CSU Faculty on Strike

CSU Faculty on Strike

By Ryanne Slagiel

The CSU is one of the largest University level institutions, serving over 450,000 students each year. Alongside this, there are 53,000 faculty members, 29,000 of those who are a part of the California Faculty Association union, also known as CFA. Jan. 22, 2024 was meant to be the beginning of a five-day strike, but just later that night, a tentative agreement was reached and the strike was thereby cancelled. From this rose many questions: Why was the strike cancelled? What agreement was reached? And most importantly: what does any of this mean? 

Back in October, the CFA board voted overwhelmingly on a motion to allow the CFA board to call a strike if their demands for the CSU were not met. These demands included but were not limited to higher minimum wages for lecturers and part-time staff, a 12% pay increase, expanded parental leave and more manageable workloads. A strike was called in December, consisting of four one-day strikes across different campuses. This striking effort was met with little success and attention; with more focus going towards the CSU-wide Teamsters Locale 2010 strike that happened a month prior.  

CI Faculty Picketing

With that lack of success, CFA called for a five-day CSU-wide strike to happen Jan. 22-26. CFA was joined by the Teamsters, members from other unions and students on the picket lines. The evening of Monday Jan. 22, though, CFA came to a tentative agreement with the CSU. This agreement did not meet the original terms of CFA, but featured a 5% retroactive pay increase effective from July 1, 2023, or from the date of hire, a projected pay increase of 5% effective July 1, 2024 (contingent on there being no budget cuts from the state of California to the CSU budget), changing paid parental leave from six to 10 weeks and a minimum salary increase for the lowest paid members of faculty. The full highlights of the agreement can be found on the CFA’s website.  

Salary increase chart, via CFA website  

This agreement is now on its way to ratification, a process in which has led some people to express doubts. “I’m not great at predicting outcomes of faculty votes, but this one seems contentious,” Gregory Wood, professor of Physics at CI, expressed. “Faculty across the state must approve the tentative agreement by a simple majority vote of all CFA members.” Should this proposal be denied, CFA union members will not receive any of the benefits expressed by the CSU Monday night, and would be given the original proposal of a 5% increase in salary by Jan. 31, 2024. The ratification process has not started and has not been given a date as of now. Updates are forthcoming, and The CI View is committed to keeping the student body updated as the negotiations progress. 

For future information, be sure to keep up with both CFA’s website and with The CI View.