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California State University workers end strike after reaching tentative agreement

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(LOS ANGELES) — Professors, librarians and other employees in the California State University system have ended the strike they began on Monday after reaching a tentative agreement with the college system’s management on Monday night.

“The collective action of so many lecturers, professors, counselors, librarians, and coaches over these last eight months forced CSU management to take our demands seriously. This Tentative Agreement makes major gains for all faculty at the CSU,” California Faculty Association President Charles Toombs said in a statement announcing the news.

The CSU also confirmed an agreement had been reached by the CFA, with Chancellor Mildred García saying in a statement she was “deeply appreciative” that the two sides “reached common ground.”

“The agreement enables the CSU to fairly compensate its valued, world-class faculty while protecting the university system’s long-term financial sustainability,” García’s statement continued. “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.”

The CSU workforce began their strike on Monday. It came following monthslong contract negotiations centered on pay increases and other workplace improvements for employees at the nation’s largest public university system, which serves about 460,000 students spread across 23 campuses.

According to the CFA, the tentative deal includes a 5% general salary increase for all faculty, retroactive to July 1 of last year. The contract will also see workers’ salaries increase again in July of 2024, CFA said. Lower-paid workers will get a pay bump, and parental leave will increase from six to 10 weeks, the organization announced.

CSU did not announce or confirm contract details. It did say instruction would “resume immediately.” Students have been advised to look for messages from CSU instructors about any class schedule adjustments.

Ninety-five percent of union members voted in October to authorize a strike, after CSU stood by its offer of a 5% pay increase for faculty to go into effect on Jan. 31.

Last month, some faculty participated in one-day strikes at four CSU campuses in response to the standoff.

On Friday, CSU reached a tentative contract agreement with more than 1,000 plumbers, electricians and other skilled trade workers who had otherwise planned to participate in the strike this week.

The tentative deal included guaranteed annual salary increases and the return of a salary-step system that codifies promotions, according to a statement from Teamsters Local 2010, which represents the workers.

“We achieved this historic agreement by standing together as Teamsters — and in solidarity with our sister Unions at CSU — to take powerful action like CSU has never seen before,” Teamsters Local 2010 Secretary-Treasurer Jason Rabinowitz said in a statement on Friday, encouraging union members to join the picket lines in support of striking faculty.

In a statement, García applauded the agreement.

“The work of our Teamsters-represented employees is invaluable, providing our students with an environment that supports their success,” García said.

“I am thankful and appreciative that we have been able to arrive at a fiscally sustainable agreement that fairly compensates them for their skilled and dedicated work,” she added.

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