News Release

California Faculty Association members vote to authorize strikes in the California State University system

For Immediate Release: May 2, 2012

– 95% of Faculty on all 23 California State University campuses voted to approve rolling two-day strikes if the CSU Chancellor refuses to settle a fair contract and unilaterally imposes his demands –

May 2, 2012 — After nearly two years trying to reach a labor agreement with university management, the faculty on the 23 campuses of the California State University system have voted overwhelmingly to authorize the California Faculty Association board to call rolling strikes.

95% of CFA members voted in favor of the strike.

Wednesday’s announcement is the latest in a series of events that could result in school not opening this fall for some 400,000 CSU students.

“We have said all along that we do not want to strike, but we will if that is what is necessary,” said CFA president Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State Los Angeles, just before a news conference today announcing the vote.

Andy Merrifield, chair of CFA’s Bargaining Team, told the news conference, “A fair contract will allow us to support our families, do a good job as educators, and help our students succeed.”

An obstacle in contract talks Merrifield said is that “the CSU Chancellor’s people have only been willing to talk about their all-concessions contract demands. His representatives and consultants won’t even consider improvements we have proposed that have no cost or very little cost.”

Taiz said the faculty “have run out of patience.”

She said, “The faculty of the California State University have had enough of executives putting themselves above the needs of the students, and of the public university. Enough of managers using budget cuts as an excuse to destroy the quality of students’ education.”

Voting on the strike authorization was held online and on CSU campuses April 16-27.


Last November, faculty on two campuses – CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills – held the first labor strikes on a Cal State U. campus. At issue were sections of the previous contract reopened by the Chancellor.

A strike of all 23 CSU campuses would be the largest strike in the history of American higher education.

While the current talks officially are at an impasse, small delegations of the two sides will meet this week to explore getting the talks back on track. If that fails, the sides move to the last stage in the bargaining process under labor law—“fact finding.” A neutral third party will review the issues in dispute and make recommendations to settle.

If the sides do not accept the recommendations, the contract officially expires. At that point the Chancellor would have the power to unilaterally impose his concessionary demands on the faculty and the faculty would be free to strike.