Mediation efforts to reach a new contract for the CSU faculty broke down on Friday after months of meetings. The good news is that the Chancellor’s representatives have pulled some of their take-back proposals off the table. Our mobilization efforts are working, but we are not done yet. The Strike Vote will begin Monday, April 16. I encourage you to vote Monday at Noon in the Library Breezeway.
You probably saw the email that went out yesterday afternoon from Vice-Chancellor for Human Resources, Gail Brooks. Sadly, not everything in that email was accurate. Brooks wrote that her side would like to bargain a contract, but she apparently was not informed by her staff that on Friday they refused CFA’s suggestion to return to face-to-face bargaining.
What is further left out by Brooks is any mention of the Chancellor’s failure to respond to CFA proposals about a variety of key issues: workload, shared governance, academic freedom, salary (including payment of raises agreed-upon in the past and not paid by the Chancellor), and intellectual property, to mention a few outstanding issues.
While there was some movement toward resolving a few issues of contention, when CFA proposed the sides actually return to the bargaining table to hammer out a settlement, Chancellor Reed’s representatives and consultants refused.
Since the Chancellor’s representatives walked away from the table, the mediator officially moved us forward to the next step in the legislatively-mandated process: fact finding with a neutral third party (non-binding).
The new developments make the strike vote that begins on Monday all the more pressing. We must keep up the pressure for the Chancellor to actually settle our contract. In short, the CSU proposals involve maintenance of “status quo” contract provisions currently in force on some issues, a series of take-backs on other issues, and no movement on a number of major CFA proposals. Doing so would make this round of negotiations the first time in the history of collective bargaining that the CSU faculty has accepted a contract whose main changes consisted solely of take-backs. We simply cannot agree to a contract on these terms.This is unacceptable. Our colleagues have gone without agreed-upon raises, have accepted furloughs, and have endured huge increases in workload to help the CSU weather the economic crisis of the last few years. Faculty deserve better. Students deserve better.
Voting will begin Monday, April 16 on whether union members will grant the CFA board of directors the authority to call a strike if the legally required bargaining process comes to an end without a settlement. I encourage you to vote Monday at Noon in the Library Breezeway.
President, CFA Capitol ChapterAssoc.
Prof. of SociologyCSU Sacramento