Fresno State students who started their spring semester classes today might find their academic year suddenly on hiatus if the California Faculty Association and Teamsters strike on Monday.
The planned strike is scheduled to end on Friday, Jan. 26.
It’s not clear how many of the university’s 24,000 students will be impacted by the labor action.
The faculty union called the strike after it and the California State University system failed to agree on a new contract after lengthy negotiations.
On Jan. 9, the CSU announced that the state’s impasse process had been exhausted and that faculty members will get a 5% pay hike starting Jan. 31.
The CSU said in a news release that it will hold a media briefing on Friday afternoon about the negotiations and “correcting information.”
Union Seeks 12% Pay Hike
The union, which represents 29,000 faculty, librarians, counselors, and coaches, is seeking a 12% pay increase this year, arguing that the last pay increase on July 1, 2022, was 3% and was outstripped by inflation.
In addition to higher pay, the union wants to revise workloads for faculty and mental health counselors, expand paid parental leave from 30 days to a full semester or two quarters, and increase life insurance coverage.
The CSU contends that the faculty union’s demand was not financially viable and would have required massive cuts, including layoffs.
It’s not certain how many faculty will participate in the strike. Neither the university nor the union responded to a query Thursday from GV Wire about how many faculty are likely to participate in Monday’s strike. Later Thursday university spokeswoman Lisa Bell sent the following by email: “The CSU is not permitted to ask employees about their personal decision to strike, but honors each person’s decision. As such, Fresno State does not have an estimate of how many faculty members will strike.”
The work stoppage was authorized by 95% of the faculty union membership. If a strike does occur, it will be the first on a CSU campus since 2011, when the faculty union held a one-day strike on CSU Dominguez Hills and CSU East Bay campuses, Bell said.
Fresno State’s student government, Associated Students Inc., approved a resolution expressing support for the union and the strike. The resolution encourages the ASI Senate to show solidarity with strikers, including attending rallies and strikes.
Fresno State has compiled FAQs for employees and students on its website. The campus will remain open, however, students should check with their professors to determine if their classes will be held during the strike. The university indicated that some professors may hold classes during the strike.
Fresno State’s website includes a link to report canceled classes or services.
Faculty and other employees who honor the strike will not be paid for the days they refuse to work, the university said.