Strike at Fresno State ends after tentative deal made

FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE) – California State University Faculty Members reached a tentative deal Monday night.

After just one day of striking, the California Faculty Association and the California State University System reached a surprise deal, the strike had been expected to last five days.

“I think a lot of the faculty expected that we would be out here for at least a few days, but things did happen really fast and I think that it shows the power of collective organizing. And our faculty were amazing yesterday,” said Diane Blair, who is a professor at Fresno State and a state-wide CFA Officer.

Yesterday, across all 23 CSU campuses, professors, counselors, librarians, and other faculty decided to hit the picket lines after months of failed negotiations.

As picket lines began to close outside of Fresno State, Blair received a notification that statewide officers and the bargaining team had an emergency meeting

“We knew something was up, we knew that progress hopefully had been made and that is indeed what happened,” said Blair.

Around 10 p.m. last night, the CSU System sent out a press release announcing a tentative agreement had been reached with the CFA stating in part

“I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with CFA that will end the strike immediately,” said CSU Chancellor Mildred García. “

The tentative agreement includes a salary increase for all faculty that will raise their base salary by 10%  by July 1st, five percent of that will be retroactive to last July.

“Probably the biggest win for us was we were able to get the CSU to raise the floor for our lowest-paid faculty,” said Blair.

That includes the lecturers, who make up the majority of the faculty who teach in the CSU system, they will see substantial increases to their base pay.

For some that will be an increase of 25%

“As one of those bottom floor lecturers as they were discussing I’m the most affected by some of those details, so really life-changing type of things here,” said Michael Lee Gardin, who is a lecture for Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Fresno State.

Other changes include the amount of time for parental leave,  bumping it up from 6 to 10 weeks.

On Tuesday students and faculty were back in the classroom.

“It ended quickly, I was like that’s good because our faculty is amazing and they deserve to get paid as much as they should be,” said Cesar Uribe who is a student at Fresno State. “ It’s very sad that they have to make as much as elementary teachers when they have Ph.D.s, doctorates, and Masters degrees, It just isn’t right.”

CFA members will now vote on the tentative agreement, a date has not yet been set.

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