Cal State Professors Reach Tentative Deal to End Strike
The California State University system and the union representing faculty and lecturers in the system have reached a tentative deal to end the largest strike by university faculty in U.S. history.
Tentative Deal Reached to End Strike
Faculty members and other academic workers in the California State University (C.S.U.) system went on strike on Monday, but a tentative deal has been reached to end the strike.
The California Faculty Association, which represents 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches, began the strike across the 23 C.S.U. campuses.
The deal means that faculty in the C.S.U. system will return to work on Tuesday.
Improvements in Wages and Working Conditions
Union leaders cited the high cost of living in California as the reason for the strike, claiming that wages had not kept up with expenses. The tentative deal includes immediate salary increases for all faculty members by 5 percent retroactively to July 1, 2023, with an additional 5 percent raise planned for July 1, 2024.
Furthermore, the deal raises the salary floor for the lowest-paid faculty members by $3,000 and extends parental leave to 10 weeks from six.
Both sides view the agreement as a major improvement in working conditions for faculty and learning conditions for students.
Recent Increase in Education Strikes
The C.S.U. strike is part of a larger trend of labor actions across various industries due to wage stagnation. In recent years, there have been education strikes in California, with school employees in Los Angeles and Oakland staging walkouts. Graduate student workers and researchers at the University of California system also protested low wages through a strike in 2022.
While strikes by university faculty are less common, this strike reflects the dissatisfaction among faculty members over low starting pay and the increased reliance on part-time instructors.
Although the union did not achieve its goal of 12 percent raises for all faculty, the deal includes meaningful salary increases for the lowest-paid faculty members, which will have a significant impact on their lives.