The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

The Student News Site of San Francisco State University

Golden Gate Xpress

CFA rally against tuition increase and working conditions

Practice Picket and Rally is a preview of the looming strike ahead
Kayla Williams
SFSU students and faculty gathered in a practice rally at SFSU’s Quad on Wed, Oct. 11, 2023. (Kayla Williams/ Special for Golden Gate Xpress)

At 12:30 p.m. yesterday, in front of the J. Paul Leonard Library, the California Faculty Association held a rally against the recent CSU tuition hike and the current conditions on campus. This was the first of a string of rallies that are tentatively being planned before the CFA votes on Oct. 21 on whether or not to go on strike.

According to multiple members of the CFA and CSU Designated Balances and Reserves, the CSU has $1.3 billion in reserve money that is not being spent. The CFA SFSU Tenure-track Vice President, James Martel, hopes that with this rally, the CFA will be able to reverse the tuition increase, create better working conditions and prevent lecturer layoffs and cuts to faculty.

“We’re gonna try to be here every day,” Martel said. “We’re tabling, we’re marching. We’re gonna go on strike hopefully soon. The students are gonna go on strike. We’re all really angry.”

Around 100 people attended the rally. Among the people rallying for this cause were students, teachers and faculty. Department of Race and Resistance Lecturer Jaimy Mann is amongst the lecturers who could potentially face a layoff, even though she has a three-year contract.

League of Filipino Students supporter Genevieve Nguyen puts a fist in the air to symbolize power comes in groups at SFSU’s Quad on Wed, Oct. 11, 2023. (Kayla Williams / Special for Golden Gate Xpress)
Kayla Williams

“We are all in it together. Horrific things are happening with the lecture faculty being cut. Places like the poetry center not getting restaffed, the tuition hikes for students,” Mann said. “It’s an unfair labor practice, a labor violation for them to be doing layoffs during contract bargaining.”

Blanca Missé is an associate professor of French and on the CFA Executive Board. Missé has been reviewing budget slides from the balances and reserves and the fiscal year from the university for the past 10 years. According to Missé, every two to three years, there is a structural deficit due to projections either meeting the projected number or falling below.

According to Missé, whenever these deficits come around, the university’s priority is to uphold education and teaching.

“This is not a fiscal crisis. This is a crisis of priorities, and we want the administration to get their priorities straight,” Missé said. “We hope they will reverse course of action. Otherwise, we’ll force them by going on strike on this campus.”

Many CFA members feel there is a way to avoid this without going on strike. SFSU’s CFA chapter President Brad Erickson said that the university management needs to do better.

“We’re tired of the budget being balanced on the backs of lecturer faculty, which is the whole economy of the CSU. Increasingly, 60% of faculty here are exploited lecturer faculty making sub-poverty wages,” Erickson said. “Those are the people who these budget cuts are being imposed on.”

At the rally, Ali Noorzad, a transfer student majoring in history, spoke to the crowd on the megaphone in solidarity with the CFA.

“The professors are going to be having a strike authorization vote very soon. Not only are we expecting the strike very soon, I think it’s very likely that’s gonna happen,” Noorzad said.

Bonica Bonheur, a transfer student, shouts and holds up a sign at the practice rally at SFSU’s Quad on Wed, Oct. 11 , 2023. (Kayla Williams / Special for Golden Gate Xpress)
Kayla Williams

Noorzad is confused as to why the university administrators think that cutting classes, laying professors off and raising tuition prices will bring enrollment rates up, considering CSUs are supposed to be an accessible place for higher education, according to Kashani.

“It’s ridiculous. The CSUs are supposed to be the universities that exist for working-class students. If you can’t afford to go to some expensive ass college, you come to the CSU,” Noorzad said. “They’re trying to make it something that really is going to be unaffordable for most working-class students and for professors even to teach here. So I don’t know what their vision is.”

Sue Englander, a lecturer in the history department, has been teaching for 37 years. For the last 10 years, she has been teaching at SFSU and now feels that she can be one of the professors to be laid off.

“Lynn Mahoney and the administration, you know better,” Englander said. “You know better than to tell us that the tuition hike will go for faculty salaries and for student aid because student aid would not be needed as much if tuition isn’t going up.”

Many lecturers are facing the risk of being one of the lecturers who are going to be let go by the university in this upcoming spring semester, according to Englander.

“How can you cut faculty and increase the tuition,” Englander said. “Administration, Lynn Mahoney, you are doing everyone on this campus — students, faculty, staff — You’re doing us dirty and we will not stand for it.”

The CFA and those who stand with them say they will not take budget cuts, classes offering reductions, faculty layoffs and poor working conditions.

“We don’t want to strike, but we will,” Mann said.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Sophia Osborn
Sophia Osborn, Engagement and Online Editor
Sophia Osborn (she/her) is the Engagement and Online editor for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in English literature. Sophia has always loved keeping up with the news and reading whatever she can. Coming from sunny San Diego, she graduated from Carlsbad High School, where she wrote and was an editor for the school paper, the Lancer Link. This is her second semester on staff and she is extremely excited about what the future holds in store for her. In her downtime, Sophia can be found hanging out with friends, reading, writing, or playing Mario Kart with her friends.

Comments (0)

All Golden Gate Xpress Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *