Spirits were high as SF State students joined members of the California Faculty Association in informational picketing Nov. 8. Teachers and students marched along 19th Avenue to call attention to the discrepancies of the CSU system and faculty working conditions.
“We are educators,” said Wei Ming Dariotis, CFA chapter president. “The informational picketing is to educate students on our unfair working conditions and make some noise.”
Dariotis is an Asian American studies professor who has been at SF State for twelve years. She explained that the CFA members are working in solidarity with other campus workers to create better working conditions for teachers, librarians, lecturers, coaches and other faculty.
The CFA Board of Directors is in the process of negotiating a new faculty contract with the CSU Board of Trustees, led by Chancellor Charles Reed. The last contract in effect was in 2007, but after the CSU withheld a salary increase due to the budget crisis, contract renegotiations began. Both sides of the bargaining table have yet to reach a solution.
“I don’t want to strike, to take even an hour away from my classes,” said Phil Klasky, SF State professor of American Indian studies. “It’s gotten so bad, we have to strike. The information picketing the opportunity to overload everybody with information and to show solidarity.”
Negotiations have reached an impasse, one that CFA members can only be resolved through concerted action. The CFA Board of Directors voted unanimously Nov. 7 to authorize a one-day strike on CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills for Nov. 17.
“You can’t put student first if you put faculty last,” said Sadaf Malik, student organizer for CSU Students for Quality Education. “Faculty working conditions are student learning conditions.”
Holdings signs and chanting in unison, some CFA members marched in a circle while others distributed informational flyers. Students were encouraged to join, such as Jennifer Chadwell who was eager to support the rights of teachers and student, but didn’t know if progress through picketing was a reality.
“Not sure if anything will happen,” Chadwell said. “But if no one says anything, the injustice will continue.”