CSU Management Dishonors Lecturers, Clings to Status Quo in Latest Bargaining Session
At the bargaining table, CFA members are fighting for rights, respect, and justice for all faculty and students.
CSU management is fighting to keep things the same.
Keeping things the same is not working for our lecturers.
It’s not working for our salary, where many faculty live paycheck-to-paycheck or are losing ground fast to rapidly rising costs of living.
It’s not working for historically marginalized groups like women, Black, Indigenous and people of color, and our LGBTQIA+ and trans colleagues.
The CSU must change with the times. Our bargaining proposals do that.
“When we were in bargaining last week, hearing management’s responses to our proposals, it just took the air out of us because of the blatant disregard for people’s – our lecturers’ particularly – livelihoods,” said Margarita Berta-Ávila, Bargaining Team member and Associate Vice President, North. “But also the blatant disregard of the contributions that our lecturers and other faculty members like women, Black, Indigenous and people of color faculty, and our LGBTQIA+ and trans are giving every single day.”
“What that then tells us is that though CSU management says they are centering students, by this demonstration of disrespect, clearly it’s not about the students and the faculty who provide the learning conditions that our students are engaging in. It’s truly about the CSU’s bottom line,” Berta- Ávila added.
At our latest bargaining session last Thursday for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, management continued their rallying cry for the status quo.
They again rejected our salary proposal, a reasonable 4-percent across-the-board annual raise for 2020-21, 2021-22, and 2022-23, with additional enhancements for other groups, and the requirement of a salary study to address racial and gender inequities.
CSU management stuck to their paltry 2-percent singular raise proposal for 2021-22. This during a “historic” budget year for the CSU. This while the CSU continues to amass enormous reserves on the backs of employees and students.
Over the last five years – from the 2016-17 to the 2020-21 academic years – CSU annual revenue has exceeded expenses by more than $634 million. Couple that with more than $1 billion in reserves and $1.6 billion the CSU received in COVID-19-related federal stimulus, and it’s easy to see the CSU has the money to provide fair and reasonable raises to faculty.
Anything less than 4 percent is not only disingenuous after the sacrifices faculty made during COVID-19, but is a pay cut due to inflation at or above 4 percent across the state.
CSU management also rejected CFA proposals that would provide job security for lecturers and coaches, some of the most vulnerable faculty in the CSU.
Among our proposals:
- Providing greater long-term stability and permanency in employment for thousands of contingent faculty in the form of expanded five-year appointments.
- Offering a “foot in the door” opportunity, a way to honor our qualified lecturer, librarian, and counselor colleagues who are research active and/or aspiring to be research active, and promoting greater equity in access to tenure-track jobs through a hiring interview.
- Creating clear pathways to move qualified contingent faculty to the tenure-track.
- Strengthening job security for coaching faculty by ensuring they have access to multi-year contract rights, thus addressing a long-standing exclusion of coaches from basic job security.
In rebuffing our proposals, CSU management disrespectfully dismissed any issues with the CSU’s current practice of letting lecturers and coaches live precariously on the edge, some with only one-year contracts. Our proposals attempt to address long-standing inequities that shape the work lives of the majority of CSU faculty.
“By rejecting our proposals and hoping to maintain the status quo, CSU management disrespect the faculty who do most of the teaching in the CSU, which means they disrespect teaching,” said Antonio Gallo, Bargaining Team member and lecturer at CSU Northridge. “Their actions at the bargaining table show CSU management’s desire to maintain the exploitation and low-cost of their labor force. They don’t want to give us good pay or job security.”
But management always finds money to pay themselves. At this week’s Board of Trustees meeting, trustees approved a plan to increase compensation for high-level administrators (by 10 percent a year in some cases), most of whom already make well above $300,000 a year.
Also at last week’s bargaining session, the CSU team questioned our proposal increasing parental leave from a maximum of 30 days to a minimum of a full semester/two quarters.
CSU thinks the current policy is sufficient. Meanwhile, employers across the state and nation are expanding their parental leave programs to six, nine, and 12 months recognizing the impact of family planning on career advancement, and to create greater equity for women and employees of color.
Adopting our parental leave proposal is an opportunity for the CSU to be a moral leader. Instead, they criticized our parental leave presentation from last bargaining session.
We do have good news to report: both sides appear to agree on broadening our sick leave article. We’re working on folding in language that allows faculty to donate to a catastrophic leave bank for use by other faculty experiencing natural disaster emergencies like wildfires. With climate change an ever-present danger, CFA members want to expand this program.
We meet again with the CSU bargaining team next week, and will update members as negotiations progress. Get updates and read proposals anytime at www.CFAbargaining.org.