CFA President Charles Toombs presented on panels at the National Center for the Study of Collective Bargaining in Higher Education and the Professions annual conference this week.
The panel was “Social Unionism to Bargaining for the Common Good in Higher Education Then and Now.” Dr. Toombs emphasized the need for unions and other higher education organizations to do in-house anti-racism and social justice training and change before tackling larger anti-racism and social justice efforts if they want that work to be successful. He presented CFA’s work in this area and how it led to an intentional centering of anti-racism and social justice in all our work and advocacy. Toombs then addressed how ARSJ is guiding CFA’s current contract negotiations, emphasizing that a strong contract is a priority of CFA and such a contract addresses bread and butter priorities — compensation — as well as other areas that improve the working conditions of our faculty and gave examples of these. On May 19, Toombs presented on the panel, “Challenges of the Past Year and Perspectives on the Future of Academic Labor.” He shared examples from CFA’s Our Way Forward plan to defend higher education, to protect faculty rights during the pandemic and beyond, and the need for academic labor unions to prioritize efforts to end systemic inequities in our colleges and universities.