CSU administrators have been sending misleading statements since our re-opener bargaining campaign began. However, messages sent prior to the November 14 Teamsters strike have brought the CSU administrators to a new low. Administrators at CSU campuses sent blatantly false information about faculty participation and support of the Teamster’s picket line.
CFA members are fighting back having filed one Unfair Practices Charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board for messages related to the Teamsters strike, and we’re considering more. We argue that CFA members had a protected right to withhold their labor in solidarity with Teamsters Local 2010 members and honor their picket line.
Messages from management regarding the Teamsters strike said that faculty members cannot participate in a sympathy strike and are expected to cross a picket line to get to work. A smaller number of campuses went a step further and informed faculty that honoring the Teamsters picket line could subject them to discipline. Management also sent communications attempting to dissuade faculty from speaking about the strike during class.
We believe prohibiting discussion of the Teamsters strike during class violates academic freedom. In the PERB charge, we argue that individual faculty have the authority and right to hold class discussions of current and historical events that individual faculty members, in their judgment, deem relevant to course material and/or appropriate pedagogical goals.
As a remedy, we are asking CSU management to:
- Cease and desist from prohibiting CFA members from participating in a sympathy strike or otherwise honoring a picket line;
- Restore past practices, including providing any appropriate relief to affected employees;
- Post a notice in conspicuous places regarding its violations of Higher Education Employment Relations Acts (HEERA); and
- Provide such other relief deemed proper by the Public Employment Relations Board.
In the coming days, you may receive or have already received messages from management attempting to dissuade you from participating in our week of strikes. Our series of one-day strikes are legally protected job actions.
At some campuses, management has suggested that going on strike will threaten your benefits even though medical care is legally protected under California law and striking for one day will have zero impact on your pension. At Cal Poly Pomona, management went as far as encouraging students to report on faculty. We are on firm ground, knowing that it is illegal for management to attempt to dismiss and discipline any faculty member for participating in this strike.
Please reach out if you experience any management behavior that attempts to intimidate you or that you feel is trying to break our ability to win a fair contract. Please forward management communications to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The best way to show management that these messages aren’t working is by signing up for a striking shift.