SJSU CFA One Step Closer to Victory in University Interference Case

In defending the rights of women of color in tenure and promotions, San José State CFA leaders are pleased that the board overseeing labor relations between CFA and CSU issued a complaint that the administration interfered with the labor rights of CFA members.

During the Spring 2019 semester, the San José CFA Chapter observed an unusually high number of tenure and promotion denials, and the chapter filed nine grievances for members who had been denied tenure and/or promotion.  Of the nine grievants, seven were women of color.  Understandably, the chapter became concerned not only with the increased volume of tenure and promotion denials, but also with the fact that they were disproportionately women of color. 

In Fall 2019, the San José Chapter’s Anti-Racism and Social Justice Transformation Committee sent a letter to the SJSU Academic Senate expressing its concerns over the tenure denials.  The Senate assigned the topic to the appropriate committee, which began an inquiry into the matter.  The Committee on Racial and Social Justice engaged with the faculty senate as part of its mission to challenge systemic racism and engage with faculty about how policies, criteria, practices, and norms can produce unjust outcomes for women and people of color.

In October 2019, the Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs sent a notice to both the Senate and the union that it was inappropriate for CFA to have contacted the Senate and that it is inappropriate for the Senate to look into the matter.  CFA filed an unfair practice charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) alleging that the University interfered with employees’ rights to consult with the Academic Senate over retention, tenure, and promotion policies.

Last week, PERB issued a complaint against the CSU confirming CFA’s charge.  The next step in the process allows for the CSU to file an answer to PERB’s complaint. 

CFA will continue its fight against structural racism at San José State, the CSU, California, and the United States at large.