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San Francisco State University teachers may go on strike in December

Students make their way around the San Francisco State University (SFSU) campus on January 26, 2022.
Students make their way around the San Francisco State University. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

The union representing California State University faculty announced Thursday that members from four campuses will go on one-day labor strikes in December if a new contract is not settled by then.

The four campuses that will hold one-day strikes are Cal Poly Pomona (Dec. 4), San Francisco State (Dec. 5), Cal State LA (Dec. 6) and Sacramento State (Dec. 7).

Faculty from other campuses will be welcome to suspend their own classes for the day and join their colleagues on picket lines at one of the four striking campuses.

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"At SF State we face devastating job cuts to hundreds of lecturer faculty, the loss of hundreds of classes—harming students' path to graduation—and increased workloads for remaining faculty," said Brad Erickson, chapter president of the California Faculty Association at SF State. "Our faculty are furious, and they're channeling their anger into organizing for the coming strike. Management has lost sight of our educational mission to serve students. This strike sends a message to get back on track: Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions."

The faculty has been negotiating with the 23-campus system for 12% pay raises, better workloads, more counselors to provide mental health counseling to students, expanded paid parental leave, gender-inclusive restrooms, accessible spaces for lactating faculty and safety provisions when dealing with university police.

In response to the strike announcement, the CSU chancellor's office said in a statement that the university system "remains committed to the negotiation process and is hopeful of reaching a tentative agreement with the California Faculty Association, as we have done with five of our other employee unions in recent weeks.”

Campuses will remain open if the union moves forward with the planned strike, according to the chancellor's office, adding that the system has contingency plans to minimize disruptions. Although some classes may be canceled on the day of a strike, other classes will not. More information will be provided to students and employees.

In response to the union's demands, CSU has offered a general salary increase for each of the next three years. The union has rejected the offer.

Last month, 95% of the union's membership voted for a strike. The union said it chose the four campuses to host the one-day strikes because they are the largest within the system and were selected to send a strong message to the chancellor's office.

In an interview with EdSource, CFA President Charles Toombs said some professors included disclaimers in their syllabi at the start of the semester alerting their students to a potential strike because they wanted them not to be surprised.

The faculty association isn't the only group launching a labor strike in the CSU. Teamsters Local 2010, which represents 1,100 skilled trades workers in the system, will strike on Tuesday on 22 campuses.