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Faculty union at California State University ratifies contract

urlhttps3A2F2Fcalifornia times brightspot.s3.amazonaws.com2F7f2F1a2Fa12127014d5e8fe5aca8dbec677e2F1401368 me csu faculty strike jlc 0122 17817

The California State University faculty union has recently approved a new contract with the university, marking a major victory for faculty members and effectively ending a potentially historic strike. Months of negotiations and an unprecedented systemwide strike led to this monumental agreement, which the union announced on Monday.

The new contract, which was overwhelmingly approved by the faculty union, includes a 10% raise in salaries and various other benefits. These benefits encompass increased parental leave and improved access to gender-inclusive bathrooms, among other important changes.

The California Faculty Association President, Charles Toombs, stated that 76% of voting members approved the agreement. Toombs expressed his pride in the union’s “solidarity, debate, and courage to press CSU management for better faculty working and student learning conditions.”

Under the terms of the new contract, all faculty members will receive a 5% retroactive raise dating back to July 2023, with an additional 5% raise scheduled to take place in July of the current year, provided that the state does not cut base funding for the 23-campus system. Additionally, the contract provides for 10 weeks of paid parental leave and a salary floor increase for the lowest-paid faculty.

The brief statement released by the CSU Office of the Chancellor expressed the university’s satisfaction with the union’s vote and indicated that the trustees are expected to give their final approval at their March meeting.

However, it should be noted that a vocal contingent of rank and file members had campaigned against the proposal, arguing that it fell short in addressing social justice issues and facilitating systemic change. Furthermore, some faculty members believed that the union leadership accepted the tentative agreement hastily instead of holding out for a better deal, claiming that a longer strike would have increased their bargaining power.

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Despite this dissent within the union, union leadership maintained that they had secured the best possible deal and expressed confidence that the agreement would be ultimately ratified.

The agreement was reached during a tense period of renegotiation, extending the current contract to June 2025. The California Faculty Association, which represents 29,000 faculty members, had originally demanded a 12% raise and a full semester of parental leave, among other benefits.

In a statement, Sharon Elise, CFA associate vice president of Racial & Social Justice, South, and Cal State San Marcos professor, acknowledged the tensions within the union and emphasized the importance of working together to build a CSU that empowers students and provides supportive work environments for faculty and staff.

Overall, the approval of this contract signals a crucial achievement for the faculty union and sets the tone for an improved working environment for all members. Despite initial disagreements and debates, the vast majority of union members recognized the value of the tentative agreement and chose to support it. As the union moves forward, it is essential to establish a sense of unity and collaboration among all members. This contract approval showcases the dedication and commitment of the faculty union in advocating for better working conditions and benefits, ultimately benefitting the entire California State University system.

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Two individuals sought for causing damage to popular rock formations at Lake Mead

lake mead rocks being damaged 0424

Las Vegas — Federal authorities are seeking the help of the public in identifying two men responsible for damaging rock formations at a national recreation site in Nevada.Officials at Lake Mead National Recreation Area announced on social media that the incident occurred over a recent weekend near the Redstone Dune Trail on the north side of the lake. The petrified red dunes in this area are a popular hiking destination within the park.A video shared by CBS Las Vegas affiliate KLAS-TV, which has since gone viral, shows two men pushing chunks of sandstone off an outcropping while a girl can be heard screaming. Park officials have condemned this behavior as appalling, emphasizing that the damage caused is irreversible.


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An image from a video recorded on the evening of April 7 shows two men vandalizing popular rock formations.
National Park Service / Facebook

“It’s one of my favorite places in the park, and they’re up there just destroying it. I don’t understand that,” said John Haynes, public information officer at Lake Mead National Recreation Area in an interview with television station KVVU.

Haynes also emphasized that destruction of this nature at federally protected sites can lead to felony charges, resulting in potential fines and jail time. Spanning 2,344 square miles of mountains and desert canyons, the Lake Mead National Recreation Area is a popular destination just outside Las Vegas, attracting around 6 million visitors annually. Due to staffing levels, park officials often rely on the public to help monitor resources within the park boundaries.

Visitors are urged to use their cellphones to capture videos or photos of any suspicious activity, provided it is safe to do so, and to gather any information, such as license plate numbers, that could aid in identifying the offenders. The National Park Service operates a tip line that receives numerous submissions each year. The tip line number is 888-653-0009, and an online reporting option is also available.

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“It’s crucial to inform us of any such incidents,” Haynes added.

Over the past decade, there have been several cases of vandalism on federal land across the Western United States, with visitors defacing petroglyphs, toppling rock formations, and damaging centuries-old rock art.

 

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