Faculty Strike at CSU East Bay
Bay Citizen

By Bay City News Service

California State University faculty from throughout the state are pouring in to two of the system’s 23 campuses this morning to participate in a one-day strike to protest the cancellation of contractual raises for CSU faculty as tuition increases for CSU students, union officials said.

California Faculty Association spokesman Brian Ferguson said that as of 9 a.m. today, hundreds had already gathered outside CSU East Bay in Hayward, one of the two convergence points today for CSU faculty, along with Dominguez Hills in Carson.

Ferguson said faculty and students are arriving at the campus from as far north as Humboldt and as far south as Fresno, and that half of the professors at CSU East Bay have pledged to participate in the picket line. He said nearly two-thirds have pledged not to cross picket lines.

Ferguson said the union hopes to cancel all CSU East Bay classes today.

“Obviously that’s not going to happen, but the vast majority of classes, as far as we can tell, are going to be empty today,” he said.

CSU East Bay spokesman Barry Zepel said that the campus is open today, and that unless an instructor notifies students that a class has been canceled, students should assume their classes will still be in session.

He said nearly 600 classes are scheduled for as many as 8,500 students between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. today, the hours of the strike.

But he said the school has not been officially informed about how many faculty members may be striking.

In addition to faculty and students, Ferguson said the strike has received support from K-12 public school teachers and other unions.

Close to 100 K-12 teachers from Oakland, San Leandro and Castro Valley arrived at the picket line before their classes today, and the Teamsters union and delivery drivers have been honoring the strike by not making deliveries to the campus today, Ferguson said.

A statement released Wednesday by the California Nurses Association encouraged union members to join CSU picket lines today as well.

CFA treasurer Susan Green traveled to CSU East Bay from Chico this morning, and said there was a busload of about 50 faculty members, students and local public school teachers behind her.

Green said she has found that CSU students are supportive of the strike.

“We say the faculty working conditions are student learning conditions,” Green said, adding that students have seen the effects of state budget cuts in larger class sizes and shorter office hours.

“They also realize that the rhetoric of putting students first isn’t true if you’re always putting faculty last,” Green said.