CSU deal calls for 10.5 percent raise, strike averted

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno State president Joseph Castro says he's thrilled business can go on as usual on campus after a deal was struck, averting a CSU-wide faculty strike.

The tentative deal was announced Friday morning in a teleconference put on by CSU Chancellor Timothy White and California Faculty Association President Jennifer Egan. The agreement gives faculty and staff a 10.5 percent raise by July 2017.

A quick hug and a friendly chat was exchanged between Castro and Fresno State's CFA chapter president Diane Blair following the deal reached between the CSU chancellor and CFA over salary increases.

The last minute agreement halted what was expected to be a massive 5-day strike of more than 26,000 faculty members next Wednesday.

"I'm excited about it because it allow us to continue to educate our students without any interruptions we could have seen with the potential strike," Castro said.

In the end, teachers will get a 10.5 percent salary increase by July 2017. The first raise will be 5 percent on June 30, the last day of this fiscal year. Then the following day, July 1, 2016 staff will get another 2.5 percent increase. One year later, another 3.5percent raise.

Previously the two sides were battling between a 2.5 percent salary hike, but now the faculty on Fresno State's campus are ecstatic.

"They are very pleased and happy about the tentative agreement they are also very glad that they are going to be in the classroom next week and not out at the picket line," Blair said.

While Castro says he is happy that the chancellor has decided to invest more in retaining its current faculty the agreement could take $2 million dollars away from other projects or new hires that were planned over the next year at Fresno State.

"There are always trade-off sin the budget and we ill invest more in our people," Castro said. "That's a great thing. That means there will be one fewer dollar to invest in other areas."
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