CFA Bargaining Chair Kevin Wehr’s comments to CSU Trustees

Kevin Wehr, chair of CFA’s Bargaining Team, made the following comments to the CSU Board of Trustees at their meeting on July 18, 2017.

Good morning. My name is Kevin Wehr, Professor at CSU Sacramento and Chair of Bargaining for CFA.

Today we are exchanging “sunshine proposals” and we hope to begin negotiations in August. As part of our agreement last April, both sides will bargain in good faith to provide this Board with guidelines for a compensation package to include in your Budget Proposal to the [California State] Department of Finance, as required by State law.

In preparing our proposals, we consulted widely with our members, analyzed and reviewed the responses to a comprehensive bargaining survey undertaken in Fall 2016, and met with members on all 23 CSU campuses throughout the 2016-2017 Academic Year.

Faculty continue to urge CFA leadership to fight hard on four major areas of contract development:

  • Improve Salaries and Benefits
  • Ensure Fairness in Faculty Hiring and Appointments
  • Address Workload Issues
  • Improve the Quality of Life on the Job

CFA members across the state were clear that we need salary increases that keep faculty ahead of inflation and address low overall pay, salary inequities, and the ability to move upwards in range.

One issue that faculty on every campus identified as a problem is workload, including low tenure density and how this affects teaching assignments for lecturers and service assignments for tenure line faculty. In bargaining, CFA’s team will seek to clarify and improve the appointment process for both lecturer and tenure-line faculty, including addressing problems connected to tenure density that impact the quality of education and professional standards.

The tenure density issue is also keenly felt among counselor faculty, who have seen a precipitous drop in tenure-line hiring, affecting their ability to serve the mental health and safety needs of our campuses.

Consistent with CFA’s recent and ongoing commitments, we will seek to further address racism, gender-based discrimination, and other issues of social justice that impact the working conditions of all Unit 3 faculty: instructional faculty, counselor faculty, coaching faculty, and librarian faculty. Recent social science research has shown strong and consistent patterns of bias in student evaluations. In order to promote fairness and equality, our contract should address such issues head-on.

The CFA Bargaining Team also will seek to articulate faculty rights to Academic Freedom in the next contract. This is especially important in light of the heightened political climate that has presented threats to faculty (as well as students and others in the CSU community), as evidenced by situations on the San Francisco, Stanislaus, and Chico campuses, and as you heard here today, on the Fullerton campus.

We fully expect good faith bargaining on the part of your representatives and anticipate that your team will agree to a timeline that allows for this body to comply with state law in providing the Department of Finance an accurate and complete budget proposal reflecting a fair—and negotiated—compensation package before the November [2017] Trustees meeting.