Assembly Brings Together Faculty and SQE Student Activists, Preparing for Summer 2023 Contract Reopener
In a lot of ways, solidarity and togetherness resonated at CFA’s 95th Assembly over the weekend.
CFA faculty members and student activists met to strategize for mutual aid in light of growing health and safety issues adversely affecting students.
Interns with Students for Quality Education presented to faculty at Fall 2022 Assembly that they are increasingly targeted on campus by campus police and by campus-based far-right extremists. Last month, Turning Point USA organizers from two Southern California CSU campuses intentionally targeted the CSU Long Beach Cultural Resource Center during an SQE meeting. Turning Point USA is an Illinois-based right-wing student group funded by conservative and pro-Trump donors and linked to a variety of extremists. They also manage the controversial Professor Watchlist.
CFA members met with their campuses and student activists to talk about how to better support the students’ campaigns and address campus policing along with health and safety issues. Assembly participants discussed intersections with CFA’s own Our Way Forward demands.
“We must educate and protect our students from continued attacks from far-right actors attempting to divide and uphold our nation and universities,” said Charles Toombs, CFA president. “There is a way forward for the CSU; it must better utilize its funding for the growing mental health needs of our students and to dismantle the barriers of systemic racism to end white supremacy culture and cis-heteropatriarchy.”
That work continued as members learned about the next steps in our road to our contract reopener in May. Four articles will re-open next year: salary (Article 31), workload (Article 20), paid leave (Article 23), and health and safety (Article 37). Members also discussed important demands and advocacy, such as campus-based salary equity programs and the need to immediately hire more tenure track counselors and more Black, Indigenous, Chicanx, Latinx, Asian American, Pacific Islander, and Desi American, and LGBTQIA+ counselors.
Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher joined CFA’s meeting to chat about unionism and mutual aid between labor unions. Gonzalez, the chief officer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO, and former assemblymember from San Diego, became the first woman and first person of color to lead the statewide Labor Fed. She said she is going to work to make sure she isn’t the last.
Members later passed two resolutions brought forth by CFA San Bernardino, calling on amending the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) to better define joint-consultation and decision-making processes, and to support student teachers with tuition assistance.
Members also finalized CFA statewide elections, re-electing Melina Abdullah (CSU Los Angeles) and Nena Torrez (CSU San Bernardino) to serve a new term on the CFA Political Action & Legislative Committee, re-affirming Rosalinda Quintanar (San Jose State), who ran unopposed, as AAUP Representative North, and electing Harry Xia (Fresno State) to serve on the CFA Audit Committee.