The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Are you angry now? Do something about it

At the beginning of this semester I wrote an editorial that tried to let students know about the many issues faculty members at CSUN have with the CSU administration and their dealings during contract bargaining. Today I am writing to let you know why faculty will be conducting a small informational picket campaign on campus – yes, we are going to let you know why we are angry. That is our way to communicate our concerns and let the campus community decide.

So I am writing to update you on the issues and why the California Faculty Association (CFA), the faculty union on campus, feels that our working conditions are your learning conditions. The bottom line is that we still have labor problems on this campus and will for the foreseeable future. One reason for this is the CSU’s refusal to relent on its demands for take backs from faculty.

No matter what the CSU’s statements are to the contrary, CSUN faculty members are still insisting that classrooms are too full, that we do not have enough tenure track teachers to fill the classes that are scheduled, and that the working conditions of faculty on this campus are not what they should be. Namely, we are losing good faculty members due to low wages, excessive work and other deficient working conditions.

Remember that great teacher that is no longer around? You now most likely know why he or she is not around.

So we again argue that faculty contract negotiations should concern students. Last time we noted the possibility of job actions on campus – a fancy term for strikes and other events that show faculty members are tired of the BS and ready to get on with teaching. But they cannot. They have to fight to pay their bills and they have to fight for you to get more classes, teachers, and better learning conditions in the process.

Today you will see the first visible public action on campus – an informational picket at 3 p.m. on the corner of Prairie and West University Drive. This is one way faculty (and students, if you care to join us) can express their anger, frustration and concern over our working conditions, the deplorable classroom situations we face together, and the lack of well-deserved respect that should be granted to faculty and students by the CSU.

The issues we face together are daunting and require collective action. We have a saying in our local union office: “Individually we beg and collectively we bargain.”

The CFA supports students when the CSU tries to raise fees. We said “enough” when you got the last round of raises, and we said “foul” when some administrators got huge raises.

We are ready to say “enough” now that the CSU will not pay faculty who did not get outrageous increases like the CSUN president, and we are ready to say enough of treating faculty as second-class citizens and forcing both students and these hard-working stalwarts of the universality to fight among ourselves to give and get an education at CSUN.

We believe that the CSU and the CSUN campus president need to get off their collective bottoms and go to Sacramento to get more funding for this university.

They get paid enough and they need to do something for us and do it now. Enough is enough and they have a right, no a responsibility, to do their jobs and get what is needed so faculty are treated well and students get the classes they need.

If you wish to express your frustration, anger and concern over the poor working conditions the faculty face and the equally poor learning conditions you face, stop by our informational picket and sign the petitions we will be circulating.

We will gather on the corner of West University Drive and Prairie at 3 p.m. (near the Administration Building and close to coffee if you need a caffeine boost for your night classes).

Join us in saying faculty working conditions are your learning conditions. Join us in saying that individually we will not beg and collectively we will bargain for a better CSUN.

James David Ballard is president of the CSUN Chapter of the California Faculty Association.

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