Bargaining – bargaining involves each side making written proposals to each other and responding to the other side’s proposals. Each side presents arguments and evidence in favor of their proposals. They make one draft after another until they reach a version that both sides can agree upon. If an agreement is not made, the union or the employer can declare an impasse. 

Bargaining Team – the CFA Bargaining Team is comprised of CFA members and union representatives who negotiate the contract between workers and the employer. 

Board of Trustees – The 25-member Board of Trustees adopts regulations and policies governing the entire CSU system. Board committees have authority over educational policy, finance, campus planning, and facilities, among other areas. There are 20 trustees appointed by the governor who serve six-year terms, and 5 Ex-officio trustees who serve as part of their elected or appointed office. There are two student trustees and one faculty trustee. Trustees hire and fire the CSU chancellor, approve employee contracts, and set student tuition rates and other policies. 

Caucus – a confidential, private meeting of a bargaining team conducted during or in preparation for negotiations. In the caucus, the parties are spatially separated. 

CBA – Collective Bargaining Agreement. A union contract, or Collective Bargaining Agreement, is the legal document that defines workplace rights, pay, and benefits. The CBA is negotiated between CFA, the sole bargaining representative of Unit 3 faculty, and managers of the CSU. It is ratified by CFA members and by the CSU Board of Trustees. 

CDBS – CFA’s Contract Development & Bargaining Strategy Committee. Made up of elected and appointed CFA members. Assists in strategic decisions regarding bargaining. 

CAT – Contract Action Team. Volunteers from CFA chapters who are activated during bargaining to reach out to other members and inform and mobilize them to build power and win the best contract possible. 

Coalition – when unions work together with sibling unions and/or community groups for a common goal. CFA members are in coalition with other CSU union members of CSUEU, Teamsters Local 2010, Academic Professionals of California, Union of American Physicians and Dentists, UAW Local 4123

Contract Extension – An agreement between two parties to an existing contract to extend the terms of that agreement for an additional period of time past expiration. Extensions can include few or no changes to contract terms. 

Factfinding – Factfinding may follow from mediation when the dispute cannot reach a settlement. It is a process through which each party’s differences in the disagreement are submitted to a factfinding panel. Each party will select a representative to serve as its member of this panel, and PERB appoints a neutral chairperson of the panel. The panel may require “the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of evidence”. 

Factfinding Blackout – Before the parties can publicly share the Factfinder report, they must wait 10 days. During this “blackout” period, the parties may try to settle the agreement without resorting to public pressure. The publication of the report is the final step in the statutory process. 

Good Faith Bargaining – Both parties must engage in normal and legally-defined practices of negotiations with the intent of willingly reaching mutual agreement on new contractual terms. This normally includes meeting on a regular basis, providing timely responses, and supplying requested information. 

GSI – General Salary Increase. Across-the-board increase for all faculty. 

HEERA – The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act, which establishes collective bargaining rights for CSU and UC workers. HEERA is similar to the National Labor Relations Act, but it is tailored to public employees in the CSU and UC. 

Impasse – California’s Higher Education Employment Relations Act (HEERA) outlines the many steps by which public higher education employees and employers reach agreement to bargain a contract. According to HEERA, impasse means that “the parties have reached a point in meeting and conferring at which their differences in positions are such that further meetings would be futile” (Govt. Code sec. 3562(j)). If CFA and the CSU cannot reach an agreement after bargaining in good faith, HEERA allows one or both sides to declare impasse and request that Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) move the parties to the next statutory stage of bargaining, which is mediation. 

Mediation – Once Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) determines that impasse has been reached, both CFA and the CSU are obligated to participate in good faith mediation, and, if ordered by the mediator, to proceed through fact-finding. The State Mediation and Conciliation Service assigns a mediator to assist both parties to reach a voluntary resolution on their disagreements. The mediator will meet individually and collectively with CFA and CSU representatives. If or when the mediator concludes that mediation cannot produce a settlement, they then certify the dispute for the next step, which is factfinding. 

MOU – Memorandum of Understanding. 

