CSU, News

CFA members approve tentative agreement

California Faculty Association (CFA) members approved a tentative agreement with the California State University on Monday with 76% of members voting in favor of ratifying the contract. The agreement now moves to the CSU Board of Trustees for its approval. The board is likely to vote on the agreement at their next meeting on March 24.

“We thank members for their solidarity, debate, and courage to press CSU management for better faculty working and student learning conditions, especially everyone who worked tirelessly organizing the successful strikes and joining the picket lines,” CFA President Charles Toombs said.

Many union members ahead of the vote were critical of the tentative agreement, with criticism ranging from the lack of language in the contract addressing workload for lecturers to the lack of a mandate for a student-to-counselor ratio.

The contract does include language recommending the CSU work towards a 1,500-1 student-to-counselor ratio but does not mandate it. The workload for lecturers is somewhat addressed with language on course caps protecting against unilateral increases by management.

“We understand that the tentative agreement has generated some controversy, among some of us who really wish to achieve nothing short of what we’ve been, you demanding for these last several months,” CFA Secretary Diane Blair said. “I think for other members, the TA reflects some progress, like some significant progress toward our goals, it’s an opportunity to get faculty members really much-needed salary increases, and specific improvements for our working conditions that will sustain us.”

The tentative agreement allows for a 5% retroactive raise for the 2023 academic year, a 5% raise for this current year effective July 1 and a raise in the salary floor for the lowest paid faculty which in some cases could amount to a 21% raise, according to the CFA.

Paid parental leave has been raised from six weeks to 10 weeks and contract language establishes rights and protections for faculty who are interviewed by police. The contract language also calls for access to gender-inclusive restrooms, changing rooms and lactation spaces.

“We now have an extra year to prepare and organize our members for a full contract campaign,” CFA communications specialist Michelle Hatfield said.

CSU Chancellor Mildred Garcia said in a statement that she was pleased with the results of the vote.

“We look forward to the CSU Board of Trustees Committee on Collective Bargaining ratification of the agreement in March and to continue working in partnership with the CFA and its members to carry out our mission in service to our students and the university,” Garcia said.

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