CFA Members Overwhelmingly Ratify New Contract in Historic Turnout
SACRAMENTO — After nearly two years of bargaining for RIGHTS, RESPECT, and JUSTICE for California State University lecturers, tenure-line faculty, librarians, counselors, and coaches, CFA members ratified a new contract that brings much-deserved raises and anti-racist and social justice improvements to our Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Two weeks of voting across the CSU’s 23 campuses culminated in 95% of voting members casting ballots in favor of the Tentative Agreement reached with CSU management. Thanks to our members’ efforts, we also achieved our highest contract voting turnout in the past decade.
“After two hard-fought, member-driven years of bargaining, we have a new contract!” said Charles Toombs, CFA President, Bargaining Team member, and San Diego State professor. “This vote signifies that we can bargain for salary gains while at the same time moving our working conditions forward through an anti-racism and social justice lens. We are stronger together and our votes demonstrate that emphatically.”
Throughout negotiations, CFA members demanded the CSU address issues of workload, compensation, and equity. The CFA Bargaining Team bargained for a contract for everyone and delivered powerful contract provisions advancing our anti-racism and social justice work.
“While we understand that the Anti-Racism Social Justice Transformation we strive for cannot be accomplished solely through bargaining, this new contract moves us further in our struggles to relieve the cultural taxation burden of faculty and to firmly support faculty who face bias, including that based on caste,” said Sharon Elise, CFA Bargaining Team member, Associate Vice President of Racial & Social Justice, South, and CSU San Marcos professor. “We remain committed to our goals and look forward to working on alternatives to campus police, addressing needs for parental support, and resolving the problems of precarity too many of our faculty endure.”
Contract wins include:
Cultural Taxation: The Tentative Agreement makes permanent and increases the number of Exceptional Service Awards for service to students. These awards are intended for faculty who assist and mentor the diverse student body of the CSU, and come with the recognition of the cultural taxation that faculty who identify as women, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color), and LGBTQIA+ face in the CSU. Due to lack of diversity among faculty across the CSU, many BIPOC, women, and LGBTQIA+ faculty act as mentors, advisors, and more and serve in other capacities on committees and work groups. This work (and workload hardship) is too often unrecognized and uncompensated, yet it directly impacts student success and graduation rates. It is time these dedicated and diligent services – that have gone on for decades – are recognized, valued, and rewarded.
Bias in Student Opinions and Evaluations: Faculty now have the explicit right to address and rebut bias in student evaluations. Also, reviews must consider the rebuttals when reviewing the underlying student opinions. Student opinion surveys play an important role in reviews of faculty, and research shows that women, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC faculty consistently receive unfair and unhelpful feedback that reveals bias on the part of evaluators.
Caste Included as a Protected Category in the Non-Discrimination Article: The agreement also recognizes the need to affirm the safety and well-being of caste-oppressed students, faculty, and staff across the CSU’s 23 campuses by adding caste to the list of categories protected from discrimination. Caste is a system of discrimination with its roots in South Asia – found in other parts of the world as well – that leads to social exclusion and prejudice in schools, businesses, and workplaces. CFA joined with a broad network of interfaith, intercaste, and interracial students, faculty, and community stakeholders to achieve this safeguard.
Parental Support Work Group: Stakeholders will form a work group to study more ways the CSU can support working parents including improved parental leave. The Tentative Agreement calls for the group to produce a report on all forms of parental support in the CSU that includes suggested improvements, along with cost estimates. The agreement also includes mutual agreement that the CSU can at any time increase the number of paid days of parental leave.
Alternatives to Campus Police: When the Bargaining Team reached the Tentative Agreement, Chancellor Castro committed to convene a task force to be made up of a diverse group of CSU faculty, staff, unions, students, and other stakeholders, to look at alternatives to police on our campuses. This task force may also examine improved options for conflict mediation, that includes clear recognition of CFA’s work to push this conversation forward.
Improved Opportunities for Lecturers, Librarians, Counselors, and Coaches: Our lecturers deserve and will receive three years of salary range elevations that expand eligibility to many more lecturer and librarian faculty on temporary contracts with at least six years of full-time adjusted service. Our counselor and librarian working conditions are improving with remote work now explicitly allowed. Our coaches now have more stable job security with the opportunity for multi-year contracts, instead of being on year-to-year contracts for decades, even after fantastic work with students.
Salary: Combination of across-the board salary increases for all faculty and additionalenhancements for eligible faculty to address compaction and stagnation. General Salary Increases (GSIs) of 4% each, for ALL faculty members: 4% for this year (2021-22 Academic Year), retroactive to July 1, 2021; additional 4% on July 1, 2022, contingent on the state budget, for the 2022-23 year; Service Salary Increases (SSIs): 2.65% SSI for eligible faculty below the SSI max in their salary range for the 2021-22 and 2023-24 Academic Years; Post-Promotion Increase (PPI): The PPI is an additional 2.65% salary increase for full professors, Lecturer D faculty, and equivalent coaches, counselors, and librarians, who are above the SSI maximum for the range; COVID Service Award of $3,500: One-time $3,500 COVID Service Award (pro-rated based on time base) to recognize the significant and dedicated work of faculty during the pandemic-fueled 2020-21 Academic Year; Agreement on reopener negotiations for salary increases in 2023-24.
“This historic contract required both sides come together in good faith to address the diverse and complicated needs of our 29,000 faculty, which was no easy task. And although getting this contract took close to two years of very difficult negotiation, we are nonetheless grateful that the CSU made significant movement in the late hours of bargaining which helped us avoid job action and settle this at the table,” said Meghan O’Donnell, CFA Bargaining Team member, Associate Vice President of Lecturers, North, and CSU Monterey Bay lecturer. “We look forward to continued collaboration with the CSU as we move into the next phase of negotiation which will focus on our joint-working groups dedicated to improving parental and caregiver support, expanded job security for contingent lecturers and librarians, and a professor of practice/teaching tenure classification. There is still much work to be done.”
CFA leaders will be available to speak with members of the media. To schedule an interview, please contact Michelle Hatfield at email@example.com and 916-612-8779, Kody Leibowitz, firstname.lastname@example.org and 916-947-6258, or Lisa Cohen at 310-395-2544.
BARGAINING BACKGROUND: CFA and CSU management began bargaining in the spring of 2020. Due to COVID-19, the two sides agreed to a one-year extension. Negotiations resumed fall of 2020.
After 18 months of negotiations and months of stalling from CSU management throughout 2021, CFA declared impasse in bargaining September 20, 2021. Both sides met with an independent mediator who agreed with CFA and certified us for factfinding, which was to start in early January 2022. While preparing for factfinding, CFA and CSU management continued to meet in hopes of coming to a Tentative Agreement, which occurred on December 17. CFA members held ratification voting January 18 through February 2. The CSU Board of Trustees approved the Tentative Agreement January 25. For more information on bargaining and to see the Tentative Agreement, visit CFAbargaining.org or www.calfac.org.
ABOUT THE CALIFORNIA FACULTY ASSOCIATION: CFA represents more than 29,000 tenure-line instructional faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches on the 23 campuses of the California State University system, from Humboldt State in the north, to San Diego State in the south. Learn more about CFA at www.calfac.org and visit our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.