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Cal State faculty poised to strike amid stalled contract talks

Cal State-Fullerton campus
John Holzer
Flickr / Creative Commons
Cal State-Fullerton campus

The series of one-day rolling strikes will begin at Cal Poly Pomona on Monday, with San Francisco State following on Tuesday, Cal State LA on Wednesday and Sacramento State on Thursday. Some faculty from other campuses are expected to join their colleagues and not teach on those days.

Salary remains the largest disagreement between the 23-campus Cal State system and the California Faculty Association, which represents about 29,000 professors and lecturers.

The faculty is fighting for a 12 percent general salary increase for this year and has not specified the size of the raises it will seek after that. However, the university system is proposing a total increase of 15 percent over three years, including this year.

A union official said Many faculty members have student loan debt and want to start families or are struggling to support the families they do have.

But Cal State officials say the system can't afford to give more than five percent-a-year to the faculty group.

Leora Freedman, CSU's vice chancellor for human resources, said during a media call last week that the university system is prepared to return to negotiations at any time.

In August, the faculty union and the CSU entered a state labor mediation process. A fact-finding report written by a third-party labor negotiator was released by both sides Friday. The negotiator ultimately recommended a seven percent general increase in faculty salaries for one year while noting that this would be below the rate of inflation.

Sunni M. Khalid is a veteran of more than 40 years in journalism, having worked has in print, radio, television, and web journalism.