CSU outlines budget plans, labor relations, student representation

The California State University system held a web conference Friday to discuss budget plans, labor relations and student representation.

The featured speakers included Ryan Storm, CSU assistant vice chancellor for budget; Laurie Weidner, CSU assistant vice chancellor for public affairs; and Kelsey Brewer, CSU student trustee.

Storm outlined the current budget for the 23 CSU campuses, as well as the budget plans for the 2016-2017 year.

State funds for the CSU were cut by $1 billion during the recession, but the system is now 80 percent recovered, Storm said.

Storm credited Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to fund higher education, which was implemented in 2013.

“I think, generally speaking, the governor has been very mindful that the board has the responsibility to really make those tough, critical planning decisions,” Storm said.

In June, Brown approved a CSU support budget request of $216.5 million for the 2015-16 year. With revenue from enrollment gains and tuition, the budget totaled $269 million.

Weidner discussed the ongoing negotiation with the California Faculty Association (CFA).

She said the CSU has proposed a 2 percent salary increase for faculty, while the CFA has proposed a 5 percent increase.

Members of the CFA marched at Chico State Friday to express their concern, over what they call, salary inequities.

The Student Involvement and Representative Fee, which was approved in January, was also discussed at the web conference Friday.

Brewer said the fee funds the California State Student Association, while allowing the CSSA to become independent of the CSU Chancellor’s Office.

The CSSA is a body of representatives from the 23 CSU campuses that advocates and lobbies for better quality higher education.

Brewer said she believes the fee provides better representation for students because it gives students more freedom to take a stance in opposing the CSU.