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Feb 08, 2016 04:29 PM EST

Cal State Faculty Union Promises 5 Days of Striking Unless Given Pay Raise

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A union representing the faculty of the California State University system will stage two multi-day strikes in April over demands of better pay.

The California Faculty Association will organize picketed protests April 13-15 and April 18-19 across all 23 campuses in the CSU system. Participating professors will not teach nor will they hold office hours, The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported.

The union has been calling for a five percent raise for CSU professors for nearly a year while the school system has only offered up to two percent. The CFA represents 26,000 CSU professors (tenure and tenure-track), counselors, librarians, and coaches in the largest public school system in the U.S.

On top of the five percent raise, the CFA wants a 2.65 percent "me-too" clause that would be triggered by service time, The Press-Telegram reported.

"We've said all along that we don't want to strike, but we will if we have to," Dr. Jennifer Eagan, CFA President and professor of philosophy and public affairs and administration at Cal State East Bay, said in a news release. "We must take a stand so that we can support our families, protect our profession, and provide high quality education for our students.

"A strike is our last resort and we still hope that the Chancellor will invest in the faculty who are the major determinant of our students' success."

The CSU system estimates the CFA's proposal would cost about $140 million, whereas their proposed raise would cost $33 million. The CSU administration argued the CFA's demand could wind up taking up half the system's most recent budget, The Sacramento Bee reported.

"This is an historic strike if it happens," Eagan said at a news conference. "It will impact CSU for a long time."

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