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North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Cal State San Marcos classes back in session as faculty union reaches deal with CSU

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Students walk near the Kellogg Library at California State San Marcos. (CSUSM photo by Brandon Van Zanten)

The California Faculty Association and California State University system reached a tentative agreement Monday night that ended a strike that could have affected CSU San Marcos and campuses across the state for a week.

The strike was called by the union for Jan. 22 and set to last the entire week, but it concluded within a day when union and CSU officials announced the agreement at about 9 p.m.

“With your efforts, we have won a Tentative Agreement with CSU management. Strikes for the rest of the week have been called off, and faculty will return to work tomorrow (Tuesday, January 23),” the California Faculty Association Board of Directors stated in an announcement. “Due to the quick turnaround, we suggest faculty use the modality that will facilitate best access for their students for the rest of the week.”

The walkout — which was made up of academic employees from professors, lecturers and counselors to librarians and coaches — threw the first full week of the spring semester into uncertainty. CSU San Marcos and San Diego State University, among the system’s 23 campuses, remained open while classes were largely not in session.

The union represents close to 30,000 academic employees across the university system’s campuses.

In a news release Monday night, CSU Chancellor Mildred García said she looked forward to moving ahead with the agreement and the system’s mission. García, a former president of CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU Fullerton, started her role as system chancellor last July after she was chosen by the CSU Board of Trustees.

​“I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with CFA that will end the strike immediately,” García said in the news release. “The agreement enables the CSU to fairly compensate its valued, world-class faculty while protecting the university system’s long-term financial sustainability. With the agreement in place, I look forward to advancing our student-centered work — together — as the nation’s greatest driver of social mobility and the pipeline fueling California’s diverse and educated workforce.”

Negotiations between university system and union representatives hit a wall in recent weeks over issues such as pay raises, class sizes, available counselors for students and the availability of gender-neutral restrooms.

In addition to the CFA’s walkout, Teamsters Local 2010, which had also been in negotiations with the university system, pledged to strike this week. The Teamsters did not participate, however, after that union and the university system reached a deal on Jan. 19.

The tentative agreement includes an additional pay raise to a 5% increase put in place by the CSU effective Jan. 31. The union had sought a total 12% raise. The agreement’s total raise would be 10%, according to the California Faculty Association’s announcement.

According to the CFA, highlights of the tentative agreement include:

✔ A 5% salary increase for all faculty retroactive to July 1, 2023.

✔ A 5% salary increase for all faculty on July 1, 2024, depending on CSU base funding.

✔ The raising of the salary floor for our lowest-paid faculty.

✔ An increase in paid parental leave from six weeks to 10 weeks.

✔ Union representation for faculty in dealings with university police.

✔ Improved access to gender-inclusive restrooms and lactation spaces.

✔ An extension of the current contract for 2022-24 by one year to June 30, 2025.

“This historic agreement was won because of members’ solidarity, collective action, bravery, and love for each other and our students,” CFA Associate Vice President of Lecturers, South, Antonio Gallo said in the union’s announcement. “This is what People Power looks like. This deal immensely improves working conditions for faculty and strengthens learning conditions for students.”

The agreement’s language is still being worked on, according to the CFA, after which union members will receive the formal agreement for an official vote in the weeks ahead.

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