Students and staff affected by changes at UC and CSU

A number of changes have occurred within the University of California and California State University systems recently: from teachers and teacher’s assistants striking for increased pay, to a new rainy day fund in the 2024-25 state budget, to tuition hikes.


Across California, UC and CSU faculty have struggled to reach an agreement on higher compensation.

The most recent strike on Jan. 22 began and ended the same day. The strike resulted in an agreement with the California Faculty Association members and CSU management that consists of a 5% general salary increase. In addition, there will be improved gender-inclusive spaces, extended contracts, additional support for lecture engagement and increased protection and parental leave, according to the CFA.

To Rosa Velasquez, an AVID teacher, this rise in pay for professors and TAs seems necessary.

“I’ve taken a look at the salaries for … professors at Cal states and UCs, and they make less money than we do in our district,” Velasquez said. “Overall, the teaching profession is underestimated as far as our value goes.”

The effect of the strikes at the CSU and UC campuses has been felt by students as well.

“Witnessing the CSU strike in the context of other strikes … I’m starting to think more and more that strikes really do work,” Michele Kim (‘23), who attends University of California Irvine, said.

While these changes are seen as a victory for the system, some still worry about what this means for the future of the universities.

Professor Jean-Guillaume Lonjaret from San Diego State University participated in the strike, but he was left disappointed. While he believed the strike was a step in the right direction, Lonjaret said faculty members should push for more “meaningful changes” at the state level. He suggested that universities attempt to distribute money so that it does not only go to sports teams and the salaries of administrators and management.

“From [the administration’s] point of view, if [a professor] can teach 300 people, [they] can teach 400, and class sizes keep increasing at the expense of education,” Jonjaret said.

Rainy Day Fund

Furthermore, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new 2024-2025 budget seeks to cover the budget deficits of the CSU and UC, which some hope will allow funds to be allocated to places that really need it.

“I hope that this bill can ensure … more safe transportation on campus, as well as make food … and hopefully housing more affordable,” said Mirabel Hunt (‘22), who attends University of Santa Cruz.

Known as a “rainy day fund,” California will be withdrawing money from state reserves in order to cover the budget deficits.

According to Edsource, a nonprofit newsroom, “Newsom would protect schools and community colleges by covering the current year’s shortfall and meeting the minimum funding obligation in 2024-25. However, increased funding for the [CSU] and [UC] systems would be deferred for this year.”

Tuition Hike

Velasquez advises many of her students to apply to CSU, as many are “low income,” and the CSU can be a better option for those students.

Recently, there was a 6% tuition hike, which will take place over the course of five years. Velazquez worries about the burden that will place on middle class students.

“Our middle class students are the ones who are making too much money to get help, but not enough to cover it, so that’s what concerns me.”

Previous post Repeated graffiti symbol seen in several restrooms
Next post Behind the scenes: what goes into winter formal