Whether working with then-Chancellor Timothy White or past administrations at the People’s University, whether the discussion revolved around COVID-19 relief or compensation, CFA has been consistent with its approach: CSU leaders must meet-and-confer with our union over the conditions of our members’ employment.
This basic right we have as employees of the CSU system does not change with a new administration. We need Chancellor Castro to recognize the importance of discussing any new mandates and policies with our faculty and staff unions.
The CSU’s lack of notification and consultation with us before issuing the vaccine mandate is seriously concerning, and it is part of a pattern the chancellor is creating where his pronouncements make headlines before he has shared any information with key stakeholders: employees and students.
Bold leadership does not mean going it alone when it comes to running our university system. Bold leadership embraces the value of shared governance. It is important, no matter the issue, to discuss with employees and students, before making headlines, to ensure a democratic process.
Last week, CFA leaders emailed members asking for your feedback. We hear all of you and appreciate all your support and concerns about a vaccine requirement. From the hundreds of messages we received, our faculty members overwhelmingly support COVID-19 vaccines as an important component to repopulating our campuses. Yet, questions remain about implementation and the viability of Castro’s mandate. As CFA leaders push for a meet-and-confer with the Chancellor’s Office – a right we have as employees under our contract – we still have a list of questions that must be answered to ensure safety of our members, which include:
- What date will the mandate go into effect?
- How long will the mandate last?
- Is the policy flexible to adjust to new facts and health conditions?
- What exactly are the exemptions and how will they be processed?
- What happens to an employee if their exemption request is denied?
- What happens if someone does not get vaccinated for some reason not covered in exemptions?
- What do employees have to do to prove they are vaccinated?
- Can faculty elect to teach remotely?
- What other measures, like safe(r) ventilation, will the CSU agree to?
- What social distancing rules and PPE provisions will the CSU agree to?
We invite Chancellor Castro to treat us as partners in repopulation and to follow up on our requests to share and deliberate over faculty concerns related to repopulation so we can come up with agreeable solutions to these trying times and daunting issues.