Faculty Pay Raises Ahead as Union Ratifies Contract With Cal State System

Faculty Pay Raises Ahead as Union Ratifies Contract With Cal State System
Members of the California Faculty Association strike in front of San Francisco State University on January 22, 2024. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Micaela Ricaforte

California State University’s (CSU) deal with its faculty union is almost official, as the union’s 29,000 faculty and instructional staff voted to ratify the university system’s proposed contract on Feb. 19.

About 76 percent of the California Faculty Association’s members voted in favor of the contract, according to the union.

CSU’s trustees must approve the contract at their meeting next month for the deal to become official.

“We look forward to the [CSU trustees’] ratification of the agreement in March and to continue working in partnership with the CFA and its members to carry out our mission in service to our students and the university,” CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia said in a Feb. 19 statement.

Under the new contract, reached Jan. 22, all faculty will receive a 10 percent general salary raise by July.

For some of the system’s lowest-paid faculty, the raise will be as much as 21 percent, according to the system.

The agreement also increases paid family leave from six to 10 weeks and includes a process for making gender-inclusive restrooms and lactation spaces more easily accessible.

Union President Charles Toombs thanked the union’s members, crediting the strike for helping the union reach a deal.

“We thank members for their solidarity, debate, and courage to press CSU management for better faculty working and student learning conditions, especially everyone who worked tirelessly organizing the successful strikes and joining the picket lines,” said Mr. Toombs in a Feb. 19 statement.

Sharon Elise, the union’s associate vice president of racial and social justice, said in the same statement that the union will “continue advocating against management’s self-defeating austerity policies ... and combatting anti-black racism to create campuses that serve all of us.”

The January deal put an end to the union’s planned five-day strike after just one day.

CSU is the state’s largest public university system, enrolling about 458,000 students and employing 56,000 total faculty members across 23 campuses.