The CFA Bargaining Team continues to center a faculty rights first focus with our latest proposals to CSU management, pursuing career advancement opportunities and added years onto contingent faculty contracts.
At a February 26 session with CSU management, CFA submitted three proposals for our next Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA): reclassification for “temporary” faculty, five-year contracts after nine years of employment, and a “foot in the door” opportunity when there are tenure-line openings.
“These three proposals really emphasize CFA’s commitment to expanding rights, respect, and justice in our CBA for our contingent faculty,” said Meghan O’Donnell, CFA Associate Vice President, Lecturers, North. “They seek to remedy, at least in part, the longstanding exploitation and precariousness that we have endured for too long in the CSU.”
The reclassification proposal creates clear pathways to move qualified contingent faculty to the tenure-track. The pathways include: an option for departments that reclassify an existing contingent faculty member in lieu of a national search, an option when a dedicated tenure-track line has not yet been created, and an option where qualified contingent faculty can self-nominate for reclassification.
“These changes are long overdue,” O’Donnell said.
The five-year contract proposal provides greater long-term stability and permanency in employment for thousands of contingent faculty (called “temporary” in the CBA and by all CSU management) in the form of expanded five-year appointments. Currently, temporary faculty go through six precarious years of review before getting a three-year appointment. CFA proposes that after the initial three-year appointment, upon satisfactory review, temporary faculty would then move into subsequent five-year appointments.
“I think a five-year contract is very important,” said Michele Barr, a kinesiology lecturer at CSU Fullerton and member of the CFA Bargaining Team. “It takes a long time to get to a three-year contract. Lecturers have to prove themselves for six years and then they get a three-year contract. But it really doesn’t give you a whole lot of job security. This proposal allows our colleagues who are long-time lecturers the security of a five-year contract. It puts us more on par with how things are done with our tenure-line colleagues.”
The “foot in the door” opportunity proposal is a way to honor our qualified lecturer, librarian, and counselor colleagues who are research active and/or aspiring to be research active. This proposal promotes greater equity in access to tenure-track jobs through a hiring interview. These faculty would be granted an interview in front of a committee to demonstrate how they are qualified and why they should be appointed to tenure track.These colleagues already dedicate themselves to fostering excellence in education in the CSU, as well as produce scholarship and meaningful research. The opportunity to interview for a tenure-track position affords the respect our colleagues deserve for their work and dedication to the CSU.
The CSU had a proposal for the union – incorporating statutory rights (supported by an MOU and CFA arbitration award on the topic) into Article 6. The proposal also requires that campus information requests be routed through the Chancellor’s Office. Despite our bargaining members coming to the table with forward-thinking, faculty rights-minded proposals, CSU management’s tone at the table remains consistently unchanged. They have no forward-looking ideas and continue to pursue a path toward degradation of our faculty rights.
CFA will continue to update members on bargaining-related negotiations and proposals. Visit CFAbargaining.org for negotiations updates, proposals from CFA and the CSU, and other resources.