In last week’s Faculty Rights Tip, we discussed HEERA, the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, which governs our bargaining process.
Now that we are officially at the “impasse” stage of contract negotiations with the CSU, many CFA members are curious and interested about the prospect of going on strike. If you are wondering why faculty did not withhold labor or go on strike the moment CFA declared impasse with the CSU, now is an opportune time to become familiar with Article 9 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Article 9, “Concerted Activities,” states the following:
9.1 During the life of this Agreement, faculty unit employees shall not engage in strikes or other concerted activity that would interfere with or adversely affect the operations or the mission of the CSU.
9.2 The CFA shall not promote, organize, or support any strike or other concerted activity.
9.3 The CFA shall endeavor to prevent faculty unit employees from participating in a concerted activity which would interfere with or adversely affect the operations or the mission of the CSU.
Even though the CBA is now “expired,” its terms remain in effect until we complete the statutory process that includes mediation (which we will begin this month) and factfinding (if it comes to that). Only after completing the statutory process can faculty legally strike.
To be sure, faculty can engage in informational pickets and other actions in support of our bargaining efforts. Even in this time of COVID-19 precautions, we will be active and engaged in our fight for a fair contract.
Although you may be readying your picket sign or your papier-mâché puppet, be advised that we will not strike until we complete the statutory process.
However, looking to the future, it is important to know that a strike is protected, and you cannot be disciplined for striking, when the following three conditions have been met:
- Bargaining has been completed.
- CFA has called a strike and given notice of the strike to the CSU.
- Strikers withhold all their labor.
Unless and until we reach that point in the process, we can discuss our campaign for a fair contract freely, talk with colleagues and students about what is happening, and wear our “I don’t want to strike, but I will!” t-shirts, while respecting Article 9 and the statutory path we are proceeding down, as governed by HEERA. In the meantime, we organize, organize, organize!
Want to learn more about your union? Become active with your local CFA chapter Faculty Rights team and find your representative here.