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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Sac State faculty strikes on campus to demand better pay and working conditions

California Faculty Association protesters outside of Sacramento State marching on J Street Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. The CFA strike at Sac State was the final day of the four day strike across California State University campuses.

Protestors including professors, faculty and supporters picketed at the entrances to Sacramento State’s campus in hopes of earning higher wages and better benefits for union workers on Thursday.

The California Faculty Association and Teamsters Local 150 held the final day of striking at Sac State after four days of picketing across California State University campuses.

According to a SacSend sent out Nov. 30, student instruction and services remained open during the strike. However, students were encouraged to contact professors to learn the status of their classes.

RELATED: BREAKING: Factfinding report provides recommendation for CSU and CFA bargaining

Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg and Sacramento Mayoral candidate Dr. Richard Pan were in attendance in support of the protesters.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Chapter President of CFA Anne Luna acknowledged the struggle to get the CSU system to the bargaining table.

“We’re on strike because management has not been giving us any reasonable offers during our bargaining reopener,” Luna said.

Associate Professor of Sociology and Chapter President of the California Faculty Association Anne Luna at the CFA strike Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. Organizers and participants gathered at Sac State at 6 a.m. and started to protest at 7 a.m. (Madelaine Church)

Luna said the university has “not budged” in bargaining. She added that the CSU’s current offer of a 15% raise doesn’t address inflation and that the offer is being misrepresented. While the CSU and CFA had already agreed on one year of raises, Luna said the subsequent two years are still being negotiated.

“The only guarantee is 5%, which doesn’t even keep up with this year’s inflation,” Luna said.

Luna advocated for raising the lowest paid faculty’s base pay by $10,000 in addition to the 12% pay increase that CFA is demanding.

“They haven’t addressed raising the floor for lowest paid faculty and you have a lot of contingent faculty,” Luna said. “A lot of them are making like $55,000 a year. That’s not enough to survive.”

Associate Professor of Child and Adolescent Development Basia Ellis said she felt the work professors do is not properly rewarded.

“The pay that we receive does not reflect that we want to feel respected,” Ellis said. “And want to feel that we are supported.”

Ellis said there was a need for a more robust parental leave policy.

“The other thing that I think is important that we’re fighting for is maternity because we currently have six weeks of maternity parental leave,” Ellis said. “I come from Canada where we have a year of parental support.”

Fourth-year studio arts major Amon Assemian said his day wasn’t any different than his regular Thursday schedule because his graphic design class was held as usual.

“My teacher was there and the majority of the students were there, so there wasn’t really much of a difference,” Assemian said. “But my second class period, in particular, was canceled because of the strike.”

Assemian said he believes that professors should receive higher pay and that a strike is very much needed.

Second-year sociology major Malaysia Belion said she didn’t know that much about the strike but feels bad for professors being underpaid.

“This is what they love doing,” Belion said. “They should at least get paid more because this is their passion.”

Belion said she was shocked to see how empty the campus was compared to other Thursdays when classes are in session and assumed students went on winter break early.

California Faculty Association protesters outside of Sacramento State marching on J Street Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. The CFA strike at Sac State was the final day of the four day strike across California State University campuses. (Jenn Galinato)

Steinberg addressed some of the factors he believed were causing the state and nationwide rise in organized labor.

“We are seeing across the state and across the country, hard working people are saying loud and clear we’re getting squeezed,” Steinberg said. “By housing costs, wages that aren’t rising fast enough and increased medical costs.”

Pan spoke about the need to keep Sacramento an affordable community. He said he was there to support staff at Sac State and across the CSU system.

“We talk about having an affordable community here in Sacramento,” Pan said. “Being sure you have good wages and benefits is one half of the affordability question.”

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Ryan Lorenz, Sports Staffer
(he/him) Ryan Lorenz is in his second semester at The State Hornet. He is a former Sports Editor for Cosumnes River College's publication, The Connection. He has a strong passion for sports and plans on having a career in sports media.
Michael Pepper, News Staffer
(he/him/they/them) Michael Pepper is a senior transfer student majoring in journalism. He previously attended Cosumnes River College where he was a staff writer and sports editor for The Connection. This is his second semester with The State Hornet.
Michaela Graves, News Staffer
(she/her) Michaela Graves is a transfer student from CRC where she was staff writer for the connection for two semesters. This is her first semester on the state hornet where she plans on continuing Pershing her dream in journalism and communications. When she's not at school you can find Michaela as a company member for Sac Dance Lab.
Julianna Rodriguez, DEI Editor
(she/her) Julianna Rodriguez joined The State Hornet in fall 2023 as a DEI staffer and is now the editor for DEI. She is a senior public relations major, and hopes to become a publicist or work for a PR firm after graduating this spring.
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