Members, Students Rise Up for Social Justice and a Fair Contract
CFA members, students, staff, and supporters across California came together Tuesday to rally for a fair contract outside the CSU Trustees meeting.
More than 130 people chanted outside the Chancellor’s Office in Long Beach and listened to faculty and students share heartfelt stories of struggle, dedication, and service.
“We are here today because we are asking for respect for CSU lecturers. We’re not just asking for a fair wage … we are also asking for five-year contracts so we can get some job security. This is my 25th year as a lecturer. For the longest time, I was a part-time, temporary employee – talk about lack of respect,” Päivi Hoikkala, CFA Pomona member and Cal Poly Pomona lecturer, told the crowd. “We are asking for respect. We need to have respect for our work.”
In addition, more than 50 CFA members and students spoke during public comment at the Board of Trustees meeting, calling on trustees and Chancellor Joseph I. Castro to put their social justice and equity rhetoric into action and accept CFA’s bargaining proposals to eliminate long-standing inequities at the CSU.
We’ll have a more detailed report from Long Beach in next week’s Headlines. In the meantime, watch the rally video.
Tuesday’s rally concluded a month of actions across our 23 CFA chapters as CFA is at impasse and began state-mandated mediation with CSU management over a new collective bargaining agreement.
Members gathered and delivered open letter petitions to CSU campus presidents across the state imploring them to call on Chancellor Castro to settle a fair contract with faculty. The petitions remind presidents that it is their responsibility to speak up for their campus community, and to recognize the diligent and dedicated work faculty perform to keep students learning and graduating. The petitions ask presidents to be bold and add their voices to CFA’s demands for fair and just compensation and working conditions, and the elimination of systemic racism at the CSU. More than 9,300 faculty have signed on to the petitions.
View photos and videos from chapter activities. Actions included:
CFA Sacramento members had the pleasure of both delivering their petition to President Nelsen, and warmly and noisily greeting Chancellor Castro during his campus visit. Members and students asked Castro tough questions during his public forum, and rallied outside, imploring Castro to cease “delaying, denying, and devaluing” and to stop “clowning around.”
“During our open forum, Chancellor Castro remarked, ‘Actions speak louder than words,’ and that he and his team are diligently working on protecting the interests of our faculty, staff, and student body. He is certainly right that actions do speak louder than words, yet his actions are contrary to that of public education,” said Jonathan Chen, CFA Sacramento membership and organizing chair and Sacramento State philosophy lecturer. “A fair raise for faculty could transform the working conditions for many of us who are living below or around the poverty line. As someone who has been in a predicament where securing housing and food have been an issue, even the slightest monetary gain can make all the difference.
“I’m proud of my colleagues who are rallying for a fair contract and rising up for themselves, their students, and their families.”
In October, CFA East Bay held a “Dismal Carnival” to raise awareness about bargaining. Over 100 faculty, staff, and students attended the outdoor tabling-games-and-food. Attendees learned about bargaining and the ways they could get involved to support a fair contract for faculty.
CFA Fresno members delivered 600 dry food items to represent each signature for their open letter petition to President Jimenez-Sandoval. Members then donated the food to the student pantry to show faculty-student solidarity.
Members at CFA San Bernardino delivered their petition signatures and rallied across campus making joyous noise and chanting support and respect for educators and students.
CFA Maritime members sailed into the bargaining campaign by traversing campus to deliver petitions to President Cropper demanding he tell the chancellor to bargain a fair and just contract that will keep faculty afloat. Chapter executive board members, activists from our summer cruise, and student cadets gathered at the Golden Bear ship to demonstrate the immensity of the problem faculty and students face when the chancellor and trustees abandon their commitment to fund high-quality instruction and high-quality instructors.
As San Francisco State President Mahoney left a class Friday, she was greeted by CFA San Francisco members who unfurled a 11-foot-long banner with the signatures of 660 faculty demanding she honor the service and dedication of campus faculty.
“After our campus actions and Tuesday’s rally, I hope Chancellor Castro receives the strong message that faculty want to be compensated fairly for our work and service to the CSU. We are prepared to stand up for our rights, respect, and justice,” CFA President Charles Toombs said.
At the bargaining table, our proposals are simple and modest: raises to acknowledge our work; more job security for lecturers and coaches; a semester of parental leave; flexibility for librarians who are forced to be on campus to support the rest of us; increased student access to mental health counselors; evaluations free from implicit bias; and alternatives to policing.
Stay updated on negotiations at CFAbargaining.org.