Cal State professors reach tentative agreement to end strike

The California State University system and the union representing thousands of professors and lecturers reached a tentative agreement on pay raises Monday, ending the largest strike by university professors in U.S. history.

The deal, announced by both sides Monday night, came just hours after the California College Association, a union representing 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches, began what was planned as a five-day tour of 23 CSU campuses a. serving nearly 460,000 students.

But the tentative deal means faculty at the nation’s largest four-year public university system will return to work Tuesday, union officials said.

“This historic agreement was achieved through members’ solidarity, collective action, courage and love for each other and our students,” Antonio Gallo, assistant vice president of teaching for the southern region, said in a statement. “This contract greatly improves the working conditions for the faculty and strengthens the learning conditions for the students.”

Union leaders said wages have not kept up with the high cost of living in California. The agreement would immediately increase pay for all faculty by 5 percent retroactive to July 1, 2023, with a 5 percent increase scheduled for July 1, 2024, according to union officials.

It would also immediately raise the salary floor for the lowest-paid faculty members by $3,000 and increase parental leave to 10 weeks from six.

“I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached an agreement with the CFA that will end the strike immediately,” California State University Chancellor Mildred García said in a statement Monday night. “The agreement allows CSU to fairly compensate its valued world-class faculty while protecting the long-term financial sustainability of the university system.”

Union members will vote in the coming weeks on whether to approve the contract.

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