California State University Faculty Went on Strike Over Gender-Neutral Bathrooms!?

California State University Faculty Went on Strike Over Gender-Neutral Bathrooms!?

A file photo of a gender-neutral restroom in Irvine, Calif., on Sept. 25, 2020. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Christian Milord

Christian Milord

1/23/2024

Updated: 1/24/2024

Commentary
For the last eight months, the California Faculty Association (CFA) and officials with the 23-campus California State University (CSU) system has been negotiating over benefit and pay increases, and on Jan. 22 they finally reached a tentative agreement.
The CFA wanted a flat 12 percent pay increase for all 29,000 members of the Association, while the university system proposed a 5 percent increase. Both sides refused to budge on their proposals, so a systemwide CFA strike was authorized from Jan. 22 to 26.
However, the new agreement ended the strike after one day, and faculty were expected to return to work on Jan. 23.
New benefits include a 5 percent salary increase for all faculty retroactive to July 1, 2023, and another 5 percent salary increase on July 1, 2024, according to City News Service. The CFA had also demanded that the agreement include additional gender-neutral bathrooms, lactation stations, and increased parental leave. These requests were granted. But, the tentative CFA and CSU deal still has to be pored over and ratified.
Why did the CFA demand such a raise from the nation’s largest public university system when California is mired in debt and deficit spending for the foreseeable future? The CSU system has had to tighten its belt in recent years due to several maintenance projects and budget fluctuations. Indeed, students this fall will have to fork over an additional 6 percent in student fees and tuition to cover CSU budget shortfalls. This tuition increase will continue for five years in an effort to close the budget gap.

Union Demands

As reported by the Los Angeles Daily News, Professor Chris Cox, who is the vice president of the CFA, had previously claimed, “CSU management has only addressed our conflict over salary; they have completely ignored the issues of workload, health and safety concerns, and parental leave. Management wouldn’t even consider our proposals for appropriate class sizes, proper lactation spaces for nursing parents, gender inclusive bathroom spaces, and a clear delineation of our rights when interacting with campus authorities.”
CSU official Leora Freedman had countered this claim by stating, “It’s not that we are rejecting or refusing. We want to address them. We just can’t address them without resources—we can’t do everything right away, and what we are offering is very reasonable and consistent with the shared values with the union.”
By initiating a work stoppage, the CFA caused some students to miss classes as the Spring Semester began its first week at many CSU campuses. One can understand staff members negotiating for raises and improved work conditions, but demanding more gender-neutral bathrooms should be a non-starter.
The state government and taxpayers should not be in the business of building bathrooms that only exist due to undue pressure from the trans industrial complex. Indeed, these proposals are a huge waste of taxpayer dollars.
Taxes should only be used for locker rooms and bathrooms for the scientifically recognized biological genders of male and female, instead of biological males who pretend to be females or biological females who pretend to be males. Individuals cannot alter something as immutable as their God-given birth gender. Efforts to alter the unchangeable can generate an array of humiliating problems including the concept of the tyranny of a shrill minority over the majority of rational human beings.
Regardless, hopefully the back and forth bargaining hammered out an agreement that was at least palatable to both parties. There may have been some swallowed pride that occurred in order to emerge with a contract that would alleviate the tension between these education stakeholders.
Fortunately, students were only shortchanged for one day at the beginning of the semester during the walkout. Unfortunately, they were caught in the middle of dueling parties that share some blame for creating the financial dispute.
Ultimately, these adversarial positions are at the mercy of Sacramento politicians who often formulate ill-advised spending priorities and fail the taxpayers by repeatedly passing unbalanced yearly budgets. Let’s hope that lessons are learned regarding basic economics through these turbulent times.
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Christian Milord

Christian Milord

Author

Christian Milord is an Orange County, California-based educator, mentor, USCG veteran, and writer. He earned his M.S. degree from California State University, Fullerton, where he mentors student groups and is involved with literacy programs. His interests include culture, economics, education, domestic and foreign policy, and military issues. He can be reached at cnvmilord@sbcglobal.net

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