The California Faculty Association (CFA) is the lecturers, professors, librarians, coaches, and counselors at all 23 California State University campuses. To improve student learning conditions, we bargain for fair wages, improved working conditions, and social justice at the CSU. Currently, CFA members are in a tense contract fight with CSU management, and it is possible there will be disruptions of learning activities on campus due to job actions.
Faculty across all CSU campuses are fighting for better pay, sustainable workloads, improved parental leave, more counselors, and campuses that are both safe and accessible for everyone. Our goal is to guarantee the quality education students rightfully deserve.
Unfortunately, CSU management has rejected most of CFA’s proposals during the bargaining process (often referred to as a “statutory process”), and an agreement in bargaining negotiations seems unlikely.
All stages of the bargaining process have been completed, and we are now legally able to go on strike.
The CFA Board of Directors has authorized a week-long strike on all 23 CSU campuses from January 22 – January 26.
CSU management can prevent strikes from happening at any time by offering us a fair contract and giving students the quality education they deserve.
The strikes will start on January 22, the first day of instruction for the Spring 2024 semester, and continue until January 26.
If a fair contract is not reached after these job actions, we may escalate to further job actions.
A strike would mean work stoppage or withholding labor in all these areas:
- All instructional classes
- Counseling and mental health services
You will likely not meet for in-person classes, and classes will not be rescheduled or held on virtually. If you have class online or the course is asynchronous, coursework will stop there as well. We won’t be able to answer emails, write letters of recommendation, hold office hours, and so on. While campus buildings like the library will be open, librarians will likely not be on duty.
Because of work stoppage and faculty withholding labor, it could mean that students do not go to class or complete work. Classes may be canceled, athletic events may be canceled, counselors may not report to work, librarians may not be available. Many, if not all, of your instructors will cease replying to emails and take down their classes for the entirety of the strike days.
The strikes should not affect your grades, since they only take place within the first week of the term. Each instructor will handle things in a way that makes sense for their classroom and will have to make changes to reflect the job action. Students should ask individual instructors to get concrete responses to concerns. We hope that management sees the urgency of quickly coming to a fair agreement with us so that learning will not be disrupted.
Since the strikes will only take place the first week of the semester, they should not impede students’ ability to graduate on time.
If your faculty member decides to cross the picket line by choosing to go to work during a strike, your classes and academic activities will likely proceed as usual.
They are allowed to penalize you if you skip classes or miss assignments for their classes.
Faculty who strike will communicate with students in advance and after clarifications or guidance.
We are asking for more than just fair wages, though a 12% raise will help faculty keep pace with the rising costs of living. We are also demanding that CSU management raise the salary floor for our lowest-paid faculty. Additionally, we are bargaining for reasonable workloads, humane parental leave, safe and accessible lactation spaces, safe and accessible gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms, and safety provisions for faculty interacting with university police on campuses.
If faculty cannot take care of themselves, we cannot take care of our students.
The starting pay for a lecturer working full-time is $54,360 per year, but lecturers are rarely assigned full-time appointments. The vast majority of faculty who teach your courses are part-time lecturers who, on average, earn $27,200 annually.
No. On September 13, 2023, the CSU Board of Trustees voted 15 – 5 to raise tuition for all CSU students by 34% over the next five years. Our faculty and staff strongly opposed the tuition increase.
According to the CSU, the system currently has $8.6 billion in reserves, which is a 28% increase since 2021. Evidence shows that the CSU system is in very strong financial condition, supported by a high level of reserves and consistent yearly cash flow surpluses. Yet, CSU management continues to claim that the tuition increase was necessary for their financial stability.
Budgets are a moral document. It is mismanagement and misuse of public funds to be charging students more tuition and paying us a wage we cannot live off while management hoards billions. They have the money. It is imperative to know that they can afford to pay us without overburdening students.
A very high percentage of faculty are union members, and system-wide CFA member faculty voted to authorize a strike at a 95% rate. Faculty who are not in the union are still represented by the union. Many of them will choose to strike as well to avoid breaking the picket line. You should expect most, if not all, classes to be suspended at the select campuses on the day they chose to strike.
We are teachers who care about our classes and the content that we teach. We know how vital course content is, how essential it is to have access to counselors and librarians, and how important it is to let student athletes compete. A strike is a last resort, and we sincerely hope CSU management decides to come back to the bargaining table and provide our members a fair contract.
Yes, and we encourage you to do so! The CSU is built off the backs of students, faculty, and staff. We have always been in solidarity with each other, and it is important that we are united in our efforts against injustices that harm the CSU system. Here are ways to support us on the strike days:
- Strike with us! Sign up here and join us on the picket line. We would love to have you there with us!
- Do not cross the picket line! This is very important. The main way that people show solidarity with CFA members is by not crossing the picket line.
- Share our actions and solidarity on social media. Spread the word!
- Tell your professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches that you support them.
- If you cannot picket with us, avoid campus to withhold the money you pay for parking spots or buying food and drinks.
- Sign up for CFA’s weekly newsletter at https://actionnetwork.org/forms/sign-up-for-cfa-headlines.
- Let the Chancellor’s Office know you support CFA faculty and their demands. You can contact CSU Chancellor Dr. Mildred Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Let your local representatives know that you support CSU dealing fairly with CFA. Find your state representatives here: https://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
- Get involved with CFA’s student advocacy group, Students for Quality Education (SQE). There is an active SQE chapter on all 23 CSU campuses. They can keep you updated on strike actions. You can follow SQE’s Instagram.
- If you have contacts in local media, encourage them to cover strike action and contact us for quotes or other information