Faculty and Cal State System reach tentative agreement on salary

The strike by faculty members against the California State University system, the largest public university system in the country, has come to an end. The faculty union, representing over 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, and coaches, has agreed to a 5% general salary increase retroactive to July 1, 2023, and another 5% increase on July 1, 2024. However, this agreement is dependent on the state not reducing Cal State’s base funding. The strike, which started on Monday, lasted just one day as faculty members returned to their campuses and classes on Tuesday.

Charles Toombs, the president of the California Faculty Association, expressed satisfaction with the outcome, stating, “The collective action of so many lecturers, professors, counselors, librarians and coaches over these last eight months forced CSU management to take our demands seriously. This tentative agreement makes major gains for all faculty at the CSU.”

In addition to the salary increases, the agreement includes a $3,000 retroactive increase in minimum pay for the lowest paid faculty, increasing it by another $3,000 this summer. Paid parental leave is also extended from six to 10 weeks. Other notable provisions include improved access to gender-inclusive restrooms and lactation spaces, increased protection for faculty in negative interactions with campus police officers, and additional support for lecturers. The agreement extends the current contract for 2022-24 by one year to June 30, 2025.

CSU Chancellor Mildred García expressed her satisfaction with the resolution, saying, “I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with CFA that will end the strike immediately. The agreement enables the CSU to fairly compensate its valued, world-class faculty while protecting the university system’s long-term financial sustainability.”

The university system is now urging students to check for messages from their instructors regarding any adjustments to their classes for the week. The faculty will be voting to ratify the new agreement in the coming weeks. This agreement is seen as a significant victory for education laborers, following similar strikes at the University of California and the University of Southern California.