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. In moving to the statutory process as outlined in Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA), bargaining has been suspended.

Impasse moves us to the next step: 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.

“We will continue fighting for the transformative contract the CSU needs. Organizing is happening all over the state as students and faculty come back to campus after a sweltering summer of solidarity,” said Meghan O’Donnell, CFA associate vice president of lecturers, north, and CSU Monterey Bay lecturer.

At the CSU, faculty are taking a variety of steps to show their support of our transformative bargaining proposals. Members can show support of our proposals by filling out commitment cards.

Our bargaining campaign has drawn attention to the structural inequities at the CSU.

As the fall term begins, members are also including language in their syllabi and electronic bulletin boards explaining the possibility of work stoppage during the semester.

We are also organizing to have a strong presence at the September 12 Board of Trustees meeting in solidarity with our sibling unions at the CSU. Barring any unforeseen changes to the agenda, trustees will likely take action on a proposed 6-percent student tuition increase every year over the next five years with the potential to extend increases indefinitely. 

At the bargaining table, 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. Compare both sides’ proposals.

At our first session, management characterized our interest in union democracy as deceptive and proposed various limitations on member participation. We stressed that our members’ expressed desire is to engage in bargaining in a more participatory manner. 

Most recently our big table bargaining has been effective in demonstrating our solidarity and resolve. Management even moved 1 percent on their initial salary offer, which we attribute to the strength at the table.

However, a 1 percent increase after so many bargaining sessions is insulting. A solitary General Salary Increase (GSI) proposed by CSU management is inadequate considering their unwillingness to address our workload, campus safety, and employee well-being proposals. We are committed to continue seeking social justice improvements in our contract.

The CSU management bargaining team described our proposals for systemic change as potentially “devastating” to the University. However, we believe that what’s really devastating are exorbitant salaries for management staff and administrative bloat. The new chancellor will earn close to $1 million in salary and fringe benefits like housing and car allowances. In the last year, many administrators realized raises up to 29 percent.

Conference room full of members holding their fists in the air and wearing face masks.

Photo caption: CFA Members attend our August 7 bargaining session in person and virtually.

Management is out of touch. Management refuses to take seriously the profound negative impacts on students and faculty that continue because of their entrenchment in the status quo: an inadequate Title IX process, paltry paid parental leave, pay that does not keep ahead of inflation, ongoing lack of investment in mental health counseling, and the pervasive environment of racism and anti-Blackness. Our contract is an attempt to combat these wrongs and fight for a better CSU.

Stay up to date on negotiations and reach out to your campus Contract Action Team for ways to get involved.

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