Coalitions Build Around COVID-19 Relief
While the CFA Bargaining Team keeps working to advance equity and faculty rights at the negotiating table, CFA leaders continue pressing Chancellor Joseph I. Castro and campus presidents to provide COVID-19 relief to working parents and caregivers.
After a statewide town hall, email campaign, open letter from faculty, and a news report from EdSource, CFA chapters are building parent and caregiver groups and labor coalitions.
To correct recent statements made on behalf of Chancellor Castro, CSU’s paltry offer of glorified sick time is not generous. At this point, the CSU is offering faculty 128 hours between now and December 31 to cover full-day absences. It’s similar to sick leave, but requires approval. The CSU offered other non-faculty employees 256 hours to use in this same period.
The requirement of full-day increments and no relief from work is why CFA proposes up to one course release. Now that we are well into the semester, faculty likely need some alternative relief. We want faculty to receive some relief from the work, and calling out periodically means finding time at night or the weekends to make up the work. CFA has proposed an alternative to the 128 hours, and will meet with management later this week.
Chancellor Castro has also intimated that employee groups waited too long to request COVID-19 relief for spring term. We’ll take this opportunity to remind him that CFA leaders have been talking with him, his labor relations team, and presidents at individual campuses about relief since last fall. Only last week were we provided with data we asked for in October concerning faculty use of the CSU’s fall leave program (CPAL) and the federal version (FFCRA). The data demonstrated what we suspected all along – only a few hundred of 29,000 CSU faculty (about 2 percent) could use any COVID-19 leave.
This is why CFA is interested in getting real relief for faculty. Faculty need something that folks really can use, that women can use to avoid continuing to fall behind their male counterparts in lifelong earnings and accomplishments.
Recognizing the limitations to the CSU’s relief offer, CFA Sacramento joined leaders from four other campus unions at a press conference Tuesday calling on Chancellor Castro to support his workers. Employees shared heartbreaking stories of having to choose between their paychecks and their families.
“We cannot survive this pandemic without additional help from the CSU,” said one CSU Employees Union member, echoing the desperation of so many across the system.
We will continue to update faculty as our struggle for real COVID-19 relief continues. Thank you to all faculty who have supported and risen up with your struggling colleagues.