As negotiations progress on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the CSU’s 29,000 faculty, we continue to meet members of the CFA Bargaining Team. Over the past five weeks, CFA has shared narratives of nearly every Bargaining Team member, their goals for a new contract, and how faculty members can support their union.
In our series finale, we highlight Loren Cannon, Sharon Elise, Richard Francisco, and Molly Talcott as the four share their goals and expectations this year.
Lecturer of philosophy at Humboldt State
Years with CSU: 15
CFA roles: CFA Humboldt Chapter President
Loren Cannon calls serving on the Bargaining Team an “awesome responsibility” and is looking to expand rights and offer more security for fellow lecturers in the new CBA.
He envisions a more “robustly secure” CBA for lecturer jobs, with a pathway to a more permanent position.
“I know what it’s like to have 15 years of precarity, and it’s really tough,” said Cannon. “In many ways, it just seems that you are constantly on the edge of not knowing whether your job is going to be there the next year or whether you have the privilege of having your research honored and valued.
“I think (CFA’s CBA) can even be improved and provide more security for lecturers like myself.”
Professor of sociology at CSU San Marcos
Years with CSU: 32
CFA roles: Associate Vice President, Racial & Social Justice, South
In her first go-around with the CFA Bargaining Team, Sharon Elise is looking at addressing systemic and structural racism and discrimination in the new Unit 3 contract.
“I really love any opportunity to try to bring the (anti-racism social justice) lens to things,” Elise said. “And I think that it’s one of the most important things we do.
“That’s just an excellent place to bring that lens in of how can we use the CBA that we put together through bargaining to really enhance what we’re able to do in advancing our anti-racism social justice work.”
Among the changes pursued, she is seeking to address known biases in student evaluations that adversely affect women and faculty of color. Another important change is reimagining health and safety on campus, which would include campus without policing.
Counselor at San Jose State University
CFA roles: CFA San Jose Chapter Treasurer
Giving back is why Richard Francisco wanted to join the CFA Bargaining Team. It’s the help the union offered him when he went through the Retention, Tenure, and Promotion (RTP) process that inspired his fight for a better CBA.
In addition to securing a fair contract for members, Francisco wants to work on counselor faculty rights issues, citing an ongoing discrimination case of counselors faculty of color who were up for tenure at his campus.
“It seems as if the rights of counselor faculty have been eroding now for quite a while,” Francisco said. “Committee levels approved them, but the provost and the president did not approve them, so they were denied tenure. And so that is one of the things I want to see is something like that change.”
Professor of sociology at CSU Los Angeles
Years with CSU: 12
CFA roles: Chair of CFA Representation Committee; Los Angeles CFA Chapter Faculty Rights chair
Molly Talcott understands the timeline of bargaining a new contract first-hand. She joined the CFA Bargaining Team in 2014-15 as helped lead the Fight for Five fight in 2016.
This time around, her approach is for short-term and long-term gains for faculty rights. Long-term? Grow the People’s University so that faculty, students, and staff have more say and democratic control over the university system. Short-term? The fairest deal possible for faculty with each contract.
“That requires me to think about things like cultural taxation, right? The way that the labor of women faculty, faculty of color … experience life, experience work (in the CSU system),” Talcott said. “(The CFA Bargaining Team is) trying to build more social justice into the contract.”
“Of course, we live in the most expensive state in the country, so I’m always thinking about how faculty, especially lecturer faculty, can get paid enough to survive.”
Visit www.CFAbargaining.org for updates on negotiations and to read proposals from CFA and the CSU.