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Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

CFA contract increases preserved after finalized state budget

No cuts were made to the CSU budget for 2024-25 but reductions in funding are expected in the coming years
People+strike+along+19th+Avenue+on+Dec.+5%2C+2023.+%28Andrew+Fogel+%2F+Golden+Gate+Xpress%29
Andrew Fogel
People strike along 19th Avenue on Dec. 5, 2023. (Andrew Fogel / Golden Gate Xpress)

Contract increases will be preserved for the California Faculty Association, including the 5% General Salary Increase effective July 1, 2024, after Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the state’s main budget bill on Monday.

According to an email from CFA officers, no cuts will be made to the ongoing base budget of the California State University system for 2024-25. A retroactive payment will cover July and corrected salaries moving forward since compensation increases won’t be posted in time for July 1st pay warrants, the email stated.

“The CSU remains committed to upholding the agreements reached with its unions this past year,” said Amy Bentley-Smith, the director of strategic communications and public affairs of the CSU Chancellor’s Office. “As such, a 5% salary increase will be processed for faculty, consistent with the terms of the agreement.”

San Francisco State University CFA members said that they are pleased with the funding increase but discouraged by other agreements within the budget, according to interviews conducted by Golden Gate Xpress.

“I’m glad that we got the money,” said James Martel, SFSU-CFA vice president of tenure/tenure-track faculty. “I don’t like relying on politicians for our raises. I prefer to get raises through union power, so my preference would have been to strike longer and get a better contract but I’m still very glad that we managed to get the money that we did.”

The finalized budget also involves cuts to important programs and agencies that are supposed to help marginalized people in the state, the email stated. Proposals to grow the Cal Grant financial aid program were rejected in Newsom’s finalized budget as well.

“When you’re in a position where the politicians get to decide what they’re gonna do and you don’t have a lot of labor power, you do get a decision where you rely on the state and the state inevitably is gonna disappoint you in some way or another,” Martel said.

Additionally, this year’s increase is planned to be followed by a drastic decrease the next year. The state plans to reduce funding to the CSU’s operating budget by 7.95% for 2025-26, which is equivalent to a cut of $397 million, according to the CSU’s statement on the final budget.

“I think 2025 and beyond is gonna be a fight because we’ll see with the state, what happens then and then we’ll see what they’re gonna cut,” said SFSU-CFA Political Director Anthony Pahnke. “It doesn’t really feel quite like a win. It’s definitely not as bad as it could be, but it could be better.”

Following an action-packed year for the CFA, this means that they will continue organizing to find a solution that is better for all faculty members across California.

“On the horizon, it appears that there’s gonna be cuts coming, in higher education particularly,” Pahnke said. “The big question will be strategically how do we organize in higher education to maintain a decent level in the state.”

Brad Erickson, SFSU-CFA chapter president, said he believes that open bargaining is one of the main reasons the CFA was able to reach the initial 5% increase that is coming in 2024-25.

“Many statewide unions are currently not getting the raises they were promised because they had weaker contracts than we do,” Erickson said. “It was really the power of a strike, the power of organizing, the power of militancy that got us a better deal.”

Erickson said that bargaining will continue next year and that what union members do in the off year determines whether their next contract will be better, worse or the same. 

“All CFA members who think that this is a time just to kick back because we’re not in bargaining,” Erickson said. “I encourage them to rethink that, to find ways we can organize and strengthen our union and increase our organizing on campus so that we’re ready to bargain with power in the coming year.”

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About the Contributors
Jake Knoeller
Jake Knoeller, Staff Reporter
Jake Knoeller (he/him) is a reporter for Golden Gate Xpress. He is majoring in journalism and minoring in communications. He was born in Eureka, California and raised in Humboldt County. He currently lives in San Francisco. He previously worked for The Lumberjack, the student newspaper of Cal Poly Humboldt. During his free time, Jake enjoys playing or watching soccer, listening to music, and exploring neighborhoods in San Francisco.
Andrew Fogel
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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