CFA authorizes statewide strikes

The California Faculty Association authorized a statewide  strike for a 5 percent salary increase, according to the official strike vote results announced Nov. 4. An overwhelming 94.4% of faculty voted “yes” in favor of job actions that include work slow downs or potentially a full strike.

“The faculty are angry and justifiably so,” said CFA president and CSU East Bay professor  Dr. Jennifer Eagan. “Under Chancellor (Timothy) White’s leadership, all of the trend lines in the (California State University) continue to head in the wrong direction. Tenure track hiring is not catching up to student enrollment and neither is hiring of lecture faculty for that matter.”

CFA members voted in-person and online during the strike vote Oct.19-28, according to the CFA website.

Negotiations have now moved onto fact-finding, during which the CFA and the CSU chancellor’s representatives will meet with a neutral third party who will write a report recommending how both sides can settle the salary dispute in a way that benefits everyone. This process will begin at the end of November, according to the CFA website . This is the final process in the negotiations before the CFA can pursue a potential strike or job actions. Faculty will not have the right to strike until fact-finding is complete according to the CFA website. A fact-finder has been chosen but both sides have not yet met with them, the CFA said.

“(The chancellors office)  2 percent offer is insulting,” CFA bargaining chair Kevin Wehr said. “Chancellor White can still settle this today with a stroke of a pen. Pay us a fair 5 percent.”

To continue their push for a 5 percent salary increase, CSU faculty will gather at CSU Long Beach Nov. 17 to attend the CSU Board of Trustees meeting and rally support for their Fight for Five campaign.

“Its not fair to exploit our good will and expect our kind hearts to bear the burden of more work for flat pay,” Eagan said. “As confirmed by the results of the strike vote faculty is motivated to change this course together in solidarity with students and our allies we are powerful.”

CSU administration expected this outcome and insist they are still committed to a fair bargaining process beneficial thats to both sides, according to CSU Director of Public Affairs Toni Molle.

“The CSU remains committed to the collective bargaining process and reaching a negotiated agreement with the California Faculty Association (CFA),” Molle said.  “The approval of the strike vote gives CFA’s leadership the authority to initiate a strike or other concerted activities in the event that the parties do not reach an agreement at the conclusion of the statutory impasse procedure.”