After just one day of a planned week-long strike, negotiators for the California Faculty Association and California State University management announced Monday night they had reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, ending the first systemwide faculty strike at the largest four-year public university in the country.
Faculty are expected to return to their work assignments this morning Tuesday, Jan. 23.
In a simultaneous statement on the CSU website, students were advised to look for messages from their instructors regarding adjustments to their classes. Approximately 460,000 students are enrolled in classes at the CSU campuses.
When the faculty announced the strike, it said negotiations had broken down with faculty and Cal State officials far apart on pay.
After walking out of contract talks, the university announced a 5% raise to take effect Feb. 1. The faculty union had sought a 12% raise, but instead settled Monday on a 5% raise – with the provision that it would be retroactive to July 1, 2023, plus a second 5% increase to go into effect July 1, 2024.
An independent fact-finder affiliated with the state had recommended that CSU provide the faculty union a 7% raise, which was rejected by the faculty as too low.
The CSU 5% offer was consistent with the deals it finalized with other unions last year to avoid an even larger walkout of all the roughly 60,000 unionized workers.
Cal State negotiators had also proposed extending parental leave for faculty from six weeks to eight weeks. The union wanted a full semester – roughly 15 weeks but settled on 10 weeks in the tentative agreement.
“The collective action of so many lecturers, professors, counselors, librarians, and coaches over these last eight months forced CSU management to take our demands seriously,” said CFA President Charles Toombs in a statement. “This tentative agreement makes major gains for all faculty at the CSU.”
“I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with CFA that will end the strike immediately," said CSU Chancellor Mildred García in a statement. “The agreement enables the CSU to fairly compensate its valued, world-class faculty while protecting the university system's long-term financial sustainability."
The CFA represents approximately 28,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches across the CSU's 23 universities.
CFA members will have an opportunity to ratify the contract in the coming weeks.
Highlights of the tentative agreement:
- 5% general salary increase for all faculty retroactive to July 1, 2023
- 5% general salary increase for all faculty on July 1, 2024, (contingent on the state not reducing base funding to the CSU).
- Raising the salary floor for lowest-paid faculty: $3,000 in the minimum pay for the lowest ranges retroactive to July 1, 2023; additional $3,000 increase in the minimum pay for Range A on July 1, 2024.
- Salary step increase of 2.65% for 2024-25.
- Increasing paid parental leave from six weeks to 10 weeks.
- Increasing protection for faculty who have dealings with police by providing for a union rep in those interactions.
- Improving access to gender-inclusive restrooms and lactation spaces, and a pathway to monitor issues of access.
- Providing support for lecturer engagement in service work.
- Extending the current contract for 2022-24 one year to June 30, 2025.
“This historic agreement was won because of members’ solidarity, collective action, bravery, and love for each other and our students,” said Antonio Gallo, associate vice president of lecturers, calling the agreement “historic.”
“This is what people power looks like,” he said. “This deal immensely improves working conditions for faculty and strengthens learning conditions for students.”
On Friday, the CSU system announced it had reached a tentative agreement with Teamsters Local 2010 on a three-year contract that covers 1,100 skilled trades employees across 22 of the CSU's 23 campuses. The Teamsters announced they would call off a strike that was to coincide with the faculty association strike this week.