In his January budget proposal, Governor Gavin Newsom proposed honoring his five-year compact agreement with the CSU. This compact agreement would increase the CSU system’s base fund by five percent or around $227 million.

The announcement kicks off negotiations that will lead to a 2023-24 state budget.

Modest increases, though, do not address real issues in the CSU. The legacy of prolonged underfunding of the CSU still requires investment levels to offset ongoing economic inequities for faculty, staff, and students living in the most expensive state in the nation.

As CFA members prepare for a contract reopener this year, and full successor contract bargaining in 2024, the CSU’s 29,000 faculty look forward to working with CSU students, staff, alumni, community groups, and elected state lawmakers to usher in a fresh approach to state investment in the People’s University.

Staff and faculty working in the CSU are finding it increasingly difficult to afford to live in this beautiful state. This budget proposal certainly does not help students in need of necessary student services, such as on-campus and in-person mental health counseling. We must continue to invest in the mental health of our students, our staff, and our faculty to help solve the counselor workforce shortage.

The CSU is the engine that drives social mobility in California. Our state budget must reflect the value of the CSU and public higher education to our state’s economic prosperity and the state’s ability to navigate tough budget years. Newsom and legislators: the time to invest in students and workers is now.

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