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Professors protest against low salaries

Faculty began protesting outside the San Manuel Student Union (SMSU) at 12:30 p.m. on Oct. 8, 2014. 
Their protest concerned faculty wages that they claim have not been raised in eight years.
Approximately 30 faculty and staff members stood outside the main entrance of the Student Union holding picket signs and marching for their cause.
An abundance of students were watching and supporting the protesting staff.
Every faculty member carried a sign, all with different slogans written on them including: “President Morales, restore the morale, support your faculty now!”, “8 years with no pay increases + 8 years of inflation = Faculty salary DECREASES!”, and “Morales, bring the morale back!”
A megaphone was passed around between faculty members where they could chant or speak to the crowd of growing students gathering to watch the protest.
“Your tuition goes up, our salary stays the same!” said one faculty member.
As the protest progressed, faculty members walked over to join, grabbing a sign for themselves to start marching.
Some students began to join in as well.
“They say cut back, we say fight back!” said a faculty member.
One faculty member grabbed the megaphone to talk directly to the students watching.
He explained that administration won’t raise the wages of faculty that have been with CSUSB for many years.
But new faculty members are receiving starting wages that are higher than that of most of the veteran faculty.
“Obviously this is a total injustice that could be fixed by President Morales by adjusting our contracts, but he is refusing to answer our request by asking us to continue to wait,” said a biology professor.
Another protestor said the public administrators continue to get paid more than they should be and continue to get raises and benefits.
Meanwhile, current faculty have been stuck with the same salary for the last eight years.
CSUSB’s tuition during the 2008-2009 school year was about $1,200 per quarter to go to school full-time, which is significantly less than the current price.
A petition was being passed around to students in the crowd where they could sign in support of raises for faculty wages.
Before the protest began, an assistant professor told the crowd that although he had only been at CSUSB for two years, he has felt the impact of being an underpaid staff member.
“Faculty that is compressed at the top, they have been here a long time but are stuck with the salary. Rent has gone up, gas has gone up, food has gone up, parking has gone up. Everything has gone up, except our salaries. It’s an issue of equity on this campus,” said another faculty member.
“On this campus, we do have a lot of money, Morales does, that can fix this problem, but he is not making that choice,” she added.
“Administration is not suffering, only students and faculty,” added another protestor.
At the height of the protest, over 50 faculty and some two-dozen students were actively participating.
“Nena Torrez and Karen Kholemian presented campus President Morales with more than 200 signatures on petitions,” according to the California Faculty Association website.

Originally published on coyotechronicle.net (October 11, 2014)

**This article was written collaboratively with Daniel DeMarco (Features Editor)

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