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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 brings noise to SFSU during one-day strike

The second of a four-day rolling strike that is shaking the CSU system
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Kayla Williams
Margarita Berta-Avila, una profesora del colegio de educación en la Universidad Estatal de Sacramento y la vicepresidente del CFA habla a los manifestantes de la importancia de la huelga el 5 de diciembre. (Kayla Williams / Golden Gate Xpress)

The California Faculty Association went on strike early Tuesday morning at San Francisco State University. The strike is part of a state-wide rolling effort that started on Monday and will span for the next two days at four of 23 California State University campuses. 

 “I feel great,” said Brad Erickson, SFSU CFA chapter president. “This is power. This is us flexing our muscles. 

Alan Robert leads the first chant of the morning on the CFA-SFSU picket line in front of 19th and Holloway on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Adriana Hernandez / Golden Gate Xpress) (Adriana Hernandez)

Strike participants seeped onto the campus and surrounded the entire main entrances of the campus. They held picketing spots at the Creative Arts Building, parking lot 20, Lake Merced Boulevard, Gym/Science Building, and in front of the SFSU construction site on Font Boulevard starting at 7 a.m.

“By the end of the week, we would have doubled our strike day as a union,” Erickson said. “We are demonstrating to management that we’re serious about a fair contract and not going to accept their crummy offer.” 

Campus administration –– in partnership with SFSU Police –– hired an additional 20 security guards from Apex, SFSU security vendor, according to Kent Bravo, SFSU media relations specialist. 

“The primary objective of that plan is to ensure no one is blocking access to buildings or campus pathways and to mediate obstructive or confrontational activity among attendees,” Bravo. “We will deploy additional staffing to assigned posts if there’s a need to escalate.”

Amidst the strike, CFA members and supporters chanted a discordance of diverse chants. Most of them referred to SFSU President Lynn Mahoney and added that they don’t trust her budget. 

Though SFSU was on strike today, some professors didn’t partake in the strike and kept classes open for students. 

James Dudley, is a criminal justice studies lecturer professor and has been an SFSU faculty member for 11 years. However, he is currently not a member of the CFA Union.

“I had about half the regular number of students show up,” Dudley said.  “I think, in large part because we didn’t put out a lot of publicity about whether or not we were going to hold class. I sort of had a mixed message of whether or not we should address the union issues in class or not. So, I just left it and any student who did ask if we were going to have class I said, ‘Yeah, I’d be there,’” Picketing supporters of the strike were very upset with faculty who held classes today. 

“Professors that didn’t stop class today don’t think this [the strike] was important. We will keep striking louder to show them that this is important,” said Kaedan Fleischer, a member of Young Democratic Socialists of America

Student and faculty volunteers giving out red-colored t-shirts to CFA picket line participants at 19th and Holloway on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Dmitry Berdnikov / Golden Gate Xpress)

The union passed out essential resources such as shirts, bandanas, water, pins, pizza and signage to their union members who were participating in the strike.

“Greed is not good,” said Mark Allan Davis, an associate professor of Africana Studies. “Greed is not good, because people always get left behind. There’s no recourse but to end up having to do what we’re doing today, which is to strike.”

“$54,000 a year is unlivable,” said Julia Calderon, the YDSA social media personnel. “I make more than that and I’m a student, which is ridiculous. It is absolutely insane and it makes me really sad and I just want to see them be paid for what they do.”

On Friday, Dec. 1, the SFSU administration sent an email to faculty members guiding that if they participated in the strike, all faculty were required to notify their dean or associate dean and it would count as an absence by the CSU.

Per the CFA union guidelines, all CSU faculty that strike are not obligated to notify SFSU and it would not count towards an absence. 

“The only way a CSU would not pay a faculty member participating in the strike would be if the faculty member reports their absence to CSU management,” said Davis.

“We are fighting for better wages and [a] better, equitable and fair contract, which the CSU hasn’t been able to provide us,” Davis said.

CFA members picketing at the most populated area, 19th and Holloway picket line on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Dmitry Berdnikov / Golden Gate Xpress)

SFSU’s faculty strike also had a lot of support from different organizations and other CSU campus faculty members. Multiple members from other CFA chapters were seen on the picket lines all around the school. The CFA Sonoma State Chapter President Napoleon C. Reyes and other members from surrounding Universities all came to SFSU to support the CFA-SFSU chapter in their rolling strike. 

“This is something that we feel is essential for us to be able to continue to work in the CSU and until they give it to us, we’re going to continue to take strike action,” said Meghan O’Donnell, Cal State Monterey Bay lecturer.

 Faculty from Cal State Monterey Bay, San Jose, Fresno and Sonoma State were also present for the strike.

Approximately 30 faculty members from the campus have made the journey to SFSU in a show of solidarity between campuses, according to Meghan O’Donnell –– a lecturer at Cal State Monterey Bay.

O’Donnell, who is also the CFA union’s lecturer associate vice president-north, said that faculty across the state are united in their needs from the CSU system.

The League of Filipino Students leads the chants at 19th Ave on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. (Andrew Fogel/Golden Gate Xpress) (Andrew Fogel)

“Faculty are really desperate; we’re at the end of what we can tolerate from the CSU management,” O’Donnell said. “What we are fighting for are very, very reasonable things.”

The statewide rolling strikes will continue on Wednesday at California State, Los Angeles. It will conclude on Thursday with a stint at Sacramento State.

Collaborated to this coverage: Matthew Ali, Dmitry Berdnikov, Andrew Fogel, Victor Harris Jr, Adriana Hernandez, Daniel Hernandez, Jason Hernandez, Sunthi Jong, Letícia Luna, Sophia Osborn, Daniela Perez, Steven Rissotto, Michelle Ruano, Destiny Walker, Kayla Williams, Neal Wong, and Zac Zavala.

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About the Contributors
Adriana Hernandez, Editor-In-Chief
Adriana Hernandez (she/her) is the Editor-In-Chief for Golden Gate Xpress. She is majoring in journalism and minoring in media literacy. Adriana has a passion for storytelling, culture, art, and design. She previously wrote for The Skyline View, the student newspaper of Skyline College. In her downtime, she enjoys reading and watching films. For any inquiries, you can contact me at [email protected].  
Andrew Fogel, Photographer
Andrew Fogel is a photographer for Golden Gate Xpress and Xpress Magazine who’s majoring in photojournalism and minoring in labor and employment studies. If he’s not taking photos, Andrew can be found rooting for the various Philadelphia sports teams. He aspires to be either a staff photographer or a sports photographer in the future.

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