The California State University system and the union representing thousands of professors and lecturers reached a tentative deal on Monday to raise wages, ending what was the largest strike by university faculty members in U.S. history.
The deal, announced by both sides on Monday night, came just hours after the California Faculty Association, the union that represents 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches, began what was planned as a five-day walkout across the 23 C.S.U. campuses that serve nearly 460,000 students.
But the tentative deal means that faculty at the nation’s largest four-year public university system will return to work on Tuesday, union officials said.
“This historic agreement was won because of members’ solidarity, collective action, bravery and love for each other and our students,” said Antonio Gallo, associate vice president of lecturers for the southern region, in a statement. “This deal immensely improves working conditions for faculty and strengthens learning conditions for students.”
Union leaders said that wages had not kept up with the high cost of living in California. The deal would immediately increase salaries for all faculty by 5 percent retroactively to July 1, 2023, with another 5 percent raise slated for July 1, 2024, according to union officials.
It would also immediately raise the salary floor for the lowest-paid faculty members by $3,000 and increase parental leave to 10 weeks from six.
“I am extremely pleased and deeply appreciative that we have reached common ground with C.F.A. that will end the strike immediately,” Mildred García, the California State University chancellor, said in a statement on Monday night. “The agreement enables the C.S.U. to fairly compensate its valued, world-class faculty while protecting the university system’s long-term financial sustainability.”
Union members will vote in the coming weeks on whether to approve the contract.