CSU averts faculty strike with tentative deal

California Faculty Association leaders and officials with California State University announced the details of a tentative labor agreement Friday morning that averted a strike planned for later this month at the state’s 23 campuses.

The agreement calls for a 5 percent salary increase effective June 30 followed almost immediately by a 2 percent increase on July 1, the beginning of the next fiscal year. A year later, on July 1, 2017, faculty will get a 3.5 percent raise.

The deal also includes a 2.65 percent increase for all eligible faculty in the 2017-18 fiscal year, according to CSU officials.

Before the agreement, faculty were asking for a five percent increase for the 2015-16 fiscal year and university officials would only agree to 2 percent.

CSU Chancellor Timothy White said a three-year agreement allowed the two sides to break the impasse. Faculty should see an increase of about 7 percent in their Aug. 1 paycheck if the state controller’s office gets the increase processed. Otherwise it would be in the following paycheck, White said.

CFA President Jennifer Eagan said:

“I think this agreement represents a compromise on both sides.”

University officials expect the increase to cost $200 million over three years, White said.

The chancellor said funding for the 7 percent increase for this year and next year will come from the 2015-16 and 2016-17 budgets. University officials will be working with legislators to identify money for the additional 3.5 percent increase.

The agreement doubles the vesting period for employee health benefits from five to 10 years for employees hired after July 1, 2017.

The deal also means tenured faculty who receive a promotion will receive a 9 percent increase, compared with 7.5 percent currently.

The CFA board voted last night to send the tentative agreement to its members, who will vote before the end of the month, Eagan said.

The deal also has to be approved by the CSU board of trustees.

White said a fact-finding report verified that faculty were being paid less than the market rate. He said the report got the two sides back to crafting a multi-year solution.

The California State University serves more than 470,000 students and grants half of the bachelor’s degrees in California.