As of Sept. 30, The California Faculty Association’s 18 month long efforts to update their contract with the chancellor’s office has officially reached an impasse. The CFA is the union for all unit 3 faculty which includes all faculty, including tenure-track faculty, lecturers, librarians, counselors, and coaches on all 23 CSU campuses.
According to the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) of 1979, impasse means that “the parties have reached a point in meeting and conferring at which their differences in positions are such that further meetings would be futile.”
“You know it’s just a recognition that we’re not getting anywhere, we’ve got… really revolutionary, really fantastic proposals and the chancellor’s office is just saying no to everything,” said Loren Cannon, CFA Humboldt Chapter President and lecturer at HSU.
There are 19 articles that CFA is looking to improve on. Key issues include anti-racism and social justice proposals, more job security, improved parental and family support for all faculty, improved salaries, better safety protocols that decrease police presence on campus , and to fully recognize and compensate for the cultural taxation placed on faculty. Almost all of the proposals made on behalf of the CFA union have been denied by the chancellor’s office bargaining team.
Director of Forensics at HSU, Aaron Donaldson, shared that although he has a doctorate, a masters and has coached national debate champions, he has no guarantee, as a lecturer, that he will have a job next year because of the current contract structures. Yet, he is expected to plan for budgets and recruitments a year in advance for the forensics team with little compensation.
Donaldson is not alone in this uncertainty, as many lecturers at HSU have no path to permanency. According to Cannon, lecturers – even those who have worked for decades at HSU – have a small chance at securing a permanent position under the current contract.This continuously puts lecturers in danger of losing housing and medical insurance if their classes get cut.
“When faculty members are being respected, treated well, treated fairly, that’s really good for students,” said Cannon. “So our fates are always linked in this really important, significant way.”
Now that CFA has declared an impasse, the bargaining process will move onto what is called mediation. If the CFA finds the proposals are not honoring the needs of the faculty, a strike will be legally allowed after a final best offer is made by the chancellor’s bargaining team.
The organization Students for Quality Education is one way for students to stand in solidarity with faculty and staff at HSU. SEQ works alongside the CFA to be a direct pipeline between the students and faculty. More information on joining SEQ can be found at www.csusqe.org
The CFA also asks that students and community members sign the petition urging President Jackson to act on supporting the faculty at HSU. The petition can be found at www.bit.ly/CFApetition