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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 and CSU fact-finding report released to the public

Here is a breakdown of what the report recommends
Feven Mamo
San Francisco State University CFA chapter rally for fair wages on campus on Nov. 15, 2023. (Feven Mamo / Golden Gate Xpress)

With the strike date quickly approaching, the third-party analysis of the bargaining process between the California Faculty Association and the California State University system was released this Friday morning.

According to the fact-finding report, the findings should facilitate the bargaining stage and will be used as an outside perspective to move things along.

The Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act requires the third-party fact-finder to only give information to the CFA and the CSU once a deal is not met, and it has now been released after a 10-day silent period.

According to the report, CFA and CSU do not agree on five different articles of the new contract. The fact-finding report analyzes the bargaining process between the two parties and recommends a future agreement to the new contract.

Article 20 – Workload

Article 20 involves three main disagreements –– course caps, counselors and service time for temporary faculty.
CFA argues that courses have been increasing in size, creating an unfair workload for faculty. CSU’s counterargument is that creating course caps might impact course offerings.

The fact finder agrees with the CSU regarding capping courses, which could have unintended consequences for course offerings, but notes that there is already a way for a consultation to happen when the faculty member goes to the department chair or another appropriate body. The overall instructional or course assignments will be consistent with the department’s and student’s needs.

CFA’s proposal also wants to improve the counselor-to-student ratio and allow said counselors to be on different work calendars. The report clarifies that both parties acknowledge that it is challenging to hire counselors.

In the report, the fact finder recommends that CFA and CSU create a workgroup to find a reasonable workload for the counselor-to-student ratio that needs to be met. This group will inform everyone else of their findings in the following collective bargaining agreement.

Regarding service time for temporary faculty, the CFA proposes to enable faculty who are employed temporarily to receive credit for doing service work, meaning serving at academic senates for example. The fact finder recommends adopting CSU’s approach, where faculty would use preexisting credit entitlements for the service work. However, the document leaves space for future bargaining on the topic.

Article 23 – Leave of Absences

According to the fact-finding, the CFA wants to make two changes to Article 23. The union wants their parental leave to be extended and to create a crisis leave section in the article. The new language would allow faculty to take a five-day leave to care for an immediate family member in a health or natural disaster crisis.

The fact finder proposes that the parties agree on an additional 10 working days of parental leave while allowing faculty to use their sick time to care for their immediate family.

Article 31 – Salary

The disagreement surrounding Article 31 has everything to do with the General Salary Increase (GSI). GSI is designed to maintain salaries in line with natural growth in living expenses.

CFA demands a 12% increase. However, CSU offered a 5% increase –– a 7% difference. The report affirms that CFA believes that CSU has the income capability to make the salary adjustment. However, CSU argues that the amount of money available to spend on salaries and benefits is much less than what the union asserts.

The fact finder recommended a 7% GSI with other “enhancements that will not count as across-the-board bargaining unit increase.” The document also acknowledges the challenge for the fact finder to make a recommendation because “the parties have such radically different views of the employer’s financial situation.”

Article 32 – Benefits

In this article of the contract, CSU wants to allow campuses to choose if they increase monthly parking rates for faculty by a maximum of two dollars. CFA seeks to increase at no cost to employees the supplemental life insurance plan and the accidental death and dismemberment insurance.

Additionally, the union wants to increase the Flex Cash Program. The program would increase employees’ compensation for waiving medical and/or dental plans. CFA also seeks to eliminate recreational fees and create alternative transportation funds.

The recommendation for parking rates is not to increase more than the General Salary Increase percentage and campus presidents should have discretion over transportation programs that support alternative transportation benefits.

Regarding insurance plans, the recommendations were for the parties to work together to get quotes from insurance agencies that allow add-ons.

Article 37 – Health and Safety

According to the fact-finding report, faculty has expressed the need to address issues related to gender-inclusive restrooms and changing rooms, lactation rooms and milk storage space, and on-campus policing. Union members have felt the need to add language to their contracts due to previous experiences on campus.

