CFA Negotiates Stronger Safeguards for Faculty Impacted by COVID-19

CFA reached a Memorandum of Understanding with the CSU that substantially protects faculty during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn.

CFA member leaders have been meeting with the Chancellor’s Office for months to come to agreement on a variety of matters relating to COVID-19 and the health and safety of faculty, working conditions, and contract rights.  This agreement provides temporary flexibility of our contract language in order to address some of the concerns raised by faculty. See a copy of the MOU here.

Highlights of the MOU:

  • Allows full-time faculty to apply for a reduction in their workload assignment for Academic Year 2020-21, so that their colleagues on part-time appointments can pick up additional work and maintain benefits eligibility.
  • Allows faculty on temporary appointments who may have a reduction in their entitlement assignments for 2020-21 to maintain their current time base entitlement for Academic Year 2019-20, if they become eligible for course assignments in 2021-22.  This protects faculty preference for work for those who may lose work during state budget cuts, but who return to the CSU in the future.
  • Loosens restrictions for the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) and Pre-Retirement Reduction in Time Base (PRTB) applications for 2020-21.
  • Allows faculty who do not receive evaluations in 2019-20 due to COVID-19 to be deemed eligible for course assignments in 2020-21.
  • Mandates continued training for department chairs on the rules of Article 12.29 of the CFA Collective Bargaining Agreement to make sure chairs better understand and apply the preference for temporary work guidelines.
  • Endeavors the CSU to maintain or increase our FTE counselor-to-student ratios systemwide.

“CFA undertook this effort specifically to protect our contingent faculty in their long-term employment, regardless of the enrollment or budget concerns facing the CSU next year as a result of COVID-19,” said Meghan O’Donnell, CFA Associate Vice President, Lecturers, North, and member of the team who bargained the MOU.  “To that end, one of the key provisions of this MOU extends the time base entitlement of a contingent faculty member from the Academic Year of 2019-20 to the Academic Year of 2021-22, regardless of whether a contingent faculty member sees a drop in their time base next year. It essentially freezes a contingent faculty members’ entitlement. We also won some additional provisions that are critical for contingent faculty, including adjusting the normal CBA mandated ‘preference for work’ steps for Academic Year 2021-22 to our lecturers’ advantage, and ensuring that a lecturer’s continuous employee status would be maintained, regardless of their time base next year, for the purposes of accruing years towards a 3-year appointment.” 

CFA will continue meeting with campus and CSU administrations during the summer to work on agreements that safeguard faculty safety, rights, and work.  We’ll reach out to members as we make more progress.