We are an anti-racism and social justice union of 29,000 professors, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches who teach and provide services to the California State University system’s 485,000 students on all 23 CSU campuses. Throughout 2023, we are bargaining with CSU management on selected portions of our contract (Articles 20, 23, 31, and 37). During this “re-opener bargaining,” we are negotiating for community well-being, safety on campus, appropriate workload, adequate and humane paid parental leave, and wages that keep pace with the cost of living and set a livable minimum standard for our lowest paid faculty. We are fighting against management’s self-defeating austerity policies that serve to shift funding away from classrooms, labs, libraries, athletics, and counseling centers. Stay up-to-date on re-opener bargaining at www.CFAbargaining.org.
We want to be prepared to go on strike in case we need to in order to win a fair contract. We will not engage in concerted actions (up to and including strike) until we are legally permitted to do so. However, knowing the will of our membership now ensures that we are well prepared to take whatever steps are necessary to achieve a fair and just re-opener agreement that improves our working conditions. If members vote to authorize a strike, that doesn’t mean we will actually strike. It’s a step in the process that also signals to management members’ support and solidarity.
( ) YES, I authorize the CFA Board of Directors to initiate job actions, up to and including strike, if, at the conclusion of the statutory bargaining process, a resolution on re-opener bargaining for 2023-24 with the CSU administration has not been reached or if the CSU Management’s unfair labor practices require the union to call a strike.
( ) NO, I do not give strike authorization. I am willing to accept the chancellor’s last offer of 5% in a General Salary Increase and no significant movement on: pay equity for our lowest-compensated faculty, one-semester of parental leave, improved access for students to mental health services, safe restrooms for trans, queer, and non-binary people, sanitary spaces for lactating folks, and campus safety for us all.
Only CFA members can vote. If you are not a member, you can join online at www.calfac.org/join-cfa.
Faculty participating in the Faculty Early Retirement Program (FERP) or working as a retired annuitant can vote. Faculty who are fully retired cannot vote. Lecturers on a grace period are eligible to vote.
If you have thoughts and concerns you would like to raise with CFA’s Board of Directors about the strike vote, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Not necessarily. An affirmative strike vote does not mean a strike is inevitable. Many unions have had member-authorized strike votes but never ended up striking because management saw the solidarity of workers and decided to make a deal.
It means that we refrain from teaching and any other work we would normally do for the CSU on the day(s) of the strike, and we would organize picket lines and rallies on the campus(es). Educators on strike do not grade, answer work emails, or perform other faculty work.
There are various ways to go on strike — systemwide, one campus at a time, other options — and if it comes to that, CFA leaders and actively participating members will explore and decide the best way to do it.
In November 2011, two CSU campuses — CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills — went on strike for one day. Faculty from other campuses went there to join the picket lines. The campuses were shut down, and we achieved victory in our bargaining goals.
In the Spring of 2016 faculty members were prepared to shut the entire system down for a full week. In a last-minute deal, management agreed to our demands and the strike was averted.
If you have ideas, get involved with your chapter and join in the fight! Join your campus Contract Action Team to educate and mobilize your colleagues.
Yes. CFA’s Board of Directors wants CFA members to agree to any resolution reached at the table and will call for a ratification vote when that happens.
When CFA and CSU management settled the current 3-year faculty contract in December of 2021, the parties could not come to agreement on salary for this current year, so we agreed to re-open certain articles of our contract in 2023. We are bargaining to increase salaries by 12 percent for ALL faculty, and ensuring pay equity by raising the salary floor for the lowest-paid faculty in Range A by $10,000, which will increase the minimum full-time academic year base salary to be no less than $64,360, and in Range B by $5,000, which will increase the minimum full-time academic year base salary to no less than $69,860 (this moves everyone in those ranges upwards and applies to corresponding coach, counselor, and librarian classifications, and tenure-track professors). We are bargaining to implement minimum course cap standards to address workload creep, and to set counselor-to-student staffing ratios at 1:1,000 to 1:1,500 to improve student access to mental health services. We want to improve campus safety and community wellbeing, particularly for marginalized faculty, students, and staff, by limiting the imposition of police power, which includes ending the practice of dispatching police on faculty unless required by law; as well as to provide CSU employees with the opportunity for union representation or legal counsel when being interviewed by campus police and the dignity of being interviewed in a private location with officers who are unarmed. We want to provide safe gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms for queer and transgender faculty as well as designated lactation spaces and milk storage for nursing parents on all campuses. We want to expand paid parental leave from 30 days to one semester/term. See our proposals. See the contract.
