of the Hayward campus. According to witnesses on scene, the crowd was loud and active …

About 50 faculty and staff on Harder Rd side of #CSUEB campus. Chant "what's this about? EDUCATION!" #csustrike@XpressNews
Nov 17 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

Union officials said via Twitter that the dispute isn’t just over their pay, but also over escalating student fees and staff cutbacks over the past 13 years, despite raises to administrative pay during that same time period:

Change in CSU Salaries & Student Fees, 1998-2010 (adjusted for inflation, base year 1998) #csustrike#highered#occupy
Nov 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

The teachers, adept at giving grades, gave a failing one to CSU Chancellor Charles Reed:

A San Diego State professor explained that cutting CSU classes while raising tuition harms those who would most benefit from the system:

#csustrike majority of our students are working class, first generation college, and students of color.
Nov 17 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

The demonstration got some support from students:

"I definitely support them, they don't paid enough for what they do." Autumn Stanley, sfsu freshman BETA major. #csustrike#jour650
Nov 17 via Twitter for AndroidFavoriteRetweetReply

Supporters at some campuses even organized transportation to the universities where demonstrations took place:

#csustrike 12:45 bus leaves in one hour! There is still time to get on the bus and join us at CSUDH.
Nov 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Students from San Bernardino come out in solidarity to support their faculty #reclaimcsu#csustrike
Nov 17 via Twitter for BlackBerry®FavoriteRetweetReply

At both CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU East Bay, the campus was described as being virtually empty:

DH campus=a ghost town except 4 the picket areas. No 1 will strike huh Charlie? Ur as good a prognosticator as u r a Chancellor. #csustrike
Nov 17 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

CSU public relations staff felt compelled to do a little damage control and reply to posts on the Web, such as this post from a CSU Northridge student:

@calstate maybe the board of trustees should take a pay cut too. Every member! I'm sure they're making over 100k a year.
Nov 17 via Twitter for iPadFavoriteRetweetReply

Which brought this response:

SergiosThoughtsSergio Valencia
in reply to @SergiosThoughts

@sergiosthoughts There is no pay to cut. The members on the CSU Board of Trustees are volunteers so they get zero dollars.
Nov 17 via HootSuiteFavoriteRetweetReply

Video taken at the CSU East Bay protest showed a peaceful demonstration, with picketers circling and traffic patiently waiting for its turn to cross:

How i spent my mornng -- CSU Strike, 11.17.2011
Nov 17 via Tweet ButtonFavoriteRetweetReply

Some classes at Dominguez Hills and East Bay were cancelled, and classes at other campuses saw their routine disrupted:

Because of the #csustrike my class is at Shakeys tonite.
Nov 17 via Twitter for iPhoneFavoriteRetweetReply

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