California State University faculty union announces end of strike as tentative deal reached for increases in salary, benefits

[ad_1]

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) — One day into a strike by thousands of California State University faculty members, a tentative agreement was reached that will reopen campuses on Tuesday.

The California Faculty Association announced the deal late Monday night, saying it “includes raising the floor for our most vulnerable faculty, safer workplaces & expanded parental leave.”

Almost 30,000 faculty members and other workers started the five-day strike Monday morning to fight for what they called fair cost-of-living wage raises and other benefits.

Students and faculty members were being told they could return to campuses on Tuesday.

The union says the deal includes various salary increases, including a 5% boost for all faculty retroactive to July 1, 2023 and another 5% on July 1, 2024. It also includes longer time for paid parental leave and a series of other benefits.

THIS IS A BREAKING STORY. THE EARLIER REPORT IS BELOW:

Thousands of California State University faculty members and other employees began a five-day strike Monday as they continue to fight for what they call fair cost-of-living wage raises and other benefits.

The strike is being led by members of the California Faculty Association. Professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches across all 23 CSU campuses are asking for a 12% raise, among other demands.

The strike began at 8 a.m. Monday, with picket lines at all campuses. L.A.-area schools affected are Cal State Los Angeles, Long Beach, Northridge, Dominguez Hills, Pomona and Fullerton.

A CSU spokeswoman, Amy Bentley-Smith, said the university — the largest public system in the country — is prepared for the walkout, and was working to ensure the least possible disruptions for students.

Several people showed up to picket on the Cal State Long Beach campus Monday despite the rainy and cold conditions.

“I’m out here to strike as a lecturer. We are among the lowest paid faculty. We have PhD’s, we have publications, we have articles,” said Melissa Hidalgo. “I can’t even make more than $68,000 right now as a lecturer and that’s if I teach all five classes.”

CSU officials provided a 5% general salary increase each year for the next three years. In the past, officials have said they are prepared to agree to many of the union’s demands but not the 12% raise.

“If we were to agree to the increases that these unions are demanding, we would have to make severe cuts to programs, we could have to layoff employees. This would jeopardize our educational mission and cause hardship to many employees,” said Leora D. Freedman, CSU Vice Chancellor for Human Resources.

Striking faculty members are also asking for more counselors, extended paid parental leave to a full semester and a better student to teacher ratio. Overall, the union says, a better salary will help retain and hire more faculty.

“With our current salary, we’re really not able to recruit the faculty that we need to train the next generation of California students,” said assistant professor Preeti Sharna.

“We just want to be paid the way that a K-12 teacher is paid, the way that a community college teacher is paid. They all make more than I do,” Hidalgo said.

CSU officials said all campuses will remain open and that they hope to reach an agreement soon.

“The California State University (CSU) respects the rights of the California Faculty Association to engage in strike activity and takes seriously any such planned union action. All CSU campuses will remain open during a strike to serve students. Arrangements have been made to maintain university operations and minimize disruptions to ensure the strike poses no hardship on our students,” the office of the Chancellor said in a statement. “The CSU is not canceling classes and many classes will still be held as not all faculty will participate in the strike. However, individual faculty members may decide to strike, which could result in individual classes being canceled. Students should check their class portals and/or contact each of their professors if they have any questions about whether they intend to hold class during that time.”

A similar strike was averted Friday when a deal was reached with Teamsters Local 2010, which represents 1,100 skilled trade workers at 22 of the 23 CSU campuses. That deal must be ratified by the union membership and will be brought to the CSU Board of Trustees for approval at its March meeting. Skilled trades employees at the 23rd CSU school, Cal Maritime, are represented by a different union, IUOE International Union of Operating Engineers.

The Teamster skilled trade workers had also planned to begin a strike Monday, coinciding with the first week of instruction of the spring semester for many CSU campuses. That is now off.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2024 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.

[ad_2]

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *