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Challenges we face in 2017
Pensions, health benefits, academic freedom and tenure, CSU funding, and negotiating a new contract

Last year brought us both good and bad tidings, to say the least, and before outlining challenges we will face in 2017, we want to note two important successes from 2016 in which so many of you participated.

First and foremost, through the hard work and support of over 1000 SDSU faculty members (and many thousands more throughout the CSU), we won a 10.5 percent pay raise for all faculty members.  We showed what we can accomplish when the faculty is unified.  (And, we have the next installment of the pay raise — 3.5 percent on July 1 — to look forward to.)

Election day was a decidedly mixed blessing for many of us, but we did have a victory here in California.  Through an enormous outreach effort in conjunction with the California Teachers’ Association, we were able to gain passage of Prop 55.  It has the practical effect of helping protect CSU funding.

Challenges we will need to address

Going forward, however, we face a number of serious challenges:

-We will need to put increased effort into protecting our pensions and health benefits;

-Threats to tenure and academic freedom are increasing, and whether you are in the sciences or humanities or another discipline, none of us are immune to these threats;

-The governor’s proposed budget for the CSU is too low — well below even the CSU’s budget request — and we will need to work with our allies in Sacramento to fight for a higher funding level. (And on a related note, hopefully you have seen CFA’s recent report on the correlation between the long-term decrease in CSU funding and the CSU’s changing demography: http://www.calfac.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/equity_interrupted_1.12.2017.pdf); and 

-Bargaining for our successor 3-year contract begins on July 1.  We will want to be sure that we are in the strongest possible position as we approach the bargaining sessions.

In the coming weeks, you will hear more from us each of these issues and our efforts to address them.

Contacting CFA for assistance

Please feel free to contact our campus California Faculty Association office at any time if we can provide assistance, whether on a contract rights issue or other matter.  Our campus CFA chapter has a Faculty Rights Committee, composed of faculty volunteers, and we are available to talk with faculty colleagues about individual situations and assist in resolving issues.  We can be reached at cfa@mail.sdsu.edu or x42775.

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