So Cal education, LAUSD, the Cal States and the UCs

Cal State reaches tentative 4-year contract deal with faculty

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File photo: A sky view of Cal State Fullerton.

California State University has reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract with its faculty that would avert threatened strikes this fall, the university and faculty union said Tuesday.

The last contract expired two years ago. Talks had broken down several times, with the faculty voting in May to authorize strikes to take place this fall.

"In this extremely challenging budget climate, we are pleased to come to an agreement with the CFA that will allow both parties to move forward and focus on the state's reinvestment in higher education," said John Swarbrick, Cal State's associate vice chancellor for labor relations.

The agreement must be ratified by union members during a two-week voting period scheduled for late August, as well as the board of trustees.

The settlement with the California Faculty Association stipulates no raises for the past two years, but the issue could be revisited for 2012-13 and 2013-14, the university said.

The agreement preserves job stability provisions for lecturers and provides for faculty input in determining class sizes.

"It's a fair agreement in the context of hard times," said Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association, which represents 23,000 professors, lecturers, and other professional employees across CSU's 23 campuses. "We are disappointed we were not able to get a raise, but that wasn't in the cards. It was a tough pill to swallow, I won't kid you."

The board's next meeting is slated for September.

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