Winter 2022 | Vol. 108, No. 1
The winter issue of Academe explores how the pandemic has changed faculty organizing and engendered new kinds of solidarity. The articles offer snapshots of the recent work of AAUP chapters around the country, provide templates for expanding the faculty’s influence on campus, and draw out lessons that chapters can carry forward into a postpandemic era. They also serve as a reminder that, despite the upheaval of the past two years, the power of AAUP chapters is still built on the same foundations of effective organizing.
As a union family, as colleagues, we are unified in our resolve for a contract for all of us and in breaking down the barriers of systemic injustices.
We are excited to announce that after two years of bargaining through a pandemic – we have a new contract!
Our members overwhelmingly voted in favor to ratify the Tentative Agreement with the CSU; 95% of members who voted said yes. In addition, we had our highest voter turnout of the past decade.
As your colleagues and member-leaders of our CFA union family, we want to thank each and every one of you for turning out and showing the CSU administration that this contract matters.
This new contract and our vote show that we can win pay raises and address issues of anti-racism and social justice at the same time.
Our salary increases – General Salary Increases (GSI), Service Salary Increases (SSI), and Post Promotion Increases (PPI) – mean so much more to our members, addressing need with immediate increases, as well as a $3,500 COVID Service Award, which acknowledges the tremendous amount of uncompensated labor heaped onto faculty during the early phase of the pandemic. And we will reopen salary negotiations next year to further address salary equity and inflation.
The anti-racism and social justice provisions in our new contract are powerful. We took a number of steps to accomplish this, including increasing exceptional service awards and naming “cultural taxation” as a workload problem faced by faculty whose social identities include women and/or Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and/or LGBTQIA+.
Lecturers deserve the increased rights and respect gained in this contract, including expanded range elevation. We secured three years of expanded eligibility to many more lecturer and librarian faculty who were shut out of the program in the past.
Counselor and librarian working conditions will improve with this contract through new terms for teleworking. Our faculty knew it was time to modernize and allow these important services to happen on and off campus locations, and we’ve seen it work for the last two years.
Coaches now have more stable job security with the opportunity for multi-year contracts, instead of being on year-to-year contracts for decades.
This truly is a contract for us all. And these provisions will make a difference collectively and individually.
Charles Toombs; CFA President; Professor, Africana Studies, San Diego State
“After two hard-fought, member-driven years of bargaining, we have a new contract! This vote signifies that we can bargain for salary gains while at the same time moving our working conditions forward through an anti-racism and social justice lens. We are stronger together and our votes demonstrate that emphatically. This is a historic contract for all of us.”
Kevin Wehr; CFA Vice President; Professor, Sociology, Sacramento State
“This is a historic contract in so many ways; it is the first contract bargained explicitly with our anti-racism and social justice frame, and we’ve made some great strides on this including new and defensible rights; there are gains made in important areas of the contract that all members will benefit from, including several firsts for CSU faculty and firsts for the nation; we have a fair compensation package that demonstrates equal pay for equal work; and all of this was bargained during a pandemic—another first that hopefully will not be repeated!"
Vang Vang; CFA Treasurer; Librarian, Fresno State
“When I joined the CFA Bargaining Team, my goal was to win a contract that I could be proud of, a contract that would have something for every member. Raises are awesome but we achieved so much more in this contract, and I could not be prouder. For my work, changes to Article 20 will make an immediate difference, giving librarians and counselors the right to telework. This shows us respect as professionals. I cannot thank my librarian colleagues across the 23 campuses enough for advocating alongside myself and our bargaining team for this win. For me, this contract is just the beginning.”
Even with this contract, our advocacy continues. We still have a salary reopener next year. Our workgroups need to meet about much needed measures like parental support and teaching tenure/professor of practice. Additionally, we look forward to the Chancellor’s upcoming announcement regarding alternatives to policing and working with him on a path forward.
We need all of us, together, statewide and on our chapter campuses to continue our important advocacy to further our collective rights, respect, and justice. Please continue to be in contact with your chapter leadership and chapter representatives for our work to progress forward.
Again, as your colleagues and CFA member-leaders, we thank each and every one of you. Together, we secured a contract for us all.
State legislatures across the nation have passed legislation barring the teaching of “divisive concepts.” In some states, this legislation excludes teaching about race and gender at the university level. Faculty senates at Michigan State, Portland State, DePaul University, Molloy College, and the Universities of Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Minnesota, and Oregon have all passed resolutions defending academic freedom and rejecting such educational gag orders.
We’re pleased to offer a webinar on faculty senate resolutions on behalf of our coalition partners at the African American Policy Forum. Please join in a discussion on Thursday, February 17, at 1 p.m. ET, about the importance of these resolutions to the preservation of education and why institutions of higher education need to commit to ideologically free classrooms.
Two members of the African American Policy Forum, DePaul University professor Valerie Johnson and Portland State professor Jennifer Ruth (who also serves on the AAUP's Committee A), will lead the webinar and answer questions about how to use shared governance to fight back against this assault on academic freedom. Resources to pursue the resolution campaign on your campus will be provided.
Register at https://www.aaup.org/event/webinar-using-faculty-senate-fight-educational-gag-orders.
Gwendolyn Bradley, AAUP Senior Program Officer