Our proposals are based on our research of other educators in California and nationally, an analysis of the CSU operating budget and reserves, as well as bargaining surveys and feedback from a wide range of CSU faculty members. We held faculty meetings on all campuses so that the bargaining team was sure to hear directly and in person about needs and priorities.
In factfinding, a neutral third party is chosen to join a panel that also includes a representative of CFA and of CSU management. After conducting a hearing with witness testimony and documentary evidence, the 3-person panel writes a factfinding report that recommends how a settlement could be achieved. The recommendations in the report are non-binding, meaning neither side is required by law to accept them. If factfinding leads to a settlement, then all is done, and the process will end with the faculty and the CSU Board of Trustees each voting to ratify the agreement.
If factfinding doesn’t result in an agreement, at that point, the “statutory” process ends. We gain the right to legally strike, and CSU management may impose its last, best, and final offer.
Sometimes unions strike over unfair practices when the employer fails to bargain in good faith or to fairly engage in the statutory process. UC workers did this in 2022. We filed an unfair charge over the failure to supply financial information underlying the CSU’s rejection of our bargaining proposals, but we are not yet in a position to strike over this unfair practice.
When members went on strike in 2011, the students supported us. Students are already harmed by debt, high fees, and fewer faculty available to help them. And they must work ever longer hours to afford to stay in school.
The truth is that students and faculty are in the same boat.
Many students know that the faculty are working hard to help them while we struggle to support our own families. When faculty must live far from campus, cobble together a living by teaching at various schools, and worry about our own children’s well-being, both faculty and students pay the price.
The real issue is, will this university management prioritize us, the students and faculty, or will they continue to bleed dollars for pet projects, extraneous management, and perks for executives?
We encourage faculty to include language in their syllabi and electronic bulletin boards informing students about potential job actions.
Under state law, there is a legal process under HEERA (the Higher Education Employment Relations Act) that must occur before any CSU employees have the right to go on strike. As set out above, the union has to engage in impasse procedures.
It is a violation of state law to attempt to dismiss or discipline a faculty member for exercising the right to participate in a lawful job action such as a strike. CFA advocates will assist any individual or group experiencing negative personnel actions for participating in a job action including a strike.
Like all faculty, coaches would refrain from working during a strike. Like many professional athletes, CSU coaches are unionized. Management would like nothing better than to create division in the faculty ranks by pressuring coaches to cross a picket line. Again, we will protect ALL members who face pressure to refrain from the legal right to engage in concerted action.
Like all faculty, counselors would withhold their labor in the event of a strike. Like nurses and other healthcare providers, counselors want to be sure that those in their care do not suffer in the event of a strike. We will make sure that students know to call 911 or seek emergency services just as they would when counseling services are closed.
Yes. Department chairs are part of CFA/Unit 3, and the work they perform is Unit 3 work. When we go on strike, all unit members including department chairs will go on strike.
Other unions in the CSU are also in bargaining, and we’ve been working in coalition with our sibling CSU unions. Teamsters Local 2010 was the first union at CSU to kick off contract negotiations this year. Since starting talks in January, Local 2010 has filed multiple unfair labor practice (ULP) charges against the CSU for violating its obligation to bargain in good faith. Now, numerous unions, including Teamsters, CSU Employee Union (CSUEU), UAW Local 4123, Academic Professionals of California (APC), and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) have formed a coalition to call on CSU leadership to have integrity and support workers.
There are many ways you can help our CFA Bargaining Team move the process to a satisfactory settlement.
First, make sure that you join CFA if you are not yet a member.
You can join at http://www.calfac.org/join-cfa
If you already are a CFA member, ask colleagues in your department or discipline who are not yet members to join CFA. We need to demonstrate that we stand with our union for a fair salary and for quality education. Our membership numbers demonstrate our power.
Join your campus Contract Action Team to educate and mobilize your colleagues.
Talk to your students about the possibility of work action and put a note in your syllabus or learning management system.
Visit www.CFAbargaining.org for the latest on bargaining.
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