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The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

CSU, California Faculty Association reach tentative agreement to end strike

The deal comes after months of intense negotiations, including a series of picketing and demonstrations.
Piqueteros+se+re%C3%BAnen+para+escuchar+oradores+durante+la+huelga+en+la+Universidad+Estatal+de+Sacramento+el+7+de+diciembre+de+2023.+%28Neal+Wong+%2F+Golden+Gate+Xpress%29
Neal Wong
Piqueteros se reúnen para escuchar oradores durante la huelga en la Universidad Estatal de Sacramento el 7 de diciembre de 2023. (Neal Wong / Golden Gate Xpress)

The California Faculty Association reached a tentative agreement with the California State University late Monday evening to end the largest university strike in U.S. history after one day of picketing across all 23 CSU campuses.

The agreement was announced at 9 p.m. and faculty will resume all work Tuesday.

According to an email from the CFA Board of Directors, the tentative agreement will help bring the members of the CFA towards a CSU for everyone. 

“This historic agreement was won because of members’ solidarity, collective action, bravery. and love for each other and our students,” said Antonio Gallo, Associate Vice President of Lecturers, South, in an email sent to faculty from the CFA Board of Directors. “This is what People Power looks like. This deal immensely improves working conditions for faculty and strengthens learning conditions for students.”.

According to the CFA’s email to members, the agreement ensures a 5% salary increase for all faculty members retroactive to July 1, 2023. The 5% salary for all faculty on July 1, 2024 ––contingent on the state not reducing base funding to the CSU, meaning that the main funding for CSU stays the same 

The salary floor of the lowest-paid faculty in the salary ranges A and B will be raised retroactively by $3,000 on July 1. This salary floor increase will follow the same dates as the 5% raise  There will also be a salary step increase (SSI) of 2.65% for 2024-25. 

The CFA originally pursued a 12% wage increase to keep up with fast-rising cost of living and inflation.

Additionally, faculty members will get an increase in paid parental leave from six weeks to 10 weeks. It also increases protection for faculty who are dealing with police and these faculty members will be provided with a union representative during those interactions. 

The deal also includes more gender-neutral restrooms and lactation spaces, along with a way to report the lack of access to these spaces. 

Finally, the tentative agreement says that support will be given to lecturer engagement in service work. This deal also extends the current contract for 2022-24 to June 30, 2025. 

According to the board, the official tentative agreement will be released as soon as the language is sorted.

CFA members will be voting on whether or not they want to accept this deal in the coming weeks. The dates of voting have yet to be released. Union leaders will meet at a general membership meeting on Tuesday to gage the interest of their members

The CSU released a statement about the tentative agreement being reached.

​“I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with CFA that will end the strike immediately,” said CSU Chancellor Mildred García in a press release on Monday evening.

While a tentative agreement has been reached, there are mixed emotions about what the agreement holds. Meghan O’Donnell, CFA associate vice president of lecturers and CFA-Monterey Bay chapter president, is happy with the agreement.

“This has been a really long, hard struggle. It’s been, in some ways, the ugliest contract fight I’ve ever had to participate in, working across the table from CSU management,” O’Donnell said. “I think to come out of that post-strike and being able to get an agreement that meets so many of our demands in meaningful ways, particularly getting really important wins for our lowest paid faculty, showing some serious progress and our contract on what we really see as anti-racism and social justice issues;  it’s a point of real pride.”

According to O’Donnell, the chief negotiator of the chancellor’s office reached out to Kevin Wehr, the chair of the CFA’s bargaining team, with an outline of what a tentative agreement would look like on the CSU’s end. This tentative agreement, outlined above, was offered to the CFA if they accepted the outline last night and ended the planned week-long strike.

Following the tentative agreement draft, meetings with multiple parts of the CFA took place. Statewide CFA stakeholders, including CFA statewide officers, the bargaining team, the contract development and bargaining strategies committee. After these meetings, the CFA Board of Directors held a formal meeting and voted to authorize support for the tentative agreement, consequently calling an end to the system-wide strike.

O’Donnell said the CFA Board of Directors voted to authorize strikes following the decisions of the CFA members while also voting to end the strike.

“Ultimately, it will be rank and file members who decide whether or not they want to support the tentative agreement when they go and vote on whether or not to ratify it,” O’Donnell said.

According to O’Donnell, the chancellor’s negotiation team was not going to give the CFA the 12% raise they were asking for. The CFA bargaining team worked around this by making two separate 5% general salary increases (GSI) to be split up over several months to reach 10.25%.

Brad Erickson, the CFA-SFSU chapter president, declined to comment on how the tentative agreement made him feel. While Erickson was shocked about the interim/preliminary agreement, he is proud of the way the San Francisco chapter is organized within the SFSU community.

“We ultimately want an agreement that best serves our members, students and communities, but that’s what we’re not sure about,” Erickson said. “There is debate about whether or not how good this agreement is and the process has also left people feeling uncertain.”

According to Erickson, there’s a planned rally on Thursday, Jan. 25, at noon in SFSU’s quad. The goal of the rally is to continue the union’s momentum and celebrate the gains that have been made by this tentative agreement. This rally will also point out the difficulties that the union is now facing.

“There’s disagreement about the tentative agreement,” Erickson said. “There was, at the very least confusion and I think disappointment in the process.”

 

This story was updated on Tuesday, Jan 23.

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About the Contributors
Sophia Osborn
Sophia Osborn, Engagement and Online Editor
Sophia Osborn (she/her) is the Engagement and Online editor for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in English literature. Sophia has always loved keeping up with the news and reading whatever she can. Coming from sunny San Diego, she graduated from Carlsbad High School, where she wrote and was an editor for the school paper, the Lancer Link. This is her second semester on staff and she is extremely excited about what the future holds in store for her. In her downtime, Sophia can be found hanging out with friends, reading, writing, or playing Mario Kart with her friends.
Neal Wong
Neal Wong, Co-Copy Editor
Neal Wong (he/him) is a third-year journalism student and minoring in urban studies and planning. He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended Washington High School. He has photographed and written for Golden Gate Xpress first as a contributor, then as a photographer, and now as a copy editor. His photos have also been published by the San Francisco Bay ViewSan Francisco Public Press, Mission Local, and Xpress Magazine. Neal has also created and taught four SFSU Experimental College courses. His hobbies include traveling, cooking, and reading.

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