As we welcome the Fall 2022 semester and each other, and as we adjust to the ever-shifting challenges of pandemic(s), climate crises, and ongoing systemic racial and gender inequities at the university and beyond, it is vital that we take time out of our busy schedules to know our rights as workers!
Whether you are new to the CSU faculty (in which case, welcome!) or a returning faculty member, there are several union resources that will help you to know about and defend your rights, as we also struggle together for respect and justice.
First, check out our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), also colloquially known as “the contract” (which is not to be confused with an appointment or offer letter you signed at the time of hire – which is also a contract, but not “the contract”). Our CBA, ratified by our members on February 2, 2022, is in effect until June 30, 2024.
Throughout the term, we will share some of its provisions as Faculty Rights Tips in each week of Headlines. “The contract” is not a book of suggestions; it is a legally enforceable document that guarantees the terms of our working conditions. You can find it here. There is a searchable online version and a downloadable PDF. If you would like a paper copy, contact your chapter leaders (see below) for one, while supplies last.
If you believe or even suspect that your rights, as outlined in the CBA, are possibly being violated, immediately get in touch with the CFA leadership on your campus – the chapter president, the faculty rights chair, or the CFA field representative (who is a union staff member). You can find your chapter’s union leaders and your CFA field representative here. This page will take you directly to your chapter’s faculty rights representative, who can help you with filing a grievance or working through other problems. If your issue is a sensitive one, we encourage you to use a personal non-CSU email account when you contact your union representatives. You can read more about filing a grievance here.
Are you on a contingent contract, e.g., for one term, for one year, or for three years? A useful shortcut to the CBA which concisely yet comprehensively explains the rights of contingent faculty (called “Lecturers” or “Lecturer faculty” in the CSU) is the Lecturers’ Handbook, found here.
Are you awash in new institutional acronyms? Check out pages 50-51 of the Lecturers’ Handbook for a useful glossary. Sometimes to know your rights, you’ve got to get to know the language we use in our contract.
We are all CFA, in solidarity with our new and longstanding colleagues. Welcome to the union family!
Please be in contact with your CFA Faculty Rights representative if you feel your rights are not being upheld.