In a dramatic turn of events, faculty members of the California Faculty Association (CFA) are gearing up for the possibility of a strike as contract negotiations with the California State University (CSU) management have hit a roadblock. The CFA, representing educators across the CSU system, is seeking a fair contract that addresses a range of issues, from salary increases to social justice demands.
With tensions escalating, CFA leadership has called for a strike authorization vote, which is set to take place from Saturday, October 21, at noon, through Friday, October 27, at 5 pm. The union is urging its members to empower the CFA Board of Directors with the authority to call a strike if necessary, signaling their readiness to withhold their labor to secure a contract that meets their demands.
The primary point of contention in the negotiations is CSU management’s reluctance to meet the CFA’s demand for a 12 percent General Salary Increase (GSI). Management has offered a 5 percent GSI, a proposal that the CFA deems insufficient, especially given the high cost of living in California and the pressing issues facing faculty members.
Furthermore, CSU management has come under fire for not adequately addressing the CFA’s anti-racism and social justice demands. The union asserts that these demands are crucial for uplifting marginalized faculty members and creating a more inclusive and equitable educational environment.
In addition to salary issues, management has been criticized for its stance on matters such as paid parental leave, lactation and milk storage spaces, gender-inclusive facilities, and safety provisions for faculty interactions with campus police.
The CFA has expressed frustration with what they see as CSU trustees’ misplaced priorities, citing a 34 percent increase in student tuition over five years while neglecting to provide adequate mental health counseling services for students.
The union’s resolve has been solidified by widespread support among CFA members who have signed commit cards and expressed their willingness to take collective action.
As the strike authorization vote looms, tensions remain high between the CFA and CSU management. Faculty members are anxiously awaiting the outcome of the vote, which could potentially lead to a strike, disrupting the operations of one of California’s largest public education systems.