California State University faculty set to strike over better pay, other benefits beginning Monday

Saturday, January 20, 2024
CSU faculty set to begin 5-day strike Monday
CSU faculty at all 23 campuses plan to begin a five-day strike next week amid demands for higher pay, an increase in parental leave and other benefits.

LONG BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- California State University officials gave an update on labor negotiations Friday as professors and employees prepare for a five-day strike.

The strike is set to begin Monday, Jan. 22, and is led by members of the California Faculty Association.

CSU officials said they are not canceling classes, saying many will go on as planned since not all faculty will participate in the strike.

Members are asking for a double-digit raise, more counselors, and extended paid parental leave to a full semester.

"We hope to accomplish a 12% salary increase to help our lowest-paid faculty like myself," said Cal State Long Beach Professor Dr. Elaine Villaneuva. "I only bring home about $59,000 a year, which is well below the living wage in L.A. County."

The university's chancellor hopes the sides will meet over the weekend in an effort to avert the strike. If a deal is not reached, CFA members will go on strike on Monday.

CSU has provided professors, lecturers, coaches, librarians, and counselors with a 5% general salary increase.

Meanwhile, students are still trying to figure out what to do.

"I'm planning on not going to the school for that entire strike week, because if I'm not doing any classes, there's no point in me going," said Cal Poly Pomona freshman Justin Chan.

More than a week ago, four days of negotiations were scheduled but those talks broke down.

On Friday, the CSU system reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with 1,100 skilled trade workers at 22 campuses, who are represented by Teamsters Local 2010.

The agreement must be ratified by union members and will be brought to the CSU Board of Trustees for approval at a March meeting, according to a statement from the CSU system.

The Teamsters were set to strike Monday through Friday next week, but university officials said the group intends to call it off.