The strikes are taking place at four of the largest campuses in the system, which together enroll almost a quarter of all Cal State students. Not all faculty members are part of the walkouts, but for those who are, classes for the day are canceled.
The actions are intended to signal to the university system’s leadership that the union can quickly organize its members for job actions if needed, Kevin Wehr, the union’s bargaining team chair and a professor at Sacramento State, told CalMatters.
“We’re going to demonstrate to them that we can shut down any campus we want with only a couple of weeks’ notice,” Wehr told the outlet.
Another union, Teamsters Local 2010, which represents 1,100 electricians, plumbers and other skilled tradespeople working for Cal State, is striking alongside the faculty this week. The Teamsters’ contract negotiations with the university are stalled as well.
What are the workers seeking?
The faculty union and the Cal State system are in talks over a new contract and modification of the current one, which runs until June 2024. More than 95 percent of voting members opted to approve a strike authorization in October, according to the union. It declined to say how many members voted.