Meet Your Bargaining Team

As we gear up for our bargaining campaign over the next few months, CFA Headlines will be introducing members of the team that will be negotiating our next contract. To kick off this series, we are pleased to introduce Kevin Wehr and Antonio Gallo, whose names should be familiar to anyone who has already filled out the Bargaining Survey.

Kevin Wehr juggles his responsibilities as a Professor of Sociology at CSU Sacramento with the duties that come along with being CFA’s Vice President and Bargaining Chair.

A lifelong activist, Kevin’s involvement with CFA dates to 2006, when he got involved in CFA’s ambitious bargaining campaign. He quickly found himself immersed in a heated fight with the CSU, an experience that introduced him to high level organizing and kickstarted an interest in finding solutions to salary inequities. With CFA members on the cusp of a strike, the stakes were high, and Kevin jumped into the work.

“It was certainly trial by fire,” Kevin says recalling his first bargaining experience. “However, as many of our union siblings will admit, there’s nothing quite like a bargaining campaign to get the adrenaline flowing.”

His passion is driven by a desire to play a more active role in matters of social justice and equity and he is proud to be part of a union that takes this seriously.

“CFA is a place where we can all act in solidarity, and so in many ways my work with our union feels like the culmination of a lifetime of working to lend my voice in support of those who lack one.”

Wehr works closely with Antonio Gallo, who serves as Chair of the Contract Development & Bargaining Strategy Committee, is a member of the Bargaining Team, and a Lecturer at CSU Northridge in the Chicano(a) Studies Department.

Since 2014-15, Antonio’s involvement on the bargaining scene has grown significantly and he has thoroughly enjoyed the experience, though he admits it has not come without its challenges and lessons about power and organizing. The work has taught him that fair and carefully developed proposals don’t always win at the table, not because of their content but because management may not think they need to compromise.

“It can be a frustrating experience at times,” Antonio says. “Our team works hard to put forth good faith, reasonable contract proposals, but our actions are oftentimes not reciprocated. Unfortunately, much of the time management tries to play hardball.”

Antonio’s inspiration for this work comes from a source very close to home. Growing up in the housing projects of East Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood, he learned a great deal from his mother, a community organizer and a founder of Homeboy Industries – an organization committed to empowering women and men, who previously were involved in gangs and/or were incarcerated. “My mother would always tell me that no matter how disillusioned or tired you might become, the fight continues,” Antonio says.