Strike Update From the California Faculty Association (CFA)
As most folks on campus hopefully know by now our faculty union is preparing to go on strike at this and all other universities in the California State University system. What follows is from CFA, our faculty union:
First Ever Faculty STRIKE AUTHORIZATION VOTE BEGINS
On Monday morning faculty across the CSU state began casting the first ballots in a vote to authorize job actions by faculty. This vote by the members of CFA sets the stage for an historic, first-ever work stoppage by the CSU faculty, if a fair contract settlement is not reached with the Reed administration.
Every member of the California Faculty Association is entitled and encouraged to vote. If you are not a CFA member you may join at the voting location and cast a ballot. This is the time for the faculty to let their sentiment be heard.
If you have not yet voted, it is not too late. Every vote is critical to the faculty cause and will help settle the contract.
For details on how to vote on your campus, look for the “Strike Vote” posters on your campus, or call your campus CFA chapter office. Get contacts and other information at http://calfac.org/strikevote.html
HISTORIC STRIKE VOTE SPARKS MASSIVE MEDIA COVERAGE
Statewide news media coverage of CFA’s historic strike vote is unprecedented. For an in-depth survey of primary links to TV, radio and newspaper stories about our impasse with the CSU administration and the possible consequences, be sure to follow the In the News page at CFA’s website (http://calfac.org/inthenews.html), which is updated regularly.
This collective news judgment is eminently justified. Nearly two years of negotiations for a contract in the nation’s largest four-year public university system have been fruitless. Teaching conditions continue to decline while the faculty’s compensation falls further behind inflation and those of faculty at other institutions of higher learning.
The strike vote kicked off with simultaneous news conferences Monday on four of the campuses: Los Angeles, San Diego, East Bay (Hayward) and Sacramento. These events included statements by faculty and regional labor leaders from the California Teachers Association, the Firefighters Union and leaders of Central Labor Councils who pledged support if a strike should occur. TV news broadcast widely images of faculty members at the polls.
As the cameras rolled, CFA leaders spoke passionately to the press about the issues that have led us to this impasse. In reports whose accuracy is universally acknowledged, the neutral and authoritative California Postsecondary Education Commission notes that CSU faculty are paid 18% less than their peers at comparable institutions across the country. Since 2002, faculty salaries have remained stagnant—just one 3.5% raise—while the administration, enabled by a rubber stamp Board of Trustees, has bulked up its own salaries by 23%.
A walkout by CSU faculty would be the largest such action in American public higher education history.
“The media coverage is significant on several fronts,” said John Halcón, the statewide CFA Secretary. “The accuracy level of the reporting, both on TV yesterday and in the newspapers today, has been very impressive. This is a sign that our message—about our members’ interests and about the public’s—is getting through.”
Don’t forget to chime in with your comments, both positive and negative, in letters to the editor. These keep the media on their toes and give us another opportunity to reinforce our message in our voice, with concrete examples. For tips on getting letters published, see: http://calfac.org/letter.html