CSU faculty union sets dates for 5-day strike if labor deal not reached

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The union representing the California State University faculty said it will hold a five-day strike in April at all 23 campuses if a new labor contract deal has not been reached before then.

The California Faculty Association, which represents faculty, counselors, librarians and coaches, announced on Monday that unless administrators make a better offer, they'll walk off the job from April 13 through April 15, and on April 18 and April 19.

Members of the CFA have already voted to authorize a strike. This would be the largest strike since system-wide collective bargaining began in the 1980s.

The union and education system have been in negotiations on a new contract for more than two years.

At issue is the size of pay raises union members will receive this school year. The CFA wants a five percent salary increase for faculty members, but CSU is offering two percent.

CSU officials have said a five percent increase for CFA faculty would cost $68.9 million over the two percent the university is offering. The cost to the university could balloon to $107.2 million when other labor unions ask for the same increase, according to the CSU.

The two sides are awaiting an arbitrator's ruling on which offer is fair. The arbitrator's ruling is expected to come down sometime in March.

About half of the CSU's 25,000 faculty are members of the CFA, according to the university.

CSU officials released the following statement on Monday, "If a strike occurs, campuses intend to remain open. The strike should not interfere with students being able to complete their semester and quarter courses and graduate on time."

City News Service contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2019 KABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.