Cal State professors reach tentative deal to end strike

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

The agreement, announced by both sides Monday night, came hours after the California Teachers Association, a union representing 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and interns, began a planned five-day walkout at 23 CSU campuses. It serves nearly 460,000 students.

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

“This historic agreement was won because of members' unity, collective action, courage and love for each other and our students,” said Antonio Gallo, vice president of South Regional Lecturers, in a statement. “This agreement greatly improves working conditions for teachers and strengthens learning conditions for students.”

Union leaders said wages are not keeping up with the high cost of living in California. The agreement will immediately provide a 5 percent pay raise for all teachers effective July 1, 2023, and another 5 percent increase on July 1, 2024, according to union officials.

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

“I am very pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with the CFA that will end the strike immediately,” California State University Chancellor Mildred Garcia said in a statement Monday night. “This agreement enables CSU to fairly compensate its valued, world-class faculty while protecting the long-term financial stability of the university system.”

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Union members will vote in the coming weeks on whether to ratify the deal.

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