Skip navigation
Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California
Southern California

Cal State University Faculty Members Protest For Salary Increase

CSU employees are calling for a five percent salary increase. 

Watch Audio Slideshow here. 

The California Budget Crisis had unforgiving financial effects on California State University professors everywhere. Although Los Angeles County is beginning to recover from fiscal restraints experienced during the budget crisis and 2008 recession, CSU professors are wondering when their pocketbooks will do the same. 

Joshua Yang has worked as an associate professor at Cal State Fullerton for the past six years. He supports a family of five on his single income and worries about his financial trajectory with the proposed two percent salary increase proposed by the CSU Board of Trustees

“I don't really have enough to save both for my wife and I's retirement, as well as for my kid's college and to be able to provide them the opportunities that they need to really maximize their potential as kids,” Yang says. 

CFA president, Jennifer Eagan, leads the protest. (Scott Cook / Annenberg Media)
CFA president, Jennifer Eagan, leads the protest. (Scott Cook / Annenberg Media)

Yang is one of over 1,000 professors, students and supporters who rallied in downtown Long Beach to push for a five percent salary increase today. 

Protesters gathered a mile and a half away from the CSU Chancellor’s office where the Board of Trustees heard from community members and discussed the proposed salary increase.  

“The experience of the faculty really relates to the student's experience,” Jennifer Eagan, President of the California Faculty Association says. “Our working conditions are the student's learning conditions. When faculty are underpaid, they need to look for extra work, they might be looking for other jobs and that just means the students are missing out on the experience the faculty desperately want to give them.”

The California Faculty Association (CFA) is a union that represents over 26,000 CSU faculty members. The Board of trustees has already offered CSU faculty a two percent salary increase, but the CFA is determined for five and Eagan says they will not back down until this is met. 

Protesters gather outside of the CSU Chancellor's Office. (Scott Cook / Annenberg Media)
Protesters gather outside of the CSU Chancellor's Office. (Scott Cook / Annenberg Media)

This rally follows a recent vote, in which 94% of CSU faculty said they would be in favor of a strike if salary negotiations with the CSU Board failed to result in a fair deal.

Emilee Ramirez, a history major at CSU San Marcos, protested in support of her educators.

“I’ve had multiple adjunct professors who have to leave campus early, or don’t have the office hours or time needed for our classes because they have classes on two or three other campuses,” Ramirez says. “Them not getting paid is directly affecting our education.”

Due to the high cost of living statewide, many CSU professors are forced to live with roommates, several are on public assistance or they must take on extra jobs to cover living expenses. 

“The cost of living is really high in L.A. and in Orange County where I live,” Yang says. “There are a lot of professors who can't even buy a house they're just renting.”

The CSU Board of Trustees says it remains committed to the collective bargaining process and reaching a negotiated agreement with the CFA. 

However, no board members were available for comment at the time of this report.

The CFA is prepared to strike unless they receive their five percent salary increase—something they are planning for next year if negotiations are not fulfilled. 

“[A salary increase] would be a sign that our work is being honored and respected,” Eagan says. “And also, that as the recession in California becomes a memory and we're getting back on our feet, that the faculty of the CSU will be able to get back on their feet too.”  

Click here to see a map of all the Cal State Universities.


LB police estimated the crowd at 350, not 1000. Fact check.

94 percent of faculty did not vote yes. That percentage is the number of yes votes from the total number of votes cast, which could be dramatically lower. CFA refuses to tell the media how many faculty members voted, so it's likely that far less people voted.

Leave a comment

We've Moved!

By Sam Bergum
01/21/16 | 11:09 a.m. PST

Visit us at!

USC Basketball Knocks Off Rival UCLA 89- 75

By Scott Cook
01/14/16 | 12:05 a.m. PST

USC defeats UCLA with stellar play from their Freshmen. 

Holiday Bowl - USC vs Wisconsin Post-Game Press Conference

Su'a Cravens: "It's the players that need to step up"

Darreus Rogers: "It comes down to the players"

Trojans Fall to Wisconsin in the Holiday Bowl 23-21

We detected that you might be on a mobile device such as an iPad or iPhone. Sorry, at this time the video box is only visible on desktop computers.