Question: What does it all mean for students?

The questions are flying about the possible faculty strike in April, and it’s a good thing that people want to know more about it. Check out:

One of the frequently asked questions is, what does it all mean for our students?

“It means the CSU faculty are taking a stand for public higher education and for the future of this state university,” explains CFA President Jennifer Eagan.

“The strike action that the faculty may take won’t hurt students, but a faculty who would sit by quietly while the whole CSU system devalues instruction, disrespects faculty, and shifts the cost of this public good onto the shoulders of students and their families would hurt students,” Eagan says.

While faculty can take action like a strike only over issues in their contract, there is a lot more at stake than pay in the faculty’s battle for a better CSU that is more committed to teaching.

“This is about more than salary; it is also about values,” Eagan says. “We are dedicated to protecting our students and public higher education. We’re also fighting to protect our profession and our livelihoods.”

As a student told a CFA member, “You can’t say you’re putting students first when you put our teachers last.”

Although the CSU management’s message to the public is that they care most about students, faculty who endured through the furlough in 2009-10, and the 10% pay cut that came with it, recall very few managers worrying over students’ lost school days at that time.

“When faculty were asked to take furlough days—two days a month for an entire year—the administration was minimally concerned about impact on students,” recounts Diane Blair, CFA Chapter President at Fresno.

She points out, “This strike, if we have to do it, will not prevent any student from graduating or finishing courses this semester. But, continual disinvestment in the faculty hurts our students every day!”

News from CFA: When chancellor refuses to pay faculty fair salaries, he is hurting students, too