It’s official (pretty much): The faculty strike scheduled for next week across the California State University system has been called off thanks to a last-minute deal (ratification pending) between CSU leaders and the California Faculty Association.

Now, we’ve posted press releases below from both the CSU and the CFA, but we can’t say we understand them completely. Both releases say that, per the agreement, CFA “faculty unit employees” will get a five percent general salary increase on June 30, 2016.And then the very next day, July 1, 2016, they get another raise, of two percent.

Does the June 30 raise apply to just one day? Our guess is that it’s retroactive for the entire fiscal year, but we’ve reached out to HSU spokesperson extraordinaire Jarad Petroske for clarification; we’ll update this post when we understand the deal better.

Here’s the CSU press release:

Today the California State University announced it has reached a tentative agreement with the California Faculty Association (CFA), resolving a year-long dispute over faculty salaries and averting planned strike activity next week by the CFA. Under the tentative agreement, which must be approved by the CFA Board of Directors, ratified by CFA members and approved by the CSU Board of Trustees, all faculty unit employees will receive 10.5 percent in general salary increases over a three-year period (fiscal years 2015-16, 2016-17 and 2017-18). If the tentative agreement is approved and ratified, faculty unit employees will receive a 5 percent general salary increase on June 30, 2016, a 2 percent general salary increase on July 1, 2016, and a 3.5 percent general salary increase on July 1, 2017. The agreement also includes a 2.65 percent service salary increase for all eligible faculty unit employees in fiscal year 2017-18.

The agreement also doubles the vesting period from 5 to 10 years for retiree health benefits for new employees hired after July 1, 2017, and extends the collective bargaining agreement until June 30, 2018.

In addition, the tentative agreement bolsters the salaries for tenure-track faculty promoted into a higher rank. Under the proposed agreement, those granted promotions would receive a minimum 9 percent salary increase vs. the current minimum 7.5 percent.

“The tentative agreement enables all of us to focus our efforts on serving students and spares students the negative impacts of the threatened strikes,” stated CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “The tentative agreement is consistent with our ongoing efforts to increase faculty compensation in a fiscally responsible manner by spreading the cost impact across multiple academic years, while enabling us to fund other priorities that support student success and completion.”

University and faculty leadership have agreed to work together to advocate for additional state funding. “The CSU is the backbone of the economy and delivers half of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in the state. To fulfill and expand our mission, we need a fully funded budget for 2017-18 and beyond that enables us to recruit and retain top academic talent so we can continue to provide California with high quality graduates,” White added.

And from the California Faculty Association:

Greetings Faculty Colleagues,

The CFA Board of Directors, upon recommendation of the Bargaining Team, has recommended that a tentative agreement between CFA and CSU management be submitted to the membership for ratification.

The tentative agreement includes:

  • A 5% General Salary Increase on June 30, 2016 for all faculty on active pay status or on leave
  • A 2% General Salary Increase on July 1, 2016 for all faculty on active pay status or leave
  • A 3.5% General Salary Increase on July 1, 2017 for all faculty on active pay status or leave
  • A 2.65% Service Salary Increase (step increase) during Fiscal Year 2017/18 for eligible faculty

As part of the tentative agreement, the current faculty contract would be extended by one year, with a new expiration date of June 30, 2018. All current provisions of the contract will be continued, including workload relief for probationary tenure-line faculty and assigned time for exceptional service to students.

The union also secured improvements regarding:

  • Effective July 1, 2016, the minimum increase upon promotion will rise from 7.5% to 9% for tenure-line faculty who are promoted from assistant to associate professor, and associate professor to full professor.
  • Lecturer Range Elevation: Creation of a working group to study the problem of range elevation (pay increases) being linked to payment of step increases in order for lecturers to move up in classification. That working group, comprised of CFA and CSU leaders, is tasked with determining a solution byMarch 1, 2017, with binding arbitration if a resolution cannot be reached by the parties.
The agreement also includes language regarding vesting and future cooperation. Faculty hired on or after July 1, 2017 will receive full health benefits upon retirement at age 50 with at least 10 years of service credit. Faculty meeting those requirements also will be eligible for a basic dental plan paid by the CSU.

Going forward, the bargaining calendar will be altered so that CFA and CSU management will negotiate salary prior to the establishment of the CSU’s budget process and their request for funding from the legislature. This is an important change from our past bargaining processes, and signals a new spirit going forward. 

This tentative agreement would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of our student, staff, labor, legislative, and community allies. We will be thanking them in the days to come, and I hope you thank the allies you have been working with on your campus.

I want to thank the CFA membership for your incredible hard work, dedication, and fearlessness in this reopener fight. You made this happen. Your creativity and style, from your red outfits to your hall-walking rap to speaking truth to power, have been inspiring. Preparing for the strike, your work on the campuses helped us secure this agreement. I am proud to be associated with you and to call you my colleagues.    

Details on when and how to vote to ratify this tentative agreement will be forthcoming. We will begin bargaining for the successor contract on July 1, 2017 for the next contract that will begin July 1, 2018. That’s not a lot of rest time. We will need your help building power through membership and your fierce advocacy again very soon.

In Solidarity,
Jen Eagan
President, CFA