California State University and its faculty union announced a tentative agreement Tuesday on a four-year contract that provides no pay raises but averts the potential for strikes this fall at the system's 23 campuses.
The deal culminates two years of often contentious negotiations over salary, class sizes, faculty stability and other issues, punctuated by one-day strikes at two campuses in November. Those were the first walkouts since the union was formed in 1983.
Before the agreement was reached, members of the California Faculty Assn., which represents 23,000 Cal State professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors and coaches, had authorized two-day rolling strikes at all campuses in the upcoming academic year.
Negotiations, though, were overshadowed by the budget crisis in Sacramento, which saw Cal State and the University of California each absorb $750 million in funding cuts last year. And if voters fail to approve a tax initiative backed by Gov. Jerry Brown on the November ballot, each system will be hit with an additional $250-million reduction next year.