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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 staff and students discuss opinions on CFA tentative agreement

Chair+of+the+World+Languages+and+Literatures+department+Curtis+Smith%2C+junior+kinesiology+major+Ozzie+Garcia%2C+and+senior+sociology+major+DJ+Johnson+pictured+outside+of+Eureka+hall+Monday%2C+Jan.+29%2C+2024%2C+with+art+professor+Joy+Bertinuson+pictured+outside+Mendocino+hall.+%28Photo+by+Michael+Pepper%2C+Graphic+created+in+Canva+by+Alyssa+Branum%29
Alyssa Branum
Chair of the World Languages and Literatures department Curtis Smith, junior kinesiology major Ozzie Garcia, and senior sociology major DJ Johnson pictured outside of Eureka hall Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, with art professor Joy Bertinuson pictured outside Mendocino hall. (Photo by Michael Pepper, Graphic created in Canva by Alyssa Branum)

The California State University and the California Faculty Association negotiators reached a tentative agreement for a new labor contract on Jan. 22.
The tentative agreement extends the current contract by one year and contains salary concessions including a base salary increase of 5% and another 5% increase contingent on state funding.
The parties also negotiated quality of life concessions including lowering the counselor-to-student ratio, increasing parental leave, gender inclusive bathrooms and improving access to lactation spaces.
Students and faculty at Sacramento State shared their opinions on the tentative agreement and how it has impacted classes and their means of living.
Chair of the World Languages and Literatures department Curtis Smith was concerned about the salary increase and the duration of the proposed contract.
“The general salary increase is less than what was proposed back in November,” Smith said. “We had the general salary increase of 5%, with 5% the following two years, conditional upon state support.”

Smith said he wasn’t sure where he stood in the upcoming ratification vote due to a lack of information about the agreement.

“Until I see the final agreement,” Smith said. “I’m inclined to say that I’m not going to vote to ratify.”

Smith spoke about having to cut back on spending in his personal life.

“I haven’t bought a car for over 12 years, I can’t afford to get a new car,” Smith said. “The basic, small things in life we have to cut back on.”

RELATED: BREAKING: California Faculty Association reaches tentative agreement with CSU

The CFA has cited increased costs of living and inflation as reasons for demanding an increase in salary.

“There’s two of us in the house and I did the math and realized just on groceries, we are spending like $1,000 a month,” art professor Joy Bertinuson said.

Bertinuson said it was costing her double or sometimes more than triple on groceries and toiletries compared to just a few years ago.

Bertinuson said she supported the tentative agreement and would vote to ratify it.

“I think it’s good, it’s definitely better than what they were offering,” Bertinuson said. “I’m feeling pretty good about it.”

Junior kinesiology major Ozzie Garcia said he learned a lot about the issue from his brother and was supportive of the union.

“Think about the amount of students that they have to interact with on a daily basis and the workload that they get, I didn’t participate but I’m all for it,” Garcia said about the strike.

Garcia acknowledged that the union’s demands were not fully met with the tentative agreement.

“I’ve read a little bit about it. It was like a 5% increase on their pay,” Garcia said.“I know there’s some areas that haven’t been met, but you know, progress is progress.”

Garcia said the parties reached an agreement earlier than he had expected, caused him to have to cancel plans and was inconvenient, but added that once classes resumed he was ready to go back into school mode.

Senior sociology major DJ Johnson also said he wasn’t ready for the abrupt end to the strike.

“I wasn’t prepared to show up last week because I thought it was gonna last the whole week,” Johnson said. “That kind of messed up plans that I had.”

Maiuro did speak about missing the first week of two of his classes and that the extended break was nice. He said that his professors did a good job of making sure the impact on students was minimized.

“You’ll notice a lot of the teachers, at least in my experience, have been very understanding,” Maiuro said.
With the agreement in place, instructors have returned to their duties and will vote on ratifying the new contract the week of Feb. 12-18.

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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.
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