SAN FRANCISCO -- Banging on drums and chanting, hundreds of striking San Francisco State University faculty and supporters gathered in front of the university president's office Tuesday to demand better wages and improvements to workloads they see as unmanageable.
"Union members are striking for better wages, pay equity, manageable workloads, an increased counselor-to-student ratio, expanded parental leave, and other benefits," a press release by the union California Faculty Association stated.
The strike was put together by members of the CFA and was preceded by a strike from fellow faculty at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona on Monday.
The striking faculty also criticized a plan by SFSU administrators to cut up to 300 lecturer faculty positions and possibly 600 classes next semester. However, the university said this is due to decreased enrollment.
"CSU's non-tenure faculty are some of the lowest paid educators in the state; they need an equity raise to survive," said Brad Erickson, president of CFA's SFSU chapter. "Our members have seen expenses like rent, food and childcare rise by double digits; we need 12% to break even with inflation."
The union has proposed cuts to the executive and management budget, which they say outpaces all other employee groups, and criticized a 66% increase since 2020 to the CSU chancellor's salary as well as increases to CSU campus presidents' salaries.
"You're going to fight until you get a fair contract," said CFA president Charles Toombs at a rally held during the strike. "We need the salary increases; we need the floor lifted for the majority of our faculty."
"SF State respects employees' labor rights," said Kent Bravo, a SFSU spokesperson. "All labor negotiations are handled centrally at the CSU Chancellor's office, and we remain hopeful that the CSU reaches an agreement with the CFA as they have done with other unions."
Faculty at CSU Los Angeles and Sacramento State are expected to strike Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.
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