Cal State University strike talks put on hold

Cal State University strike talks put on hold
David Avalos, a professor of visual arts at Cal State San Marcos, casts his ballot during a strike authorization vote last October. The California Faculty Association has put strike plans on hold. File photo

SAN MARCOS — Teachers at Cal State San Marcos who were poised to go on strike next week for a 5 percent raise for full-time faculty throughout the California State University system have temporarily put the plans on hold.

The California Faculty Association, which represents 23,000 full-time professors in the CSU system, returned to the bargaining table with CSU system Chancellor Timothy White for a last-minute attempt to come to an agreement.

As a result, the association issued instructions to all of its chapters to suspend strike organizing for 48 hours.

“We got a news release from the CFA instructing us to stop all work on the strike for 48 hours during the blackout period, while the two parties return to the bargaining table to work out a resolution,” said Darrel Engen, a history professor and president of the local association chapter. “We don’t know what is going on behind closed doors, but I am hopeful, so we will see what happens.”

Union leadership said that the state university’s teachers have had one raise since 2007 — a 1.6 percent salary increase in 2014 — and as a result, many teachers find themselves working multiple jobs and taking other measures to stay financially afloat, which takes away from the time they can spend focusing on their students.

White’s office has offered a 2 percent salary increase, which has been rejected by the faculty union.

State faculty voted last year to authorize a strike if their demands were not met.

The strike was scheduled to take place April 13 through 15 and April 18 and 19 before the blackout was declared.

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