California State University Faculty Call for Campus Strikes in December

Four campuses across the California State University system will hold one-day strikes in support of workers' demands.
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Published on November 14, 2023
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  • Faculty members across the California State University's 23-campus system held a strike authorization vote from Oct. 21-27.
  • The vote passed with nearly 95% approval.
  • Initially, four campuses will hold one-day strikes in support of workers' demands.
  • Faculty at the pre-selected campuses will refrain from teaching and all other work, including coaching and counseling, during the strike.

Faculty across the California State University (CSU) system will go on strike next month if a contract is not reached, the California Faculty Association (CFA) announced Nov. 9.

CFA represents 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches across the CSU system's 23 campuses. The organization is affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU Local 1983) and the American Association of University Professors (AAUP).

Members voted nearly 95% in favor of empowering their board of directors to call a strike, which will initially begin with four separate one-day strikes at CSU campuses including:

  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona on Dec. 4
  • San Francisco State University on Dec. 5
  • CSU Los Angeles on Dec. 6
  • Sacramento State University on Dec. 7

In a statement, CFA President Charles Toombs said that faculty deserve better pay and working conditions than they currently have.

"CSU management will learn the hard way that faculty are not willing to settle for less than they deserve," he said.

CFA currently does not have the legal right to strike but expects to be able to on the pre-set dates. To legally call a strike, CFA must first wait for an independent factfinder to release a report containing nonbinding recommendations on a settlement. Upon release of the report, the bargaining team and the CSU will have a 10-day "silent period" to review the report before it's made public.

If this process does not end in an agreement, the "statutory" process ends, and CFA will have the legal right to strike.

Potential Impacts of a CSU Faculty Strike

Faculty at the pre-selected campuses are expected to strike and join the picket line during their assigned days. During a strike, members would not teach courses or complete normal work tasks such as grading, answering emails, and any other faculty work.

As part of CFA, coaches, counselors, librarians, faculty at satellite campuses, and department chairs would also withhold labor in the event of a strike.

Faculty at campuses not going on strike would continue to perform normal job duties.

While a strike has been announced for a four-day period, more dates may be possible if CFA and the CSU administration fail to reach an agreement, including during the spring term.

"CFA members are prepared to withhold our labor to get the contract we deserve. We recognize the need to join together and fight CSU management's disinvestment in the people who are directly responsible for student learning and success," the CFA statement read.