By Elle Carlos |Staff Writer|
The California Faculty Association announced strike dates on April 13-15 and 18-19, if an agreement is not reached with the CSU Chancellors office.
The strike could impact 460,000 students CSU-wide.
For the past couple of years the CFA has pushed the “Fight for Five,” a 5 percent General Salary Increase for faculty in the California State University system.
The CFA strike is set to take place on all 23 CSU campuses, with an estimate of 26,000 CSU faculty members in participation, as stated in USA Today.
“We’ve said all along that we don’t want to strike, but we will if we have to,” stated Dr. Jennifer Eagan, CFA President and Professor of Philosophy and Public Affairs & Administration at Cal State East Bay in the CFA release.
In response to the CFA request, Chancellor Timothy White and CSU management proposed a counter offer of a 2 percent general salary Increase.
“Unlike our peers, we have not been able to keep up with the cost of living in California and recover from the recession. Our ask of 5 percent plus a step increase is not a raise, but a partial recovery from the deep hole that our faculty have been in for over 10 years,” said Eagan in a news conference in Sacramento.
If the strike does happen, it is said to be the largest faculty strike in the CSU history, according to the statement.
By participating in the strike, faculty must refrain from all work duties, including faculty working from satellite campuses.
This means professors must cancel their classes and will not be permitted to check their campus e-mail during the strike days, according to calf.org.
“I’m mad, because I’m paying for these classes and my education,” said student Breanna Saunders.
Faculty wanting to participate in the strike cannot claim vacation or sick days, as paid leave is not considered being on strike.
“It sucks that faculty isn’t getting paid that much, because they’re the ones doing all the hard work,” said student Victoria Pelayo.
“I wouldn’t want them to cancel school, because it does take away from learning,” added Pelayo
This is an opportunity to demonstrate for our students what collective action for justice looks like, stated the CFA.
Students are welcome to rally alongside faculty members during the strike.
According to the CSU Sustainability Plan, private funding and increased student tuition was suggested to support faculty salary increases.
“Students are already hurt by debt, high fees, and fewer faculty available to help them,” according to the CFA.
As stated on the calfac.org, the the CSU has the funding to provide a five percent salary increase to faculty, it is just a matter of priorities.
“This year the CSU received its full budget request from the state for the first time since the recession,” as stated on calfac.org.
“Definitely keeping the channels of communication open, someone will come up with an idea that will be good for both the CSU’s and the faculty,” said Rivera when asked about potential solutions.