The CFA is advocating for increased gender inclusivity in restrooms. According to the fact finder, CSU has already implemented measures to address this issue. However, it suggests adding language to ensure information about the nearest gender-inclusive restroom is provided and establishing a mechanism for CFA to report the need for additional gender-inclusive restrooms on campus. The recommendation further stipulates that CSU must respond within 60 days, either with a plan to add a restroom or an explanation if it is not feasible.

Lactation rooms are already something the CSU has to offer legally. However, CFA is asking for additional language, such as requesting the space to have a food-grade sink. The fact finder supported the administration’s stance but also recommended that, similar to the gender-inclusive restrooms, the CFA should have the ability to report the need for rooms.

On matters related to policing, the fact finder agrees with CSU’s assessment that “general questions about policing and how policing should occur on campuses fall outside the scope of bargaining.” The recommendation advises the parties to add distinct language, ensuring that CFA members possess certain rights when being interviewed by CSU police in non-employment matters.

SFSU-CFA chapter president Brad Erickson attended a meeting about the report on Friday morning.

“It’s not a surprise. The role of the fact-finder is to try to drive both parties to the middle. They weren’t on our side. They weren’t on management side. They were trying to get us to the middle of which I don’t think they have, although, you know, this may lead to some compromise. I mean, it will lead to some compromise on some of the issues for sure,” said Erickson. “Ultimately, this is a recommendation that’s not binding on either party. So both parties are going to do what they’re going to do.”

Like other CFA members, Erickson expressed frustration about some of the recommendations in the report.

“The one recommendation to not address raising the floor. That’s a nonstarter for us. We absolutely are holding the line on that,” said Erickson. “We’re still going on strike this coming week, and if that doesn’t bring management to the table with considerable movement toward our proposals, we are prepared to call for longer system-wide strikes in the spring.”

The CSU issued a press release after the 10-day quiet period following the release of the fact-finding report, stating that they agreed to many recommendations for both parties.
“The independent fact-finder provided recommendations on all open issues, which fall into 15 categories,” according to the CSU’s press release. “For 13 of the 15 categories, CSU responded that it is prepared to agree to the fact-finder’s recommendations, subject to bargaining with the CFA.”

The CFA responded to the reports in their press release early on Friday morning. They also announced in the statement that they’re taking the CSU to court on Friday for infringement on academic freedom.

“For our part, CFA members are pushing the boundaries of business as usual in our contract proposals, and we remain committed to our transformative demands,” the CFA said in a statement. “Still, when recommending a 7 percent General Salary Increase (GSI), the factfinder acknowledged that this would entail a pay cut for faculty. The fact-finding panel chair tried valiantly to find ways to bring faculty salaries up to the Consumer Price Index rate of inflation over the last two years and, at the same time, rejected an overall GSI of 12 percent. While CFA members understand and appreciate these efforts, the best way to address a buying power loss is to grant all faculty an adequate overall General Salary Increase.”

The CFA will still strike at SFSU on Dec. 5 and will be on the picket line from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., fighting for their contract demands to be met. Golden Gate Xpress will be covering the event live.

Find the full fact-finding report here.

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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.
Leticia Luna
Leticia Luna, Editor-In-Chief
Letícia Luna (she/her) is the Editor-in-Chief for Golden Gate Xpress. Leti has been pursuing a career in journalism since her time at Laney College, where she was editor-in-chief of the college's student publication The Citizen. Connecting to people and giving them voices is what brought her to journalism. Letícia was an audience intern at the San Francisco Chronicle during summer 2022 before transferring to SF State. In her spare time, Leti can be found exploring the outdoors and hanging out with her friends.
Feven Mamo
Feven Mamo, Staff Photographer
Feven Mamo started her educational journey at Berkeley City College, initially majoring in computer science, before transferring to San Francisco State University as an economics major. Professionally, she held the role of an Economic Equity Research Analyst at U3 Systems Work. Her photography passion started with a thrifted film camera from Oakland, her work is influenced by social justice issues and the streets of Oakland. Previously, her photography has been selected as a weekly favorite by VSCO, a photography app for mobile devices. Feven also exhibits a deep enthusiasm for curly hair, having previously worked as a hair model for hairstylists. 

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