California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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We Don’t Want to Strike, But We Will…

Elijah Nouvelage
Dr. Nicholas Baham III leads a striking CFA group along Carlos Bee Blvd on Nov. 17, 2011

Students … it may not always seem like it, but your faculty love you. We love teaching and working with students, and we love our jobs, all because of you. We care deeply about you and your future. That’s why the California Faculty Association (CFA), the faculty labor union representing faculty, counselors, librarians, and coaches, in coalition with students, fought against the recent student fee increases that will raise fees by 34% over the next 5 years. We see you; we see how hard you work. We know that this fee increase is not fair.

At Cal State East Bay and across the CSU system, the same cycle has repeated over and over. The CSU management in the Chancellor’s Office insists that they need more money to keep the system afloat, but then does not lobby effectively for a larger budget for the CSU from the legislature and the Governor. They consistently leave the heavy lifting of lobbying for increased state funding for the CSU to us, your professors and our union, CFA.

The CSU Board of Trustees then looks to the students to provide the money that the administration claims it needs to operate but failed to secure from the state. All the while the Chancellor’s Office continually looks to use the students (and their financial aid) as ATM machines to fund the system. It’s not surprising the Chancellor’s Office regularly resists oversight from the state legislature that would make them accountable even as it battles against efforts to pay reasonable salaries to their employees.

Make no mistake, the recent increase in student fees is not designed to invest in the classroom by paying CSU employees livable wages. CSU management would rather pay high priced consultants to fight us at the bargaining table; management continues to undervalue and disrespect the work we do. That’s why your faculty are voting to authorize a strike this week.

As faculty, we want the ability to do our jobs well, be compensated fairly, be able to recruit new colleagues that can also serve our students well, have enough psychological counselors to serve students, have family and parental leave when we need it, and to feel safe at our jobs. That’s what’s at stake for us and why the faculty are fighting back.

We are advocating for ourselves and for our students. At Cal State East Bay, we like to say that students learn through experience. Students should talk to their faculty about their salary and working conditions. We all want students to have good salaries, good benefits, and safety in their future jobs. Through our activism, we’re modeling how to get it, and we count on your support.

Students, if you’re asking yourself, “how can I help?,” please talk to your professors about the strike vote and follow Students for Quality Education on Instagram: @csueb.sqe for the latest news.

California Faculty Association, East Bay Chapter, Executive Board

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