Faculty Rights Tip: What is HEERA?
If you have been following CFA’s bargaining updates from last week’s CFA Headlines or on www.CFAbargaining.org, you may have noticed references to “HEERA,” one of the many acronyms that appear in labor organizing, state law, and in university life.
HEERA is the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act. It was passed by the California Legislature in 1978 and enacted in 1979.
It covers employer-employee labor relations for the California State University and the University of California systems. (Different acts provide for community colleges, K-12, and other state employees.) HEERA is similar to the National Labor Relations Act, but it is tailored to public employees in the CSU and UC.
HEERA provides a number of employee and union rights, including our right to collective bargaining. Additionally, HEERA sets out the steps in our bargaining process – including fact-finding. When we complete fact-finding, we can take job actions up to and including a strike. If you are wondering why we can’t hit the picket lines today, or what declaring impasse and requesting mediation means with regard to winning a fair contract, you can read all about the statutory processes that govern our fight for a just collective bargaining agreement in HEERA.
HEERA is also the act protecting the union from unilateral changes to terms and conditions of employment. When the CSU issues new policies (like the vaccine mandate or other rules in the workplace) it must notify CFA and meet with the union before implementing the changes. CFA files unfair practice charges when the CSU implements new policies without first meeting and conferring with the union.
See the complete text of HEERA here.
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