After four bargaining sessions on our re-opener articles and very little substantial movement from the CSU management bargaining team, the two sides are at impasse.
Impasse moves us to the next step of the process: mediation with a state-appointed third party. If we cannot agree to contract terms in mediation, we move on to factfinding. The union must submit to both mediation and factfinding before we can take job actions. In the meantime, we will have informational meetings and take action on all of our campuses and at upcoming Board of Trustees meetings.
“I feel like we got no rights, we got no respect, we got no justice today. We have no other choice,” said G. Chris Brown, CFA Fullerton President and CSU Fullerton Associate Professor.
At Monday’s negotiating session, the bargaining teams acknowledged we are far apart on many issues. Members continue to seek a 12-percent raise to keep pace with rising costs of living, an increase to the minimum salary for our lowest-paid faculty, a full semester of paid parental leave, reasonable workload/course caps, safe and accessible lactation spaces, safe and accessible gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms, and safety provisions for faculty interacting with police officers on campuses. Read both sides’ proposals.
“They have not brought us anything that is part of our core package. Our faculty need the 12-percent salary increase. We need more counselor faculty. We need workload relief. How much more do we endure?” CFA President and SDSU Professor Charles Toombs asked the 80 members attending bargaining.
The sides disagree about appropriate student-to-counselor ratios in mental health services. CSU management has rejected our proposals to set the internationally recognized minimum ratio of at least one counselor for every 1,500 students on each campus, stating that campus administrators can make their own determinations without CFA members’ input or the direct knowledge and expertise of our counselor faculty members.
Members gave the CSU management bargaining team examples of the crises facing students. There are a lot of unmet mental health needs, and all indicators are that the issue is only going to get worse as CSU management appears to not notice or care. CSU management recently received $15 million from the state legislature to fund mental health counseling, but they hired a mere seven counselors across all 23 campuses.
“And management doesn’t seem to get that counselor ratios aren’t just a workload issue for counselors. It’s a workload issue for all faculty. All faculty are having to pick up management’s slack. We are not trained for this,” said Kelly Janousek, CFA Long Beach member and CSU Long Beach librarian.
The CSU management bargaining team increased their proposed 4-percent General Salary Increase for all faculty to 5 percent Monday, calling it “significant movement.”
Many members spoke about the limited impact the extra 1 percent would have on their ability to survive or keep working at the CSU – for those near the bottom of the salary structure and on a partial time base, the extra 1 percent translates to a very low dollar amount. CFA’s proposal on pay equity would have real impact. Others indicated a solitary GSI was inadequate in light of CSU management’s unwillingness to address our workload, campus safety, and employee well-being proposals and committed to continuing to seek social justice improvements in our contract.
The CSU management bargaining team described our proposals for systemic change as “devastating” to the University. Yet, they refuse to acknowledge the profound negative impact on students and faculty given their entrenchment in the status quo – under-resourcing Title IX programs, rejecting of adequate paid parental leave, offering pay that does not pace inflation, refusing to invest in mental health counseling, spending public funds on excessive executive salaries, and maintaining bloated administrative ranks, to name a few.
“We are in this for blood. We are in this for life. We are in this for our students,” said Sharon Elise, CFA Associate Vice President of Racial & Social Justice, South, and CSU San Marcos Professor. “We are not asking for a lot. And they have no trouble spending money on management.”
Our big table bargaining has been effective in demonstrating our solidarity and resolve. Management even moved 1 percent on salary, which we attribute to the strength at the table. In moving to the statutory process, we are suspending bargaining. If we end up back at the table, with a management team that wants to do right by faculty, we will let folks know so that we can get back to work collectively bargaining a fair contract.
In the meantime, see below for sample syllabi and electronic bulletin board language to include in your materials for the Fall Term.
Stay up to date on negotiations and reach out to your campus Contract Action Team for ways to get involved.
English Sample Syllabi/Electronic Bulletin Board Language:
Important note about a possible work stoppage during the semester
The California Faculty Association (the labor union of Lecturers, Professors, Coaches, Counselors, and Librarians across the 23 CSU campuses) is in a difficult contract dispute with California State University management. It is possible that we will call a strike or other work stoppage this term. I promise to promptly inform you of any schedule disruption. Our working conditions are your learning conditions; we seek to protect both. For further information go to www.CFAbargaining.org.
Spanish Sample Syllabi/Electronic Bulletin Board Language:
Nota importante sobre la posibilidad de un paro laboral este semestre
La Asociación de Facultad de California (California Faculty Association – el sindicato laboral que representa a profesores, entrenadores, consejeros y bibliotecarios en los 23 campuses de la CSU) se encuentra en medio de una difícil disputa contractual con la administración de todo el sistema de la California State University. Es posible que el sindicato de profesores convoque una huelga u otro paro laboral este término. Prometo informar a la clase lo antes posible de cualquier interrupción en el itinerario.Nuestras condiciones laborales son tus condiciones de aprendizaje; buscamos proteger ambos. Para obtener más información, ve a www.CFAbargaining.org.