The California Faculty Association (CFA) a social justice union of 29,000 faculty members across the California State University (CSU) system is negotiating for 15 demands to be met.
“This union is important because we’re trying to humanize our labor and make the work that we do and to be properly compensated for the work that we’re doing and trying to avoid being exploited,” said Marisol Ruiz, a professor at Cal Poly Humboldt and CFA President. “I’m a part of the union. I’ve always believed in the union because if we don’t have– the union protects workers just in general. Every job you have, you want to have a union because it will protect just your basic human rights.”
Some of the demands include a 12% salary increase, pay leave, stable workload, ensuring health and safety, and sustainable benefits.
“The union is part of that because it’s not only about our rights, it’s about student rights” Ruiz said. “Better working conditions for workers, it’s also better services for the student.”
As of now, both are in the mediation phase. Next is the fact-finding phase.
“We’re going to go to a fact-finding, usually we win because we uncover that they have all the money that they say they do not have,” Ruiz said. “The process after fact-finding, hopefully, their they’ll say, you have the money you need to settle and they’ll give us what we want. That’s usually what’s happened. If not, we go to the next stage, which will be most likely a vote of striking or not striking. After that, we strike.”
In 2016, CFA almost struck. In the fact finding they found the money that was able to allocate their demands. This is an ongoing negotiation and more information will be revealed as they are made.
The CSU system statement reads, “If negotiations reach a point where faculty decide to strike, such actions would not be in the best interests of our students. If a strike were to occur campuses would remain open and would work to ensure that students are affected as little as possible.”