Across the CSU, multiple unions are negotiating with management. The approximately 60,000 union employees are escalating their presence on campus.
In early August as students moved-in to CSU campuses across the state, unions held actions drawing attention to our common demands for better pay, staffing, and equity for faculty and students.
“CFA remains in solidarity with our sibling unions in the CSU as we all fight for fair contracts that ensure the California State University system is able to continue to serve its diverse student body. We do the work that keeps the doors open and educates California’s future, and fair pay and safe campuses should be the bare minimum. We are fighting for more mental health counseling for students, course enrollment caps, expanded parental leave, safety for Black, brown, trans, queer and non-binary faculty, students, and staff. We are overworked, students are suffering. We cannot go on like this,” said CFA President Charles Toombs.
During the actions, union members connected with students and families to inform them about CSU’s broken wage system, severe understaffing, and refusal to bargain in good-faith as unions negotiate to secure equitable contracts.
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 CSU Employee Union (CSUEU), UAW Local 4123, Academic Professionals of California (APC), and the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) have entered contract negotiations with the CSU and formed a coalition to call on CSU leadership to have integrity and support workers.
The coalition has been holding actions across CSU campuses and speaking out about their need for a contract rooted in equity across the system. The coalition has also been loud and present at the CSU Board of Trustees meetings. Along with our coalition partners, we are planning a rally for September 12 when trustees vote on a 6-percent tuition increase. You can sign up for the rally here. To support our work getting the transformational contract, everyone should sign up for the Contract Action Team.
At convocation at San Francisco State, CFA San Francisco President Brad Erickson gave an impassioned speech agitating attendees to action.
“If management’s refusal to support our wellbeing, safety, and dignity makes you mad, consider that anger a gift, an impetus to stand up for ourselves and our students. Our working conditions are student learning conditions, and there’s so much at stake for us to win or lose. No one can predict the future, but based on this hot union summer so far, I’m willing to bet on this: When we fight, we win!” Erikson said.
On Convocation Day August 17 at CSU San Bernardino, the central labor council along with campus labor siblings organized to hand out flyers and make their presence felt. The showing from union members walking in together got the attention of the provost and campus president. It was reported that during their remarks, the campus president went “off script” to express support for our demands for a fair contract. Our organizing and solidarity gets results and it is what will get us a fair contract.