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Update: California State University faculty reach tentative deal

Updated post by Olga R. Rodriguez (AP):

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California State University faculty members reached a tentative contract agreement Monday, the same day that nearly 30,000 professors, librarians, coaches and other workers struck at the nation's largest public university system, their union announced.

Members of the California Faculty Association will return to work Tuesday instead of continuing their planned weeklong walkout to demand higher wages, the California Faculty Association said in a statement.

Original News Channel 3 post:

Faculty at California State University San Bernardino's Palm Desert campus plan to walk off the job as they go on strike this first week of the spring semester, part of a system-wide job action.

The walkout of more than 29,000 California Faculty Association workers comes as workers at 23 campuses call for a 12-percent pay hike, higher salary floors for lecturers, smaller class sizes and other job benefits including a full semester of paid parental leave, gender-inclusive restrooms, and what they say are safe interactions with campus police.

CSUSB faculty plan to picket tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. as they call for a new contract.

“We all know that housing, gas, and food costs have skyrocketed in the Inland Empire and across California, but CSU faculty pay just hasn’t kept up,” said Dr. Jacqueline Romano, assistant professor in CSUSB’s Department of Teacher Education and Foundations.

Romano said, “We need salaries that reflect our qualifications, make up for what we’ve lost to inflation, and help us build lives in the communities where we teach. A 12% general salary increase is essential and long overdue."

Cal State negotiators offered 5% raises for thousands of professors, lecturers, librarians, coaches, and counselors. 

Part-time lecturers teach most CSU courses, Romano said, adding many teach huge course loads across several schools just to put food on the table.

"It’s not right. We are all overworked and underpaid, and that undermines teaching and learning," Romano said.

The CSU administration says campuses will be fully operational this week. Classes may continue for students but could also be canceled if individual professors honor the union's strike effort.

Watch News Channel 3 at 5:00 PM to hear from faculty about the strike, and their objectives for bringing about change at CSUSB.

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