Charles Toombs headshot

Dear Colleague,

On behalf of the more than 29,000 faculty members represented by the California Faculty Association, it is my pleasure to welcome you to the California State University.

This academic year will still look different than most as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect class offerings and in-person learning opportunities on our campuses. CFA leaders have been working diligently and will continue to do so to protect faculty health, safety, and rights guaranteed under the Collective Bargaining Agreement.  With CFA, faculty has a powerful voice to shape working conditions.

Our members and activists advocated for and helped secure a strong budget for the CSU this year. The budget restores last year’s $299.1 million budget cuts and increases, base funding by five percent, increases student mental health services by $30 million, puts aside hundreds of millions of dollars to expand affordable student housing and to address housing insecurity among our students, expands funding for ethnic studies curriculum, and invests in faculty professional development.

Our work continues.

But as we witnessed throughout the pandemic, our workload increased without proper compensation, the digital divide truly affected our faculty and students, and inequality persists within our higher education system.

Our work to create a more inclusive and equitable work environment continues through our ongoing bargaining campaign. Our member leaders are actively negotiating a successor contract focused on Rights, Respect, and Justice.

We are pursuing an expansion of rights that benefit all faculty including, multi-year contracts for our coaches, increased hiring of faculty mental health counselors, improved lecturer job security, better counselor-student ratios, academic freedom, reasonable workload for faculty, and more.

Respect for faculty comes with our proposal of a four percent general salary increase. Respect for us comes with a service salary increase of 2.65 percent and a post promotion increase of 2.65 percent. Respect comes with providing opportunities for faculty brushed aside by decades of administrative and managerial mistakes, by giving qualified lecturer, librarian, and counselor colleagues an opportunity for tenure track positions.

My colleagues and I want to reimagine life at the CSU and reverse the trend of years of institutional and structural racism and heteropatriarchy by addressing student opinion biases based on gender, race, and other factors. We want justice for our faculty and our students impacted by racism on our campuses by designating alternatives to campus police, such as ombudspersons, for non-criminal employee conflicts.

Our outstanding package of proposals for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement is not a done deal and will require your strong commitment. We need you to join us in order to win this contract.

How can you help? By working directly with your campus CFA chapter to advocate for better pay, added rights for faculty, more respect for you and your colleagues, and justice from institutional and structural racism and heteropatriarchy.

We are fortunate to have collective bargaining rights guaranteed to the CSU faculty by law. For over 30 years, CFA has served as the faculty’s elected representative on matters related to employment with the CSU administration. Bargaining Unit 3 includes tenured and tenure-track faculty (including department chairs and directors), lecturer faculty, counselor faculty, librarian faculty, and coaching faculty at the 23 CSU campuses.

Through our advocacy, we achieved a strong budget for the CSU system. Through our advocacy, we will be able to achieve our new contract.

Together, we are stronger.

We urge you to join CFA.

As a member of CFA, you can participate in determining CFA’s goals and course of action. As a member, you send an important message about the faculty’s commitment to protect our professional role in the university, to protect university access for students, and to enhance the quality of education our students receive.

Our motivation is simple. Every new member helps to ensure that CFA truly represents faculty sentiment on the critical issues that we must influence; every CFA member helps to attain these goals.

Your membership in CFA helps to ensure continued advocacy on behalf of our faculty.  This is the time to join CFA.  Simply go to the CFA website – www.calfac.org/join-cfa – to complete a membership form.

Together WE ARE POWERFUL

I hope that you will join with thousands of your colleagues in the CSU and become a member of CFA.

Much of the academic year will be different, with in-person, virtual, and hybrid teaching across the system. There will be many opportunities for you to participate in our faculty union.  We will have webinars, other virtual meetings and in-person meetings for you to engage in a variety of topics, including those focused on faculty rights, political action and legislative efforts, and our anti-racism and social justice work, among others.  As always, our success in standing up for quality education depends on the strength of our membership.

CFA’s major responsibility is to bargain a contract that establishes and guarantees faculty rights and determines salaries, workload, and other conditions of employment.

The faculty contract protects you, starting with your very first day of employment in the CSU; it allows you to enjoy the rights that have been won by faculty over decades of bargaining with the university’s management.

Read about other benefits of CFA membership: www.calfac.org/join-cfa.

Our Faculty Contract

We are interested in helping our newest colleagues establish successful careers in the CSU. We hope you will become familiar with the faculty contract, which can be found along with other important information related to your CSU employment on CFA’s website, calfac.org/contract.

Our contract is good not only for the faculty, but also for the university. The treatment of our faculty is intimately entwined with the fate of the university itself.  Faculty working conditions are also student learning conditions. And our colleagues worked hard to keep our 23 universities afloat throughout the pandemic.

It takes all of us working together to enforce the contract and enjoy our hard-fought protections. We encourage you to learn how our contract protects faculty rights and how you can support your colleagues when help is needed to enforce this hard-won agreement. To find out more about your individual campus chapter and how to interact with your chapter colleagues, visit www.calfac.org/cfa-chapters.

Advocacy for the Faculty, the CSU, and Higher Education

In addition to collective bargaining, CFA organizes collectively to secure state funding for the CSU system, and for laws that will provide the best learning and working conditions. We are proud that each year, hundreds of faculty work with our professional government relations staff to talk one-on-one with legislators about the system’s needs and the faculty’s concerns.

On CSU campuses, we work to protect instructional programs and student services. CFA has developed a prominent public profile by conducting research about the CSU, and persistently developing our capacity to work on key issues in higher education.

Legislature on bills that respect and honor our diverse students and faculty, and we provide unconscious bias and anti-racism training workshops for our faculty.

Our accomplishments result from the hard work of our faculty colleagues. CFA welcomes your participation. Join us in helping to ensure the future of your campus, the CSU, and public higher education.

We all contribute

CFA member dues support essential work including bargaining the contract and protecting our rights under it.

As faculty, we need to collectively fund an organization that will be a strong and intelligent voice that presents well-informed arguments for what it takes to deliver quality education.
Once again, we extend our warmest welcome to you. We are pleased to have you as a new colleague, and we are committed to supporting your work in the university.

In Union,
Charles Toombs, CFA President
Professor of Africana Studies
San Diego State University

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