Union democracy and power were strong on Thursday, with 75 energized and agitated CFA activists present as the CSU management and CFA bargaining teams met again.
During the first bargaining session on June 27th, we agreed to set aside the negotiations on ground rules and instead respond to management’s questions regarding our re-opener proposals on Articles 20, 23, 31, and 37 (Workload, Leaves of Absence with Pay, Salary, and Health and Safety), which include fighting for a 12% general wage increase, pay equity, fair workload, adequate parental leave, and safe campuses.
Management returned with counteroffers to our re-opener proposals at the July 20th bargaining session. The response to management’s counteroffers varied from anger and frustration to disillusionment. Many repeated that the most vulnerable people that our contract proposals aim to support were the most erased in the counteroffers.
In short, management’s counteroffers were out of touch and disrespectful.
Here are some of the major points of their three-year proposal.
- A 4% General Salary Increase (GSI) this year.
- Two years with a 3% GSI coupled with a yet-to-be-bargained 1% salary pool, all of which is contingent on annual state funding for the CSU. (We’ve been there before!)
- Refusal to raise the salary floor for the lowest paid lecturers.
- Refusal to bargain over proposals that address community well-being and police harassment on campus. Management argues that our proposals are out of “scope.”
- No meaningful response on workload and a complete rejection of course caps.
- Rejection of expanded paid parental leave and catastrophic leave.
- Offensive and out of touch response to our proposals on gender-inclusive restrooms and changing facilities.
- Management proposes a three-year contract extension, which would close us off from addressing other areas of the contract, delaying next year’s full contract negotiations until 2026.
You can see the full text of the proposals from the CSU management here.
CFA Vice President and Sacramento State Professor Margarita Berta-Avila expressed the collective feeling of the room, “it is clear that the institution is willing to forsake all of us to keep the university running.”
Associate Vice President of Racial & Social Justice, South, CSU San Marcos Professor Sharon Elise observed that the CSU’s bargaining position on parental leave indicated that they “refuse to support parenting people.”
Amid an increase in attacks on transgender and nonbinary people, the management bargaining team’s lack of response to our health and safety proposals was frustrating and felt deeply by the bargaining team.
Berta-Avila explained that our proposal on health and safety gives an “opportunity for the CSU to take a strong position on safety.” Instead, CSU management gave the impression that they were not taking these issues seriously.
“We’re in a state of emergency because rights for transgender and nonbinary folks are being questioned or abridged in a lot of different places throughout the country. Additionally, violence and the threat of violence is always there,” said Cal Poly Humboldt Faculty Rights Chair Loren Cannon. “To have management seem to not notice that at all—to not realize that the safety and health of transgender and nonbinary folks should be a priority for them—was really disheartening.”
Despite the palpable sense of frustration, the room had a determined and resolved vibe. “The spirit, atmosphere, and energy are so beautiful here.” Professor James Martel from SF State explained.
Martel implored others to come, “I wish those of you who aren’t here could just be here to feel it. You should come to future meetings because it’s unbelievable.”
The next bargaining session will be August 1st, to receive bargaining updates click here. To stay updated on negotiations, go to www.CFAbargaining.org.
If you know any colleagues who are not CFA members, ask them to join.