The faculty union at California State University (CSU) overwhelmingly approved a strike authorization against the university system on Tuesday.
The California Faculty Association, which represents 29,000 lecturers, librarians, counselors and other employees, announced that 95 percent of members voting approved of the strike plans. The union did not reveal the percentage of members participating in the strike vote.
The demands: CFA has sought a 12 percent wage increase for all faculty, higher minimum wages for the lowest-paid instructors, expanded parental leave, and the provision of lactation rooms for new parents.
- CSU officials argue that the system cannot afford the union’s demands, proposing a smaller one-year raise or a 12% raise over three years due to the university’s expenses exceeding its revenue from tuition and state taxpayer funding.
- Other demands include raising the minimum wages for the lowest-paid instructors, expand parental leave, provide lactation rooms for new parents and more.
The big picture: This potential strike would be the first massive strike in the history of California State University and would affect all 23 campuses and more than 400,000 students.
- The union argues that the strike’s objective is to improve education quality by retaining better-qualified faculty and providing better academic resources.
- The Teamsters union, representing around 1,100 workers, has also voted to authorize a strike, but several other unions have signed tentative contracts, likely averting a full strike of 60,000 workers.
The process: A strike authorization does not mean an immediate strike, as a third-party must first complete a fact-finding report.
- The report will recommend how the union and Cal State should proceed, but the recommendation is non-binding.
- The strike can only happen after the report goes public and if an agreement is not reached.
- A strike date has not yet been chosen.