The California Faculty Association will soon vote to strike

Tanya Ramirez

The California Faculty Association across all 23 CSU campuses will potentially take part in the largest strike in higher education history, according to a recent press release.

Unresolved issues regarding labor agreements and expired contracts have led faculty to call for action against the Chancellor’s Office.
On April 16, CFA members will meet to vote on whether a strike will take place.

CFA spokesperson Brian Ferguson said the chancellor and CFA have been unsuccessful in negotiating a fair contract for the past 18 months.
“We don’t want to strike,” Ferguson said. “But if an agreement cannot be reached than we will have to strike.”

Nate Thomas, CFA president of the CSUN chapter, said CSUN will participate in the strike if mediation is not made prior to the vote in April. Thomas said the faculty protests at CSU East Bay and CSU Dominguez Hills on Nov. 17, 2011 were just a small sample of what faculty are capable of.
“We were told business would go on as usual at East Bay and Dominguez, but they were both ghost towns,” Thomas said. “It just proves that we have the power to close the system down.”

Thomas said CSU faculty members have gathered support from politicians and activist figures, including Cornel West, professor of philosophy at Princeton University.

“When you have support from politicians, that means you’re doing the right thing,” Thomas said.

Another issue Thomas and the CFA are concerned with is the power held by CSU presidents. Thomas said presidents are able to fire faculty members, which he believes should not be within their authority.

According to the release issued by the CFA, if an agreement is made, faculty members will receive more benefits including promised wages, health benefits, summer employment, approval of sabbaticals and leaves and protection against layoffs.

A faculty agreement will also mean unlimited class sizes and less difficulty with registering students.