LA Labor Fed & other CLC strike sanctions mean millions back CFA

Los Angeles Federation of Labor Executive Director Rusty Hicks joined California Faculty Association President Jennifer Eagan and other CFA officers and members yesterday at Cal State LA to announce a Strike Sanction granted to CFA should CSU faculty strike over fair faculty pay.

“We are standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity with the tens of thousands of faculty all across the state,” said Hicks.  “When we grant strike sanction it means … that the mail doesn’t get delivered, the trash doesn’t get picked up and construction on these campuses ceases,” he said.

The LA Labor Fed, which has affiliated labor unions that represent some 800,000 working people in Los Angeles County, joined 15 other Central Labor Councils from Humboldt to Orange County granting Strike Sanctions to CFA.

Through strike sanctions, union Central Labor Councils call on the union members in their jurisdiction not to cross the strikers’ picket lines, and to lend other kinds of support.

That can mean, for example, UPS and mail deliveries stop, public buses do not enter campus, trash is not collected, and unionized tradespeople do not go onto campus to build or make repairs.

“A storm is coming,” CFA President Jennifer Eagan told the crowd of faculty, students and reporters assembled for the news call/conference about the Strike Sanctions. “The faculty are fed up with not only the low pay, but with the hostility and poor treatment they receive from CSU management.  That’s why we’re willing to strike.”

CFA Secretary Molly Talcott, president of the Los Angeles CFA Chapter, said, “Chancellor White is on a tour to talk about innovative teaching, but no one cares more about teaching than the faculty. We care so much about our students’ lives, their intellects, and their futures that we put up with pathetic wages that few other professionals with advanced degrees do.”

Talbott added, “But this year, we are done being told by university elites—people like Chancellor White who make a higher salary than President Obama!—that they can simply do no more for the faculty than what is on the table.”

CSULA faculty member Enrique Ochoa, addressed an often-asked question: Won’t a faculty strike hurt students?

“The system has been short-changing students—raising their fees, investing too little in faculty and staff which hinders students’ struggle to achieve their goals,” Ochoa explained. “Students understand that faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.”

He continued, “As a faculty member, I feel it essential to teach students that we must stand up for ourselves and for the public good. This is what the fight for five is about. Taking a stand will not harm students. Quite the contrary, not taking a stand further weakens the CSU. We must show students that we all must be involved in deciding the future of the CSU.” 

PHOTO: LA County Federation of Labor Exec. Director Rusty Hicks at CFA news conference/call with CFA faculty leaders (right to left) Molly Talcott, Enrique Ochoa, Jennifer Eagan, Cecil Canton, David Bradfield, Lillian Taiz, Jonathan Karpf and Kevin Wehr.