PERB – Public Employment Relations Board. A quasi-judicial administrative agency charged with administering the collective bargaining statutes covering employees of California’s public schools, colleges, and universities. 

PPI – Post Promotion (Salary) Increase. A program for those senior faculty members (Full professors and Lecturer D faculty and equivalent librarian, counselor, and coaching faculty ranks) who have exhausted all their SSI eligibility. 

Protected Concerted Activity – A worker’s right under the National Labor Relations Act to address work-related issues with their coworkers. They may talk about wages and benefits, circulate petitions, and organize work stoppages. 

Range – Faculty are placed into salary ranges A, B, C, or D. Those with terminal degrees must be placed in at least Range B. 2022-23 rates are: 

Academic Year salary range for Range A: $54,360 – $72,672
Academic Year salary range for Range B: $64,860 – $143,928
Academic Year salary range for Range C: $74,280 – $158,064
Academic Year salary range for Range D: $93,528 – $165,564

Range Elevation/Salary Ranges – Range elevation is the formal process through which lecturers and temporary librarians can increase their salary by moving from one salary range to the next (e.g., Range A to B, B to C, or C to D).  If granted, a range elevation brings a salary increase of at least 5%, or the percentage increase required to reach at least the minimum of the next range, whichever is greater.  More: 

Ratification – Formal vote by all union members on a tentative agreement. Once a Tentative Agreement is ratified by both parties, it becomes a Collective Bargaining Agreement that goes into effect. 

Re-opener – During negotiations, the two sides might agree to “re-open” certain portions of a contract later to secure an agreement on a larger contract now.  CFA members and CSU management came to terms on our 2022-24 contract by agreeing to re-open on Articles 20, 23, 31, 32, and 37. The entire contract expires in June 2024, and we can begin bargaining on all contract articles in late Fall 2023. 

Solidarity – Unity and mutual support among union members as they take action to push forward common interests in the workplace. 

SSI – Service Salary Increase. Awarded to faculty who have taught 24 semester WTUs or 36 quarter WTUs in a single department or unit since being appointed, or since receiving a previous SSI. Eligible faculty receive SSIs only in the years when they are funded. Only one SSI can be awarded per year, paid on the employee’s anniversary of hire. 

Strike – A strike is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work over a set of grievances. It is important to know that a strike is protected, and you cannot be disciplined for striking, when the following two conditions have been met: 

  • The statutory process has been completed. 
  • CFA members have called a strike and given notice of the strike to the CSU. 

Strike Vote – When union members vote on whether or not to go out on strike. Also called a strike authorization vote. If approved by members, the timing of the strike can come soon after a vote, weeks or months later, or not at all. 

ULP – Unfair Labor Practice. Actions by the employer that violate labor law. Union members may go on ULP strikes to end unfair labor practices. 

Union – A labor union is a group of two or more employees who join together to advance common interests such as wages, benefits, schedules and other employment terms and conditions. Joining together – or acting collectively – workers represented by unions have a powerful solidarity that strengthens their ability to negotiate with their employer about their concerns. Higher wages, health insurance, vacation days, paid sick leave and retirement benefits are a few examples of what workers achieve through their unions. 

Unit 3 – The term given to CFA by the CSU. CSU management breaks workers into bargaining units by grouping workers who have similar classifications. Faculty are grouped into Unit 3 by CSU management, including coaches, counselors, librarians, lecturers, and tenure-line professors. Unit 3 members eventually voted to form a union = CFA. 

Work/Job Actions – Forms of protest like work stoppages, picketing, sick outs, working to contract, and strikes that help to inform the public and/or decision makers about issues important to workers. 

WTUs – Weighted Teaching Units. A system by which classes or instructional activities are weighted differently from others, to compensate for preparation time and instructional demands. These are used to calculate a faculty member’s time base; e.g., 15 WTUs in a semester or quarter would be a 1.0 time base and six WTUs would be a 0.4 time base (6/15 = 0.4). Your appointment letter identifies the WTUs that you have been assigned. 

Want to suggest an addition? Email

Join CFA
Scroll To Top