As we near the end of the statutory process in our re-opener contract campaign, we approach the possibility of taking job actions, including a strike. Should the statutory process fail to produce a fair contract for our faculty, we must be ready to take collective action.

In the next several weeks, CFA members will be asked to empower the CFA Board of Directors with the authority to call a strike should it become necessary.

A “Yes” vote will send a powerful signal to management that we are prepared to withhold our labor to get the contract we deserve. This isn’t to say that a strike is inevitable, though it is a call to strike if we cannot reach a resolution.

A group of people outside a building holding red CFA posters.
CFA East Bay members get updates on bargaining.

While we present CSU management with many proposals of critical importance to our members, they have chosen to focus solely on salary. And even then, they have not presented a salary increase proposal that meets our 12-percent General Salary Increase (GSI) demand. Their 5-percent GSI counteroffer means very little to the large percentage of faculty who can’t afford to live in California even on a full-time salary, and it does not keep up with inflation. It means nothing to faculty whose course sizes produce unsustainable workloads and burnout, or to counselors who are overwhelmed with more students than they can adequately care for. A small increase in pay is trivial to those who face harassment and are subjected to mental and physical harm by armed campus police. Management’s 5-percent GSI does not meaningfully address the stagnation many faculty experience at the bottom of the salary structure.

Alarmingly, CSU management has not responded AT ALL to our anti-racism and social justice demands that would uplift our most marginalized faculty.

Management’s refusal to extend paid parental leave to a full semester highlights their cruel indifference towards the realities facing our system’s coaching, counseling, librarian, and instructional faculty who wish to start or expand their families. They’ve rejected our proposal to create accessible lactation and milk storage spaces for lactating moms, our call for safe gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms, and they’ve ignored our requests for safety provisions for faculty interacting with university police on our campuses.

CSU trustees’ willingness to raise student tuition by 34 percent over five years while refusing to offer adequate mental health counseling for students is a testament to their indifference for anyone apart from themselves. It is even more telling that they’ve conveniently found the money to fill managers’ pockets with lavish and unreasonable salaries, though they cry poor when the people who actually make up the CSU, students, faculty, and staff, call for adequate resources.

Because of management’s disrespect, it comes as no surprise that — since returning to campus this fall — thousands of CFA members signed commit cards and showed overwhelming support to take collective action and pledge their support for a fair and reasonable contract.

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