As negotiations progress on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the CSU’s 29,000 faculty, it’s time to meet members of the CFA Bargaining Team. We’ll be highlighting a few members each week for the rest of the term.
This week, Kevin Wehr, Nichelle Henderson, Vang Vang, and Gwen Urey share why they wanted to be on the Bargaining Team and what they hope to see in a new contract.
Professor of sociology at Sacramento State
Years with CSU: 18
CFA roles: vice president; chair of the Bargaining Team; Sacramento State chapter executive board member
Kevin Wehr is one of CFA’s most seasoned CBA negotiators. He’s served on the CFA Bargaining Team for every contract bargaining cycle over the last 13 years and has seen many changes.
“If you look at the (CFA) Bargaining Team from 2008 when I started and at the Bargaining Team now, it’s a very different team. It’s a team that is much more representative of all our students and faculty around the system. And it really is, I think, a symbolic, but very visible representation of our unions’ transformation towards anti-racism and social justice as a lens for how we look at everything we do,” Wehr said.
For this round, Wehr wants to address items like compensation and equity, while also building upon certain articles added to the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) over the years, such as parental leave.
“We can’t live with the status quo,” he said.
Cal State Teach lecturer at CSU Los Angeles
Years with CSU: 18
CFA roles: former Los Angeles chapter vice president and faculty rights chair
Strengthening faculty rights and protections and achieving long-term benefits for Unit 3 members are goals for Nichelle Henderson in her first time on the CFA Bargaining Team. “Benefits that benefit everyone,” she said.
As she and the team move through the back-and-forth negotiations, Henderson urges members to stay informed, involved, and be patient with the bargaining process.
“Understand that the work we are doing at the bargaining table is for all of us collectively,” she said. “And whatever we work toward, we’re working towards making sure we get everything that we’re asking for, not just a few things, and to have long-term consequences.
Librarian at Fresno State
Years with CSU: 23
CFA roles: co-chair of CFA’s Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Caucus; member of Anti-Racism Social Justice Transformation Core; recently elected CFA treasurer
Vang Vang hopes she helps the CFA Bargaining Team win a contract that all members can be proud of. Her first time on the team, Vang wanted to serve to help provide a voice for women of color in crafting proposals and winning the long-term fight for equity. She also wanted to give back to CFA, the CSU, and her colleagues.
The experience at the negotiating table has been different than she expected. She was hoping for something similar to what she’d seen on TV shows like L.A. Law, where both sides are engaged and passionate about their arguments and work together for solutions.
“I realize that bargaining for the Chancellor’s Office is just a job, one that they have to do. But for us, it’s our livelihood, it’s about our families, our homes, especially our health and safety, and our daily work that brings meaning to our lives,” she said.
Professor and department chair of urban and regional planning at Cal Poly Pomona
Years with CSU: 27
CFA roles: member of Cal Poly Pomona chapter executive board and faculty rights committee
Curiosity is what led Gwen Urey to volunteer to serve on the Bargaining Team, her first time. She’s been struck by how disconnected management is to the daily work and learning happening at CSU campuses.
“I was surprised that they’d be so out of touch with things that really matter to faculty,” Urey said.
To help the Bargaining Team strengthen the contract, Urey urges faculty to attend meetings to stay up to date about negotiations, and to help make sure all Unit 3 members are informed so they are ready to take action or vote on an agreement when the time comes.
Visit www.CFAbargaining.org for updates on negotiations and to read proposals from CFA and the CSU.