California Faculty Association demands a new, fair contract

By Raymond Nava

The California Faculty Association is right in their demands for their new contract, and to go on strike if California State University doesn’t meet their demands.

On Oct. 30, 95% of the CFA voted in favor of authorizing a strike if necessary, in order to secure a deal they want large classroom sizes, teachers pay, and lack of mental health services for students to all be addressed. 

This move shows that the year of union strikes is not over yet. 

Some of the demands the Union is making are a pay raise up to 12% that keeps up with inflation, expanded paid parental leave, and pay equity and raising the floor for the lower paid faculty. 

Unsurprisingly, California State isn’t keen on giving the Union what they’re asking for. 

Amy Bentley-Smith, a spokesperson for  Cal State, said the strike vote was not unexpected and said this tactic has been used in the past during contract negotiations. “They don’t have the revenue to cover the raise that the union is asking for,”Bentley-Smith said.  

The Union has countered by providing an accounting analysis that shows Cal State has amassed annual surpluses that aren’t used and instead goes into their reserves. Because union contracts aren’t for many years, Cal State can more than afford to use their reserve pool to provide for the raise the union is asking for. 

If the union does go on strike, Cal State could try to temporarily replace them with temporary workers, also known as scabs. 

It would not be surprising if Cal State did this. 

During other union strikes many organizations employed scabs, much to the disapprovment of the unions. 

Using scabs would be a detriment to the quality of the learning environment for students.

 It would be telling if Cal State went through with this that they would rather use scabs and hurt the learning environment of students rather than give teachers the pay raise they deserve.

 If this does happen, students attending a Cal State University should walk out to show solidarity with their teachers.

The union is right when they say that their working conditions are the students’ learning conditions. 

If a teacher’s work environment is not good, it’s going to have an effect on the quality of the teacher, in turn affecting the students. 

This concept isn’t new we’ve seen this at the grade school level where teachers have bought supplies for their class with their own money because they are severely  underfunded. 

This negativity affects the environment. 

Cal State should fully agree to what the union is asking for in order to avoid disrupting student learning at their colleges. 

It is the right thing to do for professors and their students. 

If a strike does happen, scabs shouldn’t be employed  either. They hold all the power and what they do will determine if a strike does happen in the end.

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