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Contract disputes threaten progress at California university

Contracts are integral to the functioning and productivity of business enterprises and institutions throughout the state. Disputes can lead to legal challenges that cause impediments to continued service or production, as may be the case in a recent incident at California State University. Faculty members and others are waiting to see how current negotiation issues will be resolved. The faculty has threatened to strike if the contract disputes are not agreeably settled by April 2016.

A 2015-2016 pay raise is at the center of the current debate. Apparently, an independent report is going to be released in approximately six weeks. The California Faculty Association has stated that if the report does not prompt members of management to renegotiate the issues at-hand, then they will advise faculty members to cancel their classes and form a picket line.

Reportedly, there has never before been a system-wide strike at the university. The president of the faculty association stated that the potential strike will make history and hopefully result in a new deal with management. She also said that faculty members are reasonably frustrated that they continue to experience stagnant wages, even though the school has enjoyed a budget recovery in recent times. 

The union has argued that the teachers' salaries have not been appropriately aligned with inflation. It has also stated that staff has been under-funded repeatedly over the past ten years. The current contract disputes include a faculty request for a 5-percent pay raise. In addition, the association is seeking a further increase for staff members who are at the lowest level of the pay scale. In similar situations in California, a business and commercial law attorney may be able to offer guidance as to how best to negotiate favorable settlements.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "CSU faculty to strike for five days if contract deal isn't reached", Alexei Koseff, Feb. 8, 2016

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