Faculty marches at Cal Poly Pomona as strike deadline looms

POMONA, Calif. (KABC) -- As faculty at Cal State University took steps to prepare for a possible statewide strike in nine days, faculty at Cal Poly Pomona marched to the president's office on campus to demand a five-percent raise on Tuesday.

"We have faculty in some of the areas where the cost of living is the worst who cannot make ends meet. They can't make their mortgage payment. They can't make their rent. They can't pay off their student loan debt and they can't put their own kids through college," Professor Dorothy Wills, president of the Pomona Chapter Association, said.

Wills, an anthropology professor, said CSU faculty members on average earn about $45,000 a year before taxes. She said that's less than what community colleges pay their staff.

"I do not know a single full-time lecturer in my department that does not also teach on other campuses. That includes myself. I teach at two campuses just to make ends meet," Cal Poly Pomona biology lecturer Francisca Herrera said.

"We do understand those issues," Anita Jessup, the director of academic personnel at Cal Poly Pomona said. "The pay issues are negotiated at the system wide level. Locally we don't have a lot of input into that and we understand that the negotiating team there has been working with the CFA leadership as well."

A fact finding report made public in recent weeks recommended faculty get an increase, but acknowledged the university has no available funds to pay it.

Cal Poly Pomona President Soraya Coley greeted faculty as they ended their march at her office and acknowledged the salary issue needs to be addressed.

The faculty strike was scheduled for April 13.
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