The California Faculty Association’s (CFA) vote to strike began yesterday, barely one week after negotiations broke down between union leaders and the California State University (CSU). The CFA represents approximately 23,000 faculty and staff at the 23 universities.
If a strike does occur, CFA organizers would plan a series of two-day strikes throughout the state, creating one of the largest higher education strikes on record. The CFA Board of Directors would determine the timing throughout the CSU system.
“It could happen as soon as this spring,” CFA spokesperson Alice Sunshine said. “But it’s more likely it would happen this summer or fall.”
Before a strike can take place, the CFA must work with the CSU to go through the formal bargaining process mandated by law. The two parties ended negotiations April 6 and now enter the fact-finding stage of collective bargaining.
A state-appointed third party will look at the dispute and make a recommendation to both sides in order to find a middle ground for the union and CSU system. If no agreement is reached, CSU Chancellor Charles Reed can propose his final and best offer to the union. Only after rejecting that offer will the faculty be able to strike.
Last November, two state universities’ faculties went on strike for one day after a vote passed with more than 90 percent approval. CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills faculty worked to virtually shut down their campuses for one day because of a dispute regarding unfulfilled pay raises to union members.
CFA Chapter President at Cal Poly Glen Thorncroft could not be reached for comment as of press time.