The California State University faculty union announced Monday that it would strike for five days across all 23 campuses if an ongoing contract dispute is not resolved by the middle of April.
Arguing that their salaries did not keep up with inflation as teaching staff was persistently underfunded during the past decade, the California Faculty Association has been wrangling with the university since last May over a raise for the 2015-16 academic year.
The faculty union – which represents approximately 25,000 CSU professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches – is seeking a 5 percent compensation hike, plus an additional 2.65 percent increase for about 12,000 members who are at the lower end of their pay rank.
That is far higher than the 2 percent raise that the university offered all employees this year. CSU officials have said the faculty’s proposal would cost three times as much and consume up to one-half of the $217 million funding increase the 23-campus system received in the state budget last June.
The faculty association last held a strike in 2011, walking out for one day on two campuses to protest budget cuts. It also authorized strikes during contract negotiations in 2007 and 2012 before settling with management.
This year, union umbrella groups for the counties encompassing nearly all of the CSU campuses – including the Sacramento Central Labor Council – have promised to join the faculty with their own sanctions on the university.