When we fight, we WIN!
That mantra was chanted regularly last week as members across California met for CFA’s Fall Assembly.
“I had a wonderful time with my siblings at the 93rd CFA Assembly. It was great, uplifting, reaffirming, and powerful,” said G. Chris Brown, Associate Vice President, South, and CFA Fullerton president. “It was great catching up and interacting with family in different caucuses. Our focus on anti-racism and social justice guided our activities.”
Members met in plenary sessions, as well as in committee, caucus, and council gatherings to plan out the next several months of anti-racism and social justice work to capture a fair Collective Bargaining Agreement and strengthen public higher education.
During his welcome, CFA President Charles Toombs reviewed our wins from the recently concluded legislative session and provided an update on contract negotiations. Chapters are holding bargaining meetings, training Contract Action Teams, and planning future actions.
“Unity is our strength and our power,” Toombs told members.
Members learned that the Public Employment Relations Board accepted the CFA Bargaining Team’s impasse declaration, and the State Mediation and Conciliation Service assigned a mediator to the case.
Mediation was scheduled to begin October 28, but CSU management cancelled the meeting. The first mediation session is currently scheduled for November 4.
CFA members also passed several resolutions to protect mental health counseling services at CSU campuses, protect labor from police associations, and end caste-based discrimination.
On the issue of safety and anti-racism, CFA members passed a resolution calling for the severing of ties between labor and police associations. Police and sheriffs’ associations have historically been a force of racial segregation and repression of labor rights. These groups do not act in solidarity with the broader labor movement, and in fact routinely oppose the policy and legislative agenda of organized labor.
CFA members resolved that “we assert that police associations stand in opposition to basic union principles” and that “it is inhumane to provide space for affiliates to protect the murderers of the loved ones of other (central labor council) delegates and members.”
“I belong to the most visionary union on the planet! The resolution opens in the names of Ryan Twyman, Andres Guardado, Grechario Mack, Daniel Hernandez, Keith Bursey, Quinten Thomas, and many others who are family of union members and were killed by police,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah, faculty in Pan African Studies at CSU Los Angeles and CFA member and activist.
CFA asks that our fellow unions join us in this demand.
CSU Chancellor Joseph I. Castro has spent much of the past several weeks extoling the CSU’s Graduation Initiative 2025, but balks at funding and resourcing student support services proven to strengthen student learning and success.
One of these critical areas is mental health counseling, departments which are dangerously understaffed. At Assembly, counselor faculty shared their struggles to meet student demand due a plethora of issues, including faculty turnover, stressors related to the pandemic, and systemic racism on our campuses. Members overwhelmingly passed a resolution to support the ongoing hiring of tenure-track counseling faculty.
“CFA demands that the CSU adopt the policy goal of ensuring that all CSU campuses meet or exceed relevant professional mental health service standards for students,” reads the statement. The CSU needs to meet the basic counselor-to-student ratio of 1:1,500 and hire culturally diverse tenure-track counselors to ensure the health of Counseling and Psychological Services across the CSU’s 23 campuses.
CFA members also threw their support behind a resolution adding caste as a protected category in the CSU anti-discrimination policy.
“Caste is a structure of oppression that affects over 1 billion people across the world based on birth that determines social status and assigns spiritual purity,” and “Caste-oppressed groups continue to experience profound injustices including socioeconomic inequalities, usurpation of their land, rights, and experience brutal violence at the hands of the ‘upper’ castes,” according to the resolution.
CFA supports efforts to ban discrimination because of caste and joins with other advocates such as the Cal State Student Association.
Once finalized, we’ll post the resolutions here.