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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

California Faculty Association starts off spring semester with on-campus strike

Sac State faculty demand CSU improve work conditions
CFA+Vice+President+and+Sac+State+professor+Margarita+Berta-%C3%81vila+protests+with+faculty+at+the+west+campus+entrance+near+Carlson+and+J+St.+Monday%2C+Jan.+22%2C+2024.+Strikes+are+set+to+continue+all+week+long+to+urge+the+CSU+to+open+up+negotiations+again.
Alyssa Branum
CFA Vice President and Sac State professor Margarita Berta-Ávila protests with faculty at the west campus entrance near Carlson and J St. Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. Strikes are set to continue all week long to urge the CSU to open up negotiations again.

The California Faculty Association is on strike at Sacramento State, for the second time this academic year, demanding higher wages and more benefits for California State University workers on Monday.

The strike is planned to take place from Jan. 22-26 across 23 campuses while negotiations with the CSU take place. Even with Teamster Local 10’s recent tentative agreement with the CSU, the CFA has yet to come to their own agreement on wages and faculty benefits.

The CSU released a statement on the CFA strike, where it stated Sac State’s campus and facilities will remain open despite picket lines and traffic blockage. The CSU claimed they offered the CFA a 15% wage increase over three years, two additional weeks of paid maternity leave and accepted 13 of the 15 independent factfinder’s recommendations.

Associate professor of sociology and CFA chapter President Anne Luna said that the CFA isn’t trying to disrupt the semester, but just get the CSU back at the bargaining table. Luna said they were trying to be considerate of every striking system’s instruction period.

“The beginning of the semester gives us potential to be able to continue to escalate,” Luna said. “We still have more room to create more impact and that can look a number of different ways.”

Sac State faculty librarian Rachel Stark said she wants the administration to sit down and negotiate properly with the CFA, instead of walking out like the CSU allegedly did during their last round of negotiations

The CFA claimed in a statement that the CSU’s team walked out after less than half an hour of discussion. The CSU responded in their own statement that the CFA is not open to reasonable negotiation and that their requests were not financially sustainable.

“A lot of the time we have kids and elders we have to take care of,” Stark said. “When I have more money, I can help the elders of my family, those in my community and my own immediate family.”

Stark said the salary raise the CSU offered faculty was insulting compared to the salary raises higher-ups such as President Luke Wood received.

“I don’t see the president out here working with students,” Stark said. “I don’t see them teaching when we’re short. We cover it. They don’t come out of their fancy buildings and help us.”

Students navigating the strike during the first week of their semester had positive feelings about their professors striking.

RELATED: How to navigate classes during Sac State’s CFA Strike

Returning student Jasmine McCarville came back from academic leave to pursue a kinesiology major at a nearly empty campus.

“I guess it helps that there were some people available in certain facilities that could help answer some questions,” McCarville said. “Overall, for this being like my first experience, it’s kind of stressful and extremely overwhelming.”

Although McCarville did not know the details of the faculty strike, she said she does support faculty calling for better pay and working conditions.

“I think that they should,” McCarville said. “It’s just unfortunate, with my timing, because now I have to navigate everything else on my own, kind of figure it out with a little less assistance than I’d like.”

Senior geology major Andrew Hernon said he felt it was ridiculous that faculty are struggling to make ends meet when they just want to make sure students can graduate.

“[CSU Chancellor Mildred] García is earning a million dollars a year,” Hernon said. “While many of our instructors are living in their cars because it’s so expensive to live in California.”

According to the CFA Stanislaus Instagram, an all-day strike in solidarity with Sacramento is set to take place on Sac State’s campus Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Michael Pepper, Nancy Rodriguez Bonilla and Mercy Sosa.

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Analah Wallace, News Editor
(they/them) Analah is in their second semester at The State Hornet and their first semester as the news editor. Their passion lies in news reporting and they hope to use their time on the publication to bring back an appreciation for general news writing. Their overall goal is to make the public trust in journalists again, and they hope to one day be a journalist in a big city.
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