Hundreds of California State University faculty members stayed out of class Thursday to protest a salary dispute and spending decisions that they say threaten the quality of education at the university's 23 campuses.
The California Faculty Assn., which represents 23,000 professors, lecturers, librarians and others, authorized the one-day strike at Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State East Bay but said the actions could spread to other campuses if Chancellor Charles B. Reed refuses their compromise proposals. It is the first strike since the union was formed in 1983.
Reed is withholding pay raises that were negotiated for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years, arguing that the system can't afford the increases because of state funding cuts. Cal State and the University of California each lost $650 million in funding this school year and are likely to lose another $100 million each midyear because of declining revenue. A state-appointed panel recommended that a portion of the raises be paid.
At the Dominguez Hills campus in Carson, several hundred faculty and students hoisted signs near the main entrance, whistling and chanting, "Hey, hey, ho ho, Chancellor Reed has got to go."