New Leaders Elected, Members Unite for Bargaining at 96th Assembly
Members across California met for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“It was so motivating and exciting having our first hybrid Assembly since the pandemic began,” said CFA President Charles Toombs. “Members in person and virtually engaged in the important work we are doing to prepare for reopener bargaining, the work of councils, committees, and caucuses, and board of directors business.”
Coming together in-person and virtually, members elected new officers and leaders to serve on councils, caucuses, committees, and the board of directors.
President Toombs was re-elected, and Margarita Berta-Ávila was elected Vice President, the first Xicana from El Salvador/Peru Pipil descendant to serve in that role.
Diane Blair and Vang Vang were re-elected as Secretary and Treasurer, respectively.
Chris Cox and Sharon Elise were re-elected as Associate Vice President of Racial & Social Justice, North and South, respectively.
Antonio Gallo was elected as Associate Vice President of Lecturers, South, and will join Meghan O’Donnell who was re-elected as Associate Vice President of Lecturers, North.
And Dave Colnic and Michelle Ramos-Pellicia were elected Associate Vice President, North and South, respectively.
Terms will run June 1, 2023, to May 31, 2025. View the rest of our election results here.
Members also passed a resolution demanding the CSU cease contracting out our counselors’ work to TimelyMD and other mental health companies from states harboring anti-LGBTQIA+ laws, and reinvest in tenure-track counselors who reflect the diversity of our students so that we can provide more services to students who are in desperate need.
“Outsourcing counseling services is not only immensely disrespectful to the CSU counselors who are invested and committed to serving our students, but puts those students at risk. Outsourcing mental health services is outsourcing a crucial responsibility we have to our students. The CSU needs to invest in CSU counselors,” said Loren Cannon, CFA Humboldt President and member of the resolution-sponsoring LGBTQIA+ Caucus.
Members held a moment of remembrance for Cal Poly Humboldt student David Josiah Lawson who was killed six years ago on April 15, 2017. Lawson’s family is still seeking justice for his death, and CFA members remain committed to honoring Lawson’s life and ending violence against marginalized communities.
SEIU Secretary-Treasurer April Verrett gave a rousing keynote speech uplifting the thousands of workers demanding unions, and noting how CFA members are leading the way in building a labor movement responsive to the needs of everyone.
“I can tell you that my experience is certainly that while a whole lot of the workers leading organizing fights might look like me, not enough labor leaders do,” said Verrett, who is the first Black woman to serve as SEIU Secretary-Treasurer. “We must demand a younger, darker, hipper labor movement that matches the reality of those that we must organize and lift up. The students of color that you work so hard to center and see today are the workers that we must center tomorrow. We must center our movement around Black and brown communities who have been and continue to be systemically excluded from labor protection, minimum wage protection, and union rights by racist politicians who built and enforced Jim Crow, the very economic exploitation that this country was built upon.”
Verrett also called on us to recognize and protect the most vulnerable workers and union activists.
“We can’t just rely on Black and brown workers to take all of the risks of organizing. They can’t just go on strike and we can’t just join them on the picket line and pass them on their backs. We must ensure those very same workers who are putting their lives on the line can build power and hold power in their youth. When we all do this, it isn’t just about uniting workers across race. It has to be responsive to the needs of poor people who aren’t only workers, they are parents, they are students, they are caregivers, and much, much more,” Verrett said. “Our movement should not just be about wages and benefits and working conditions. It has to be about solving the overlapping issues that harm working people across our nation: poverty and systemic racism, sexism, ableism, the erosion of our planet and our democracy.”
Many workers organizing for a better workplace experience anti-union tactics from employers. Verrett reminded members that unity and solidarity are the path to winning successful contracts.
“You all are daring to make the CSU live up to its promise to deliver an education that the children of California deserve regardless of their zip code, regardless of the color of their skin, regardless of the language that they speak. Let’s be real. Universities function like corporations. They want to keep wages low and bust our unions while they use race and status to divide us and limit our power,” Verrett said.
“You’re not going to let management or the administration divide you. They think they can divide us by race by age, by job class, and by immigration status. But no more. Our power is in who we are together, who we are united across race, who we are united across all of our differences and our lived experiences. And when we come together, it is that diversity that makes us strong.”
More election results:
Board of Directors Committee Chairs:
- Contract Development & Bargaining Strategy – Anthony Ratcliff
- Librarians – Melissa Cardenas-Dow
- Membership & Organizing – Nicola Walters
- Political Action & Legislative – Steve Filling
- Representation – Molly Talcott
- Retired Faculty – Jonathan Karpf
- Board of Directors Chapter President Reps:
- G. Chris Brown, Lisa Kawamura, La Tanya Skiffer, Tim Sistrunk
- Board of Directors Lecturer Reps:
- Wendy St. John, Tad Walters
Board of Directors Council for Racial & Social Justice Reps:
- Raquel Baker, Lindsay Briggs, Dorothy Chen-Maynard, Aja LaDuke
Audit Committee Chair:
- Steve Filling
Contract Development & Bargaining Strategy Chapter President Reps:
- John Beynon, Ray Buyco, Napoleon Reyes, Gloria Rhodes
Contract Development & Bargaining Strategy Lecturer Reps:
- Emily Bukowski, Leda Ramos
Contract Development & Bargaining Strategy Council for Racial & Social Justice Rep:
- Del Williams
Retired Faculty Delegate at Large:
- Cathy Jeppson
AAUP Representative, South:
- Theresa Montano