The California Faculty Association today will announce whether California State University teachers have authorized a strike, in part to protest what they decry as a lack of progress in contract talks.
The California Faculty Association board of directors voted unanimously in February to ask its members whether to conduct the walkout. The union's membership began voting in mid-April.
CFA teachers staged a one-day strike in November at Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson and Cal State East Bay in Hayward. If union members authorize another walkout, the new job actions would include two-day rolling strikes at all 23 CSU campuses including Cal State Northridge, according to the union.
"We have said all along that we do not want to strike, but we will if that is what is necessary to ensure that we can provide quality education to our students," said CFA President Lillian Taiz, a history professor at Cal State Los Angeles.
The union contends the university system is trying to move more courses into its "for-profit" extension programs while paying faculty less money to teach them. The union is also contesting proposed increases in class sizes, the lack of salary increases over the past two academic years, and the possibility of lower wages and benefits in the future.
CSU spokeswoman Claudia Keith said previously that union members had received $60 million in pay raises over the previous three years. CSU officials also have insisted that the university was hard-hit by a $650 million cut in state funding.
In November, the CSU Board of Trustees approved a 9 percent tuition hike for the 2012-13 school year. Tuition will increase by $498, meaning undergraduate student fees will go from $5,472 in 2011-12 to $5,970 for 2012- 13. With campus-specific fees added in, the total cost for undergraduate students will be more than $7,000 for the full year.
The increase will be on top of a 12 percent tuition hike that took effect this school year, and a 9 percent increase imposed in 2010.
Keith has said a strike-authorization vote was a "premature" step since negotiations were still continuing with the union.