CFA Fresno State Chapter President, Diane Blair
Remarks to Fall 2016 Academic Assembly

CFA Chapter President Remarks for Fall 2016 Academic Assembly

Dr. Diane M. Blair

August 17, 2016

Last year we saw how a unified faculty can be successful in our advocacy and I want to once again thank all the faculty who participated in our hard fought campaign for a fair and much needed salary package!

The Fight for Five was an unprecedented campaign that would not have been possible without the activism and dedication of our members.

A special thanks to all our CFA Department Reps who outreached to colleagues

To our CFA Activists who got on the bus to the Board of Trustees meeting back in November to attend our statewide rally

To our student advocates and SQE—Students for Quality Education!

To all the faculty, staff, and students who attended our campus rallies and solidarity events,

And to our Strike Planning Committee and our local CFA Officers who were central to our campus preparation and organizing during the campaign.

We proved that the faculty is a force to be reckoned with to both our Chancellor and ourselves.

Please take a moment to consider the demonstrable benefits that all Unit 3 employees—including our librarians, counselors, and coaches enjoy as a result of our union and your efforts to support our statewide bargaining team and the collective bargaining process. Even some of our staff benefited from these efforts and we thank them too for their support along the way! There is power in our unity.

In the coming year our efforts will continue with a focus on:

Advocating and for and promoting efforts to increase tenure density on our campuses,

Defending academic freedom and shared governance—in particular making sure our lecturers are fairly represented within our academic shared government bodies.

We will also continue our efforts to secure state funding for the CSU—in particular we will be asking our members to get involved in supporting Prop 55, which will protect an estimated $250 million dollars in annual funding for the CSU.

And we will also be asking for your input regarding bargaining once again—believe it or not we will be back at the bargaining table next summer. The process has been moved up in the hopes that we can get our proposals on the table prior to the CSU’s budget request to the legislature. Hopefully this will address the on-going problems we’ve had with bargaining after the state’s budget allocation has already happened and the Chancellor uses those numbers to cry poor.

We will also be negotiating the whole of our contract next time around—not just salary but also things like workload, pension contributions, and health care benefits. We need your participation in these conversations and the bargaining team needs to know your priorities. As such we will be hosting a bargaining meeting for membership later this semester and statewide will also be putting together a survey that will go out to all members based on feedback from those initial meetings this semester. Stay tuned for dates and times.

CFA is also embarking on a journey of transformation. Over the next year we will be involved in a statewide review of our organization’s policies, practices, and culture. The goal of this review, reflection, and training is to ensure that we are stewards of our best values and that CFA’s commitment to anti-racism and social justice is reflected in our day-to-day operations, documents, policies and procedures. I’m proud and excited to be a part of an organization that is willing to embrace the challenges and opportunities that are sure to come from such a critical assessment of our organization, and I hope many of you will be willing to join the journey with us.

One way to be a part of that journey with us is to participate in our Unconscious Bias Workshop. You should have received an email regarding this workshop scheduled for next Friday, August 26th 12-5pm. If you are interested please feel free to respond to that email directly or contact me.

Also I’d like to invite you to join us at our Welcome Back Social on that same Friday (August 26) 4-7pm. We will be hosting the social in the Vintage Room on campus—just like in the past no agenda for this gathering—just an opportunity to enjoy pizza, beverages, and reconnecting with colleagues.

On behalf of myself and our CFA Chapter Officers—Thanks for your support and best wishes for the start of the semester!