CFA reaches tentative agreement
The union representing faculty at California State University’s (CSU) 23 campuses secured gains for its 26,000 members and averted a five-day strike, which would have been the largest strike at a four-year university in American history, according to the Los Angeles Times. The tentative deal delivers salary increases of 10.5 percent, before compounding, by July 2017, according to the California Faculty Association (CFA) website. The agreement must be ratified by CFA members and approved by CSU’s Board of Trustees, which will vote on the proposal by the end of May.
PEF catches up with other state employees
New York State and the Public Employee Federation (PEF) reached a deal on salary increases and other outstanding concerns as Clarion went to press. The union representing 53,000 professional, scientific and technical state workers agreed to a 2 percent wage increase retroactive to April 1, 2015, which brings wage increases for PEF employees into line with those paid to state employees represented by other unions, including UUP and CSEA. This new contract expires in 2016, like most of the other state union agreements. PEF members will vote on the contract in May.
Chicago teachers strike
In a day-long walkout on April 1, members of the Chicago Teachers Union took to the streets and rallied for adequate state funding for schools. Thousands of teachers, community members and students turned out at sites throughout the city and brought attention to issues affecting the city’s teachers and students, including concerns over pensions and staffing levels. District officials told the Chicago Tribune that they would not seek to discipline employees who took part in the strike.
Supreme Court reprieve for labor
The labor movement was granted a reprieve on March 29, when Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association was brought to a conclusion with a 4-4 tie between the conservative and liberal justices on the Supreme Court, leaving the lower court’s ruling to stand. That means public-sector unions can continue to collect agency fees from nonmembers. Before the sudden death of Justice Antonin Scalia, the court was expected to side with the anti-union plaintiffs and the right-wing groups that supported them.