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Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: Safety

Article 37 of our Collective Bargaining Agreement covers workplace safety for all Unit 3 faculty members — instructional faculty, counselors, librarians, and coaches.

It is the administration’s responsibility to ensure that faculty members are not required to work in unsafe conditions or perform tasks that endanger health or safety.

In this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, CFA continues to press administration on its responsibility to establish and maintain safe conditions through its repopulation plans, both systemwide and on each unique campus. We remain unsatisfied with the CSU’s lack of planning for Fall 2021 (along with its lack of support for caregivers during Winter/Spring 2021), and we will continue to relentlessly advocate for safe working conditions for all Unit 3 faculty members in the CSU.

When faculty members believe that they are being required to work under unhealthy or unsafe conditions, they should notify “appropriate administrators,” i.e. college deans and campus provosts. The university must then investigate complained-of conditions as soon as possible and immediately communicate the results of their investigations. If necessary, the university also must explain the steps that will be taken to correct the conditions.

Faculty members also may request temporary reassignments when they believe in good faith that their current assignment presents a clear danger to their health and safety. The administration must respond to such requests and may not unreasonably deny them during the preliminary aspect of any investigation.

Please check out Article 37 for other important safety provisions.

On February 4, CFA’s Bargaining Team proposed improvements to Article 37, which you can read about here. As noted on our bargaining website, these include “expanding Article 37 to strengthen the ways the CSU addresses the impact of racism on our campuses by designating alternatives to campus police and appointing faculty to serve in ombudsperson roles for employee conflicts,” and updating “the CBA to provide for emergency response programs at all campuses in light of frequent emergencies and campus closures due to natural disasters. With climate change, natural disasters are likely to increase, and the CBA should reflect the world we live in.”

Want to learn more? Become active with your local CFA chapter Faculty Rights team. Find your representative here.