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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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First CFA systemwide strike called off after a day due to tentative agreement

The California Faculty Association began their five-day strike on Monday Jan. 22. The strike is the first ever systemwide walkout.

Breaking news: After one day of striking, the California Faculty Association has reached a tentative agreement with the California State University System. The announcement came via X (formerly Twitter) from the CFA at 8:50 p.m. on Monday Jan. 22.

“Our members have won a Tentative Agreement with @calstate that includes raising the floor for our most vulnerable faculty, safer workplaces & expanded parental leave,” the post said.

The highlights of the tentative agreement are:

  • 5-percent General Salary Increase for all faculty retroactive to July 1, 2023.
  • 5-percent General Salary Increase for all faculty on July 1 in 2024 (contingent on the state not reducing base funding to the CSU).
  • Raising the salary floor for our lowest-paid faculty in salary Ranges A and B: $3,000 increase in the minimum pay for Ranges A and B retroactive to July 1, 2023; additional $3,000 increase in the minimum pay for Range A on July 1, 2024.
  • Salary Step Increase (SSI) of 2.65% for 2024-25.
  • Increasing paid parental leave from six to 10 weeks.
  • Increasing protection for faculty who have dealings with police by providing for a union rep in those interactions.
  • Improving access to gender-inclusive restrooms and lactation spaces, and a pathway to monitor issues of access.
  • Providing support for lecturer engagement in service work.
  • Extending the current contract for 2022-24 one year to June 30, 2025.

The final agreement will be released as soon as it is finalized.

“We’ve been fighting for a fair wage that keeps up with inflation, for manageable workloads, and to address long-standing racial, gender, economic, and social inequities. This Tentative Agreement moves us closer to a CSU for everyone,” the CFA board of directors said in a faculty-wide email.

ORIGINAL STORY: Remaining true to their commitment of “Rain or shine, we’ll be on the picket line,” the California Faculty Association began their five-day strike at 5 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 22.

“Our strike demonstrates our collective power and our value to the core mission of the CSU. Let’s get management back to the table,” said John Beynon, CFA faculty president of the Fresno chapter in a faculty-wide email.

CFA members at Fresno State lined up in numbers at several of the entrances surrounding the campus despite the rainy conditions. Picketers protested in intervals throughout the morning, lunch and afternoon.

To kick off day one, the union held a strike rally at the Shaw and Maple avenue entrance of campus.

“I’m excited. I’m very pumped. I think that this is a great turnout. And as you can hear from the street, with lots of support,” Beynon told The Collegian. “People understand why this is an important struggle not just for us, but for their kids, for this community, for the state of California.”

Students and faculty members participated in the walk-out, sharing the belief that what the CSU is offering is not fair enough.

CFA picketers protesting demanding a 12% general salary increase, more manageable workloads, increased paid parental leave and more. (Blake Wolf/The Collegian)

“I would like to state that all faculty and staff deserve to be compensated fairly, but at what point does that come with sacrificing the faculty and staff who are the foundation of the CSU system,” said Ingie Kisbye, a member of Students for Quality Education.

The CFA at Fresno State had the support of many student groups. Associated Students, Inc. (ASI), the Jazz department, members of the Bulldog Marching Band and Students for Quality Education joined in solidarity.

“Look, we have to remember right? They’re out here for us, so we need to be out there for them. These tuition hikes gotta go,” said Travis Cronin, an associate professor in the Social Work department. “When I moved to California, I thought to myself, ‘Alright, by the time I get tenure, I’ll be able to buy a house.’ I got tenure. I do not have a house. I want one. So I showed up.”

The rally featured live music, food and speakers provided by different groups and departments on campus.

Cecilia Ruestra, a lecturer in the Department of Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies, spoke during the rally, explaining that she spent nine years as a student at Fresno State to complete both her master’s and bachelor’s degree. Ruestra said she witnessed firsthand what her professors experienced as faculty members.

“As a student I knew then and I understood what it meant for my faculty to not be paid, for my faculty to be overworked,” Ruestra said. “I understood that back then when I was a student, so I was alongside with them, fighting with them…I’m beyond, beyond honored and excited to know that I can do now what was done for me before.”.

James Pitts, an assistant professor in the Criminology department at Fresno State, said he cannot afford to lose five days of pay by striking, but at the same time he can’t afford not to take action against what is unjust.

“The truth is, and the matter of fact is, that I can’t afford not to strike,” Pitts said. “We are those that chose not to stand idly by in the face of administrative injustice.”

Many of the speakers resonated with one another because they all feel that administrators do not care about them.

“Our cause is a cause of righteousness for it is only right that we get paid a living wage,” Pitts said. “It is only likely we get paid what we deserve. We went to college and got multiple degrees and they’ll tell you that you don’t deserve a minor increase. It is only fair that we get a salary that is comparable to other market base salaries.”

The CFA will continue to withhold their labor until Friday, Jan. 26, or until an agreement is reached with the CSU. If an agreement is not reached by the end of the strike, the CFA will discuss and decide upon additional measures.

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