Magazine Article

Back to The Table
CFA and CSU management commence talks on a successor contract

Fall 2017

By Kevin Wehr
Chair, CFA Bargaining Team
Sociology, CSU Sacramento

In early July, the California Faculty Association’s Board of Directors
adopted a set of bargaining proposals upon recommendation from CFA’s
Bargaining Team and the CFA Contract Development and Bargaining
Strategy Committee. These “Sunshine Proposals” were presented to the
California State University Board of Trustees at its July 18, 2017 meeting.

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

The strong response to the bargaining survey and the great interest expressed at campus meetings are encouraging first steps in the bargaining process. We have an excellent team at the bargaining table, but contracts are always won through action on the campuses, not just at negotiations.

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

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

CFA members up and down the state were clear that we need salary increases that keep us ahead of inflation and address low overall pay, salary inequities, and the ability to move upwards in range. In addition, responding to threatened benefits, faculty strongly voiced the position that we must maintain our current levels of health and pension benefits, with contributions held at status quo.

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 also is felt keenly 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.

Building on efforts made in our last collective bargaining agreement, CFA will pursue an expansion of recognition and fair compensation for faculty engaged in exceptional levels of service to students who are under-served, first-generation, and/or underrepresented in higher education.

Also, as strongly indicated by faculty in the bargaining survey and at campus bargaining meetings, CFA will also seek to improve parental and other types of leave.

Consistent with CFA’s recent and ongoing commitments, we will seek further steps to 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. For instance, 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, Chico, and Fullerton campuses.

On several campuses (Sacramento, Chico, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and others), faculty members have experienced environmental health and safety threats. CFA continues to work on these issues through the grievance process, but will seek updated contract language that can address the infrastructure challenges our campuses face.

Based on widespread faculty rejection of a draft policy circulated by the CSU Chancellor’s Office, both by the Academic Senates and strongly ex-pressed during CFA meetings on the campuses, CFA will seek to ensure that all faculty continue to enjoy ownership of their Intellectual Property in the course of normal work.

In order to support the CFA Bargaining Team’s efforts at the table, we will be asking faculty to take action around the successor contract negoti-ations this academic year. If past is prologue, we will have a fight on our hands sooner rather than later. We’ll need faculty to show up and stand up!

Please connect with your local chapter to find out what you can do to help us win a fair contract.

RELATED LINKS

See the ‘Unit 3: Faculty’ Collective Bargaining Agreement

Watch for updates about  the negotiations

Contact your campus CFA chapter

Commands