In the largest university faculty strike in U.S. history, thousands of professors and lecturers throughout the California State University system walked off the job on Monday to demand higher compensation, a protest that was expected to cancel most classes early in the academic period.
The California Faculty Association, which represents 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches, began a five-day strike that will affect nearly 460,000 students who attend the nation’s largest four-year public university system. Walkouts began at all 23 C.S.U. campuses.
The strike reflects two national trends in labor, said Ken Jacobs, co-chair of the University of California, Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education: an increase in large-scale strikes, such as those that Hollywood actors and writers and members of the United Automobile Workers staged last year, and a rise in education walkouts in particular.
Los Angeles school employees staged a huge walkout last March, and Oakland educators went on strike for nearly two weeks in May. In December 2022, graduate student workers and researchers at the University of California system, the state’s other four-year university system, stopped working for nearly six weeks to protest low wages.