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 – hopefully – resemble some normalcy as we make our returns to on-campus teaching and learning. But we know COVID-19 is ever present in our lives now, and we need to be aware that at any moment, cases may rise, and we may need to revert to virtual work to protect the health of you and your students.
CFA leaders will continue to work diligently to protect faculty health, safety, and rights guaranteed under our Collective Bargaining Agreement. With CFA, faculty have a powerful voice to shape working conditions.
We are fortunate to have collective bargaining rights guaranteed by law. For nearly 40 years, CFA has served as the faculty’s elected representative for employment matters with the CSU administration.
We have built trust and solidarity with our colleagues to ensure a healthy and vibrant union culture for the CSU. 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.
We are invested 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 at calfac.org/contract. Our contract serves the interests of both faculty and the university, as we know faculty working conditions are also student learning conditions.
Winning at the Bargaining Table
This past year, our members overwhelmingly ratified our new contract, one that reflects our commitment to addressing anti-racism and social justice, as well as one that improved upon multiple areas of the contract. We also were able to secure a strong budget for the CSU through our advocacy with the state legislature and the governor.
CFA members made major strides in ensuring a contract with Rights, Respect, and Justice, one that centers anti-racism and social justice to positively impact our daily lives. We are a national leader in this space, with many other unions now following suit. We provide unconscious bias and anti-racism training workshops for our faculty. Many of our efforts are located on our webpage: calfac.org/council-for-racial-social-justice.
We increased exceptional service awards and finally named cultural taxation as a workload problem faced by faculty whose social identities include womxn and/or Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and/or LGBTQIA+.
We now have the explicit ability to rebut bias in student evaluations. Our contract also became one of the first in the country to protect faculty from caste discrimination.
We won expanded range elevation (upward movement on the salary scale) for lecturers and secured three years of expanded eligibility for lecturers and librarians shut out of the program in the past. Counselors and librarians secured improved working conditions through modernized telework. And coaches now have more stable job security with the opportunity for multi-year contracts, instead of being on year-to-year contracts for decades.
We Are Stronger Together
This work, this advocacy, isn’t finished.
We reopen our contract on salary negotiations in 2023. With inflation and cost of living rising rapidly, we must continue to pursue equitable and just raises for our faculty. In addition to salary, we will also negotiate on Articles 20, 23, 31, and 37 (Workload, Leaves of Absences with Pay, Benefits, and Health and Safety), respectively.
We have multiple workgroups convened to further expand the rights of our colleagues. Our lecturer workgroup will examine our five-year contract proposal, and a professor of practice and additional classifications. Our parental support workgroup will dive into much-needed expansion of parental leave and support.
From our negotiations, the CSU has agreed to create an alternative to campus police taskforce to address police involvement in non-criminal matters and to pursue instead the use of mental health counselors and conflict resolution professionals. The interim chancellor will be convening this taskforce.
Sign Up for CFA Membership!
So, how can you help?
Together, we are stronger. First and foremost, please join your colleagues and become a member of CFA.
Your membership in CFA helps to ensure continued advocacy on behalf of all of us. By joining CFA, you can participate in shaping our goals and action, send an important message to management about our commitment to protecting our professional role as faculty in the CSU, and enhance the quality of education our students receive.
CFA member dues support our essential work, like contract bargaining and faculty rights. Every new member ensures we truly represent faculty sentiment on faculty rights, retirement, pay, and working conditions. We organize to secure state funding for the CSU and to pursue laws providing the best learning and working conditions.
Join us in helping to ensure the future of your campus, the CSU, and public higher education – go to calfac.org/join-CFA to complete a membership form.
We also invite you to work 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 cisheteropatriarchy. It takes all of us working together to enforce the contract and enjoy our hard-fought protections. To find out more about your individual campus chapter and how to connect with your chapter colleagues, visit calfac.org/cfa-chapters.
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.
Professor of Africana Studies
San Diego State University