After our most recent bargaining meeting with CSU management on September 30, CFA leaders officially declared that we are at an impasse over a new contract. After negotiating for 18 months, we believe the two sides are too far apart to come to agreement at the table. Unlike past negotiations with the CSU, we are not making this decision jointly with university managers.
The California Public Employment Relations Board, the agency overseeing collective bargaining in California, agreed with CFA in declaring impasse and will assign a mediator.
Since March 5, 2020, CFA and management have met 23 times and have proposed and responded to numerous proposals. We are unable to agree on over 19 articles of our Collective Bargaining Agreement, academic freedom and additional classification codes. Over 18 months we have reached Tentative Agreements on just two articles (Article 27 Sabbatical and Article 35 Outside Employment) and reached status quo (without exchanging proposals) on 24 articles.
The CFA Bargaining Team feels our time has been wasted by disgraceful proposals from the new chancellor’s team. With the exception of our solid improvements to sabbatical leave and no substantial changes to the outside employment article, management has proposed nothing but takebacks and set up only roadblocks to changes that faculty desire and deserve. With no progress on the horizon, it is time to move forward with the process defined by the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, the statue for collective bargaining in public higher education.
“Time and time again, our team negotiated in good faith, presenting management with incontrovertible data as well as compelling narratives of faculty hardships,” said Moe Miller, Associate Vice President of Lecturers, South, and lecturer at CSU Fullerton. “We shared with them the obvious, strong state support budget for the CSU with a fair proposal for compensation increases. Our team has demonstrated to management the necessity for systemic and structural reforms to address racism, bias, and injustice. Time and time again, management said no.”
Rights, respect, and justice are on the line, which is why we declared impasse, proceeding forward to secure the best contract our faculty have earned and deserve.
The current contract has expired, but most of the rights in the contract remain as status quo.
Some faculty may not be familiar with the next steps, so we want to take the time to explain what impasse means and what comes next:
Question: What is impasse and how is it declared?
Answer: According to the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) of 1979, impasse means that “the parties have reached a point in meeting and conferring at which their differences in positions are such that further meetings would be futile” (Govt. Code sec. 3562(j)). Because CFA acknowledges that we and the CSU cannot reach an agreement after bargaining in good faith, HEERA allows one or both sides to declare impasse and request to go to the next statutory stage of bargaining, which is mediation. To determine if an impasse exists, PERB will take into account several factors: (1) the number and length of negotiating sessions and the period of time over which these sessions occurred; (2) the extent to which the parties presented and discussed counter proposals; (3) the extent to which the parties reached tentative agreements on negotiated issues; and (4) the extent of issues that remain unresolved.
To see more of CFA’s FAQs on impasse and our union’s next steps, click here.
It’s going to take all of us to secure rights, respect, and justice in our contract. Continue to stay updated at www.CFAbargaining.org.