Ashley A. Smith
January 22, 2024
For the first time ever, faculty across the entire California State University system on Monday is staging a weeklong labor strike.
The more than 29,000 faculty members in the nation’s largest public university system continue to demand higher wages and for the administration to return to the bargaining table.
For many of Cal State’s nearly 450,000 students, it means missing their first, second or third week of classes this semester or quarter as professors and instructors walk the picket lines across the system’s 23 campuses.
Kate Ozment, an English professor at Cal Poly Pomona, said she hasn’t met her students yet, with the first week of spring classes coinciding with the weeklong strike. Ozment said she posted a notice to her students through the Canvas online learning management system about the strike.
“My goal is to not create confusion with students and my goal is to not harm students,” she said. “I don’t want them on campus because with an empty campus, we win. I sent them information about why we’re striking and that I was participating and I also gave them an overview of the course schedule so they could see how I accommodate the work stoppage.”
Ozment said she won’t be grading, collecting assignments or leading instruction. But she has encouraged her students to work independently this week.
Arabel Meyer, a journalism senior at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, said all three of her instructors this quarter notified her that they will be striking this week and that classes have been canceled. On the quarter system, students at Cal Poly SLO are in their third week of classes.