News

CSU Faculty Strikes at Cal Poly Pomona, First in Statewide One-Day Actions

CSU Faculty Strikes at Cal Poly Pomona, First in Statewide One-Day Actions

Strikers protest for higher wages and benefits at California Polytechnic State University of Pomona, in Pomona, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Sophie LiJohn Fredricks

Sophie Li & John Fredricks

12/4/2023

Updated: 12/4/2023

POMONA, Calif.—The faculty union at Cal Poly Pomona initiated a one-day strike Dec. 4, the first of multiple actions across California State University (CSU) campuses this week as the union negotiates a new labor contract.
Picketing started at 7 a.m. and is scheduled to continue until 7 p.m. on Monday at the Cal Poly campus, including a noon rally, according to a statement from the California Faculty Association (CFA) last week.
“I am here to walk with you, dance with you, and cheer with you all today,” Pomona Mayor Tim Sandoval told protestors through a microphone. “I want to let you know that I support you.”
Hundreds of protesters holding red-and-white placards joined the strike, with many arriving in charter buses.
Besides faculties, Monday’s action at the campus includes teamsters, students, staff, community leaders, and local elected officials.
Teamsters Local 2010, currently in contract talks with the CSU Office of the Chancellor, plans sympathy strikes in solidarity with the faculty union, as stated by the union.
The union said it is fighting for a 12 percent wage increase this academic year and other concessions, including improved parental leave, workload support, and health and safety rights.
In response, Cal State officials stated on Dec. 1 that while it is willing to accept many of the union’s demands outlined in a neutral fact-finder report, a 12 percent general salary increase is deemed unsustainable for the system.
“We recognize the need to increase compensation and are committed to doing so, but our financial commitments must be fiscally sustainable,” Leora Freedman, CSU’s vice chancellor for human resources, said in a statement.
The majority of classes remained unaffected during the strike.
“Classes on campus have not been officially canceled unless the professors personally reached out to students before the protest to do so,” the university’s spokesperson Amon Rappaport told The Epoch Times. “We value our faculty and accommodate their right to strike, today.”
Strikers protest for higher wages and benefits at California Polytechnic State University of Pomona, in Pomona, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Strikers protest for higher wages and benefits at California Polytechnic State University of Pomona, in Pomona, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

The Cal Poly campus holds 26,400 students, 1587 faculty members—with approximately 1500 of them represented by the union—and over 1200 staff members.
The CFA has planned a series of one-day strikes, with San Francisco State on Tuesday, CSU Los Angeles on Wednesday, and Sacramento State on Thursday calling for the university’s management to offer “serious, fair and reasonable proposals to address long-standing inequities.”
The union represents over 29,000 members, including tenure-line instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches across 23 CSU campuses.
“Rent, childcare, groceries and the costs of basic necessities have gone up by double digits over the past few years. ... They desperately need a lifeline,” Anne Luna, CFA Sacramento president and a Cal State Sacramento professor, said in a statement last week.
Strikers protest for higher wages and benefits at California Polytechnic State University of Pomona, in Pomona, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Strikers protest for higher wages and benefits at California Polytechnic State University of Pomona, in Pomona, Calif., on Dec. 4, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Ms. Luna said an independent auditor reviewing the public university system’s budget indicated that a 12 percent increase is feasible.
“We know management can afford our proposals. ... It’s time to stop funneling tuition and taxpayer money into a top-heavy administration,” she said.
City News Service contributed to this report.
Copy
facebooktwitterlinkedintelegram
Sophie Li

Sophie Li

Author

Sophie Li is a Southern California-based reporter covering local daily news, state policies, and breaking news for The Epoch Times. Besides writing, she is also passionate about reading, photography, and tennis.

Author's Selected Articles
John Fredricks

John Fredricks

Author

John Fredricks is a California-based journalist for The Epoch Times. His reportage and photojournalism features have been published in a variety of award-winning publications around the world.

Author's Selected Articles
California Insider
Sign up here for our email newsletter!
©2024 California Insider All Rights Reserved. California Insider is a part of Epoch Media Group.