San Francisco State University

President Corrigan's ViewPoint

This is a special Viewpoint column for January 29, 2001. EXT 8-1665.

January 2001

I am pleased to announce that after far too long a wait, the CSU faculty are about to receive their 2000/2001 salary increases. This good news resolves one of the most painful aspects of the protracted bargaining impasse that has marred our year. At its

meeting last week, the CSU Board of Trustees unanimously supported Chancellor Charles Reed’s decision to reject the non-binding Fact-Finding Report on the faculty contract negotiations (as the CFA did two years ago) and to implement the existing contract, providing faculty with their well‑earned salary increases. Let me say frankly that I agree with the Chancellor’s rejection of the Fact‑Finding Report and urged his implementation of the current contract.

The State Controller’s Office is scheduled to process the General Salary Increases during the week of February 12. Faculty should receive GSI adjustment checks within a week following the GSI implementation. The Faculty Merit Increases are scheduled to be processed by our Human Resources Office immediately following the GSI implementation. Provided the State Controller’s Office is able to meet this schedule, faculty will receive FMI adjustment checks by the end of February and both the GSI and FMI will be reflected in the March 1 pay warrant. These increases are retroactive to July 1, 2000.

As pleased as I am by our ability to proceed with the implementation of your salary increases, I remain disappointed that the CFA and CSU have failed to reach agreement on a number of critical issues. I know that many of you share my disappointment.

If you have read the Fact-Finding Report, you know that it raises a number of questions about the impact of the merit pay program and offers some conclusions that I, for one, believe to be in error. While I am not in a position to speak for other CSU campuses, I can provide factual evidence to support the following statements about the impact of compensation decisions on tenured and tenure-track SFSU faculty:

Contrary to the assertion that we cannot evaluate teaching performance, we know that differences in individual job performance are, in fact, measurable. The problem is that they are more easily quantified for scholarship, creative activity, and service than they are for teaching at an institution that prides itself on the overall quality of instruction. Still, we measure teaching effectiveness as part of retention and tenure; such judgments are familiar to us.

It will come as no surprise to those who have read my previous statements on the subject that I am a strong supporter of merit pay programs, which are virtually universal in four-;year public institutions and in place at all of the CPEC comparison instit

utions. I believe it is worth noting that over the three years of this contract, the total compensation increase for faculty in the CSU has been 18.8%. Clearly, I believe that the progress we have made on this campus in faculty compensation, particularly for junior faculty and underrepresented groups, is a direct result of a sensitive and careful use of the merit pay process. This past year I watched with appreciation and pride the professional manner in which departmental committees, chairs, and deans joined in the process, even as many of them had fundamental differences with the program itself.

But I am an equally strong advocate of the collective bargaining process and believe strongly that its integrity depends upon the willingness of both parties to abide by the provisions they have negotiated and to which they have agreed. The CFA and the

CSU should work out their differences on compensation as the new contract is bargained. Until then, we need to honor the current agreement—including its merit pay provisions—as bargained by the CFA and the CSU.

I recognize that this issue is deeply felt, and for a number of faculty, is a matter of principle. Let us now look to the future where, I deeply hope, we can through collective bargaining forge a compensation policy that we can all accept.

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