From October 21 to October 27, members from across all 23 California State University campuses voted overwhelmingly to empower the CFA Board of Directors to call a strike – if necessary – to secure a deal that addresses our contract demands. Members are emphatic that low pay, growing workloads, and systemic inequities are not sustainable.
“We are willing to withhold our labor if CSU management continues to say no to investing their money where it matters – the people who are directly responsible for student learning and success,” said Charles Toombs, CFA president and San Diego State professor.
Ninety-five percent of voting members demand:
- A 12 percent pay raise to stay ahead of inflation.
- Pay equity and raising the floor for our lowest-paid faculty.
- Manageable workloads that allow for more support and engagement with students.
- More counselors to improve students’ much-needed access to mental health counseling.
- Expanding paid parental leave.
- Accessible lactation and milk storage spaces for lactating faculty.
- Safe gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms.
- Safety provisions for faculty interacting with university police on our campuses.
Your CFA Bargaining Team met several times with CSU management over the summer on re-opener contract bargaining. For the 2023-24 year, both sides re-opened limited articles of our Collective Bargaining Agreement – workload, parental leave, salary, benefits, and health and safety. Unfortunately, CSU management is unwilling to address systemic issues and we reached impasse.
Throughout October and ending this past weekend, members of the CFA Bargaining Team met in factfinding with an independent factfinder. The factfinder will prepare a report that will include non-binding recommendations for how a settlement could be reached. After the report is issued, our bargaining team and CSU management will enter into a 10-day silent period to review the report before it becomes public. If factfinding doesn’t result in an agreement, then the “statutory” process will end and we will gain the right to legally strike. At that point, CSU management can impose its last, best, and final offer.
CSU management says they can’t afford our re-opener proposals, but an independent external fiscal analysis shows otherwise. The CSU has been hoarding billions of dollars in reserves instead of investing in faculty and staff who work directly with our students.
Their investment in administrative personnel is increasing while their budgets for instructional support continue to shrink, despite year after year of the CSU bringing in more money than it spends. Budgets are moral documents, and our members are holding CSU management accountable.
Members plan on bringing our demands and solidarity to CSU trustees and new Chancellor Mildred García at the November 7 CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach.
Our members’ vision for the CSU and students is aspirational – that’s why members continue to receive encouragement and support from students, many of whom have joined our campus rallies. Our proposals are reasonable, achievable, and necessary to build a better, safer, accessible, more just CSU.
Our recent past is evidence that there is power in our solidarity!
The last time we had a breakdown in negotiations with CSU management was in 2015. Our membership across all 23 campuses took a strike authorization vote which gave our Board of Directors the authority to call for job actions. Our members overwhelmingly voted 94.4 percent in favor of the authorization. Members were prepared to shut the entire system down for a full week. In a last-minute deal, management agreed to our demands and the strike was averted.
In November 2011, two CSU campuses — CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills — went on strike for one day. Faculty from other campuses went there to join the picket lines. The campuses were shut down, and we achieved victory in our bargaining goals.
As we push forward, our next contract campaign is just around the corner as we open our full Collective Bargaining Agreement. Earlier this month, in accordance with Article 41.2 of our contract, we served notice to the Chancellor’s Office that we intend to bargain our successor contract.
Stay up to date on negotiations at www.CFAbargaining.org.