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Cal State faculty launch strike to demand pay raise, more benefits

Union demands include extended parental leave, ‘gender-inclusive restrooms’

Professors at California State University are two days into a week of planned strikes at four campuses to demand a salary increase of 12 percent and improved benefits.

University officials had offered faculty a 15 percent increase over three years, with an annual raise of five percent each year, The Mercury News reported Sunday. The California Faculty Association, the workers’ union, rejected the deal, arguing that it would limit their ability to negotiate until the 2026-27 academic year.

Hundreds of professors from the CFA picketed at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, on Monday, representing approximately 29,000 workers, the Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, union members went on strike at San Francisco State University, according to X posts by the CFA.

“Come out and join the picket lines!” the union posted. “We’re here at @SFSU and ready to demand for the #RightsRespectJustice our faculty and students deserve!”

Cal Poly Pomona leadership told the AP that the campus would remain open and some faculty would continue to teach.

The union plans additional strikes this week at California State University, Los Angeles, and California State University, Sacramento.

In addition to the 12 percent raise, the union has demanded an extension of parental leave from six weeks to a full semester.

They are also asking for “more manageable workloads for faculty, better access to breastfeeding stations and more gender-inclusive restrooms,” the AP reported.

The university’s chancellor’s office told the AP that the pay increase would cost $380 million in new recurring spending, $150 million more than increased funding for the system by the state for the 2023-24 year.

Full-time professors earned an average of $112,397 and lecturers earned an average of $66,159 in fall 2019, according to the latest data from the school’s website.

In December, some 36,000 teaching assistants, graduate students, and other workers from the University of California system went on strike to demand pay increases, winning a 66 percent raise over two years for some, The College Fix reported at the time.

The strike was the largest of its kind to take place in the country and interrupted classes at all 10 University of California campuses, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, UC Merced and UC San Diego.

MORE: Graduate employees clash with University of Michigan over illegal strike

IMAGE: @CFA_United/X

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