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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

CFA moves forward with January strike plans as CSU announces 5% pay hike

The two sides remain at odds as a failed meeting on Tuesday resulted in the cancelation of upcoming bargaining negotiations
Dimitry Berdnikov
CFA picketers march near the 16th and Holloway during the one-day rolling strike at San Francisco State University on Dec. 5, 2023.

The California Faculty Association will proceed with its plan to initiate a strike across all 23 California State University campuses from Jan. 22-26.

The decision follows the conclusion of failed negotiations on Tuesday, during which the CSU presented a final 5% wage increase — an amount considerably lower than the CFA’s demand of 12%. Following months of talks between the two sides, the CSU ended the meeting by promptly canceling all remaining negotiations.

“Rather than bargain in good faith with CFA members, CSU management expressed nothing but disdain for faculty,” CFA President Charles Toombs said in a statement to members. “We know they have the money in their flush reserve accounts.”

A 5% wage increase will be delivered to all instructional faculty, librarians, counselors, and coaches by Jan. 31. The CSU remarked in a statement on Tuesday that a 5% salary boost was previously consistent with other agreements made with five of their labor unions and a 12% increase was “not financially viable” and would have resulted in massive cuts to campuses, including layoffs.

“With this action, we will ensure that well-deserved raises get to our faculty members as soon as possible,” said CSU Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Leora Freedman in a statement. “We have been in the bargaining process for eight months and the CFA has shown no movement, leaving us no other option.”

Freedman also pointed out the system’s responsibility to manage their budget in a “fiscally sustainable manner.”

“We are committed to paying fair, competitive salaries and benefits for our hard-working faculty members, who are delivering instruction to our students every day and are the cornerstone of our university system,” Freedman said. “But we must also operate within our means to protect the long-term success and stability of the university, our students and our faculty.”

After the CFA bargaining team presented four different proposals to CSU officials on Monday, the negotiations sessions turned sour on Tuesday, according to Brad Erickson, San Francisco State University’s CFA chapter president.

In a statement to Golden Gate Xpress, Erickson says CSU chancellor Dr. Mildred Garcia sent a corporate lawyer and a former police officer to belittle the union leaders for not accepting the 5% pay increase. He also claims the CSU team pushed back when pressed about different CFA demands.

“They have not offered even a token increase to raise the floor of some of the lowest paid educators in the state and remain opposed to any contractual limits on class size,” Erickson said. “When one of our negotiators interrupted a condescending speech to ask if they had any concrete proposal to present, they called off negotiations and stormed out of the room. The letter sent to all faculty the same morning, obviously prepared in advance, demonstrated that they never intended to bargain in good faith.”

CSU officials have not yet commented on these claims at the time of publication.

In their own statement, CFA bargaining officials claim otherwise, saying CSU management “has never taken seriously our proposals” to provide an equity transformation for students, faculty and staff by addressing base salary, parental leave, gender-inclusive bathrooms and more items they hoped to negotiate.

“Management’s imposition gives us no other option but to continue to move forward with our plan for a systemwide strike,” Tombs wrote.

The planned strikes will feature a joint coalition between the CFA and members from Teamsters Local 2010, a labor group representing over 1,100 skilled maintenance workers. Teamsters are seeking new agreements of their own and held a system-wide, one-day strike against unfair labor practices on Nov. 14.

The CFA previously held one-day rolling strikes across four CSU campuses in December 2023 — Cal Poly Pomona, San Francisco State, Cal State Los Angeles and Sacramento State were among the schools to participate. At the time, union officials threatened to hold additional strikes for the Spring 2024 semester, which now appears evident.

For the planned strikes from Jan. 22-26, the CFA says their educators won’t hold in-person or virtual classes or perform faculty work such as responding to emails and grading assignments. However, Universities are still expected to remain open to maintain normal operations. Students are also invited to join the picket line.

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About the Contributor
Steven Rissotto
Steven Rissotto, Managing Editor
Steven Rissotto (he/him) is co-managing editor for Golden Gate Xpress. He is a journalism major with an education minor. A native of Pacifica, Steven attended Archbishop Riordan High School, where he played baseball and wrote on their award-winning newspaper, The Crusader. Before transferring to SFSU in Fall 2022, he attended Skyline College for two years and wrote for The Skyline View. He also covers the San Francisco Giants for SF Giants Baseball Insider on Sports Illustrated.  In his spare time, Steven enjoys cracking jokes, watching documentaries and sports, reading biographies and recording his baseball podcast, RizzoCast.

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    MariaJan 19, 2024 at 6:40 am

    So what will happen now? My daughter has two core classes that will not be offered this Spring 2024. Does this mean she will not be able to graduate this coming year? If that is the case, this is more cost for me since she has to stay up in SF another semester if no agreement between the school and the union is not met. What will happen to the rest of the graduating students? Does this mean NO graduation next year? This is not right!