Fresno State faculty may go on strike in the near future, but all we are asking for is still less than flat pay.
It is now well-documented that paychecks around the country have been flat for the past 10 years or so, in constant 2015 dollars. At California State Universities, the situation for faculty pay has been much worse. The only faculty whose pay has kept up with inflation have been freshly hired assistant professors, whose starting salaries are reasonable.
All other paychecks, especially those of the senior professors, have been effectively falling against inflation over many years. As a full-rank professor, my salary is now at least $10,000 less than those of my predecessors, without even adjusting for inflation. This is the direct result of a systematic effort by the CSU, which began at the instigation of former Chancellor Charles Reed, to reduce payroll costs so that funding can be diverted to other things like administrators and Save Mart Center.
For those who would ask, “What have you done to deserve a raise?” I have to be honest: nothing. But we’re not really asking for a raise. We’d settle for flat pay or even less.
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Sean Fulop, Fresno