Campus, CSU, News

CSU faculty strikes represent largest show of action in 13 years

The scheduled statewide strike for members of the California Faculty Association (CFA) during the first week of the Spring 2024 semester represents one of the largest demonstrations for the union in over a decade.

In response to months of negotiations and no new contract between the CFA and Academic Professionals of California (APC), the CFA has called for its union members to participate in a statewide strike beginning Jan. 22 through Jan. 26.

The CFA and CSU have been stuck at an impasse on the union’s new contract, with the CFA requesting a 12% wage increase over a three-year period and CSU remaining steadfast in their counter offer of 5%.

Negotiations began to stall in August of 2023 and the vote to strike was approved at the end of October. The planned strike follows the one-day strikes across four CSU campuses including Pomona, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Sacramento during the first week of December.

The one-day strikes marked the first time CFA members went on strike since 2011, when one-day strikes were held at CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU East Bay after union members saw no increase in compensation for the 2011 school year. After these strikes, faculty received a less than 1% increase in salary for the following year.

“In recent news reports, CSU management has only addressed our conflict over salary. They have completely ignored the issues of workload, health and safety concerns and parental leave,” said Chris Cox, CFA Associate Vice President of Racial & Social Justice in a CFA press release on Thursday.

The CFA released their contract demands to the CSU which emphasize a 12% pay raise, raising the floor for the lowest-paid faculty and expanding paid parental leave to a full semester among other items.

While it has been 13 years since the last official CFA strike, negotiations between the union and the CSU have been consistently strained, as made apparent in 2016 when an impasse in negotiations caused a strike to be authorized.

In late 2015, negotiations stalled when CFA requested a 5% salary increase, launching the “Fight for Five” campaign when the CSU responded with a 2% counter offer.

In 2016, a strike was authorized and a date was set for mid-April, but the strike was averted when the CSU agreed to a 5% salary increase.

Since then, strikes have not been used as a method of bargaining until the most recent set of negotiations began in 2023. This is set to change as union members prepare for one of CFA’s largest work actions in over a decade.

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