CFA addresses CSU Trustees on road to next faculty contract

CFA faculty members addressed the CSU Board of Trustees’ Committee on Collective Bargaining on Tuesday to call for an immediate start to talks on the faculty’s next contract.

Andy Merrifield, chair of the CFA Bargaining Team, told the Trustees, “We look forward to starting this bargaining as soon as possible.”  He said the recent exchange of publicly noticed bargaining proposals was the first time both sides sent them on the same day. “We saw that as a small positive sign in the right direction.”

D.D. Wills, CFA chapter president at Cal Poly Pomona, read for the Trustees a letter from the 23 CFA chapter presidents to Chancellor White. They expressed their strong support for the CFA Bargaining Team, for CFA’s publicly noticed initial bargaining proposals, and for getting contract talks going early.

Patricia Donze, a Lecturer at CSU Dominguez Hills spoke with the Trustees about the low pay, long hours and lack of support for Lecturer faculty in the CSU system. 

“I love teaching CSU students because they work hard and they value education,” she said. “I can help them change the world and that means the world to me. But, I may have to leave the CSU because I make so little money, I can’t survive.”

Donze said in 2012 she earned $19,500 to teach five classes, which she calculated worked out to $12 an hour. She said she has to choose among which bills she pays. She said to the Trustees that she is not the only Lecturer who finds that teaching at the California State University “is not a middle-class job.”

Referring to a new Chancellor’s Office web page recognizing outstanding faculty, Merrifield added, “We also want recognition of outstanding faculty, like my colleague who makes $12 an hour changing people’s lives.”

And he said, “We need to insist that the highest priority at the (bargaining) table is a contract that recognizes the real needs.”

CFA and CSU management were to meet Wednesday on dates to begin the contract talks.