As negotiations continue for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement for the CSU’s 29,000 faculty, it is time to meet members of the CFA Bargaining Team. We will be highlighting a few members each week for the rest of the term.

This week, Michele Barr, Steven Filling, Carrie Sakai, and Charles Toombs share why they wanted to be on the Bargaining Team and what they hope to see in a new contract.

Charles Toombs
Professor of Africana Studies at San Diego State
CFA roles: CFA President, CFA Board of Directors, member of CFA Bargaining Team, member of CFA Political Action and Legislative Committee, Immediate Past President, CFA San Diego State Chapter

As an active member leader, Charles Toombs believes the policy work within this year’s bargaining team will ensure the most inclusive rights for faculty at the CSU. From five-year contracts, three-year coaching deals, to workload concerns, and academic freedom, Toombs feels this expansion of rights will go a long way to retaining the best and the brightest at the CSU.

“In doing this, we really extend the successor contract that protects the rights of our faculty, to offer respect for all the great work they do,” he said.

Watch Toombs discuss what it means to him to serve on the bargaining team.

Carrie Sakai
Retired, former counselor at San Diego State
CFA roles: Auxiliary member, CFA Counselors Committee, member of CFA Bargaining Team 

Carrie Sakai knows the importance of the Bargaining Team’s work. Sakai recently retired from her career as a counselor at San Diego State and said she was the beneficiary of past bargained contracts that made her retirement possible. As a first-time bargaining team member, she wants to contribute and give back to her fellow members.

As negotiations continue, one word that comes to mind for her is contrast.

“There is such a big contrast between our side of the table – the CFA side of the table – where it’s energizing to work with these colleagues who share these values of equity and respect and justice and they’re dedicating time and thinking hard and being creative; all of that is happening with the CFA folks,” said Sakai. “And then when we sit at the table with management, I was really surprised…at the contrast between that energy that I feel we bring at CFA.”

Watch Sakai explain what members can do to support the Bargaining Team and achieve a strong CBA.

Steven Filling, Ph.D.
Professor of Accounting and Finance at Stanislaus State
CFA roles: Chair, Political Action & Legislative Committee, CFA Board of Directors, member of CFA Bargaining Team, member of CFA Audit Committee, member of CFA Health and Retirement Benefits Committee, Past President, CFA Stanislaus Chapter

Steven Filling has been at the bargaining table before. For his fellow colleagues, Filling hopes they are treated humanely in future years and not treated as disposable tools. He wants fair compensation and respect for all faculty. Filling and the Bargaining Team are pursuing proposals around lecturer contracts, as well as coaching and counselor proposals.

But when speaking with CSU management, he said they continue to “twist themselves in knots to try to make something look like it’s a problem.”

Watch Filling discuss what it is like sitting at the bargaining table with the CSU.

Michele Barr, EdD
Lecturer of Kinesiology at CSU Fullerton
CFA roles: Fullerton CFA Chapter at-large assembly delegate, member of CFA Bargaining Team, CFA Fullerton board member and faculty rights member, Past President, CFA Fullerton Chapter

Joining the bargaining team in 2015 and now on her third go-around, Michele Barr pushes for a change in the culture for lecturers. Barr felt one aspect to change on her own campus was to help more lecturers understand the contract and conditions of their re-hire.

Her goals this contract? Five-year contracts and lecturer conversion.

“It takes a long time to get to a three-year contract. Lecturers have got to prove themselves for six years and then they get a three-year contract,” said Barr. “It really doesn’t give you a whole lot of job security.

“(For a five-year contract), we’re really talking about folks who are long-time lecturers the security of a five-year contract.”

Watch Barr share her thoughts on additional goals during bargaining.


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