This month, the California Faculty Association (CFA), an AAUP affiliate, celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of its recognition as the collective bargaining representative of faculty in the California State University and of its first contract.
Over the past three decades CFA, which represents twenty-four thousand librarians, counselors, coaches, and tenured, tenure-track, and non-tenure-track faculty, has grown into one of the most powerful and influential faculty unions in the country. CFA’s contract is a model for the protection of the rights of contingent faculty, and its successful efforts to involve and unite diverse faculty members are exemplary. CFA is also to be applauded for its important role in building the national Campaign for the Future of Higher Education, in which the AAUP is also a participant.
The AAUP is proud to have been part of CFA from its very beginning in 1972. At that time, faculty collective bargaining was controversial in the AAUP. Today, roughly three-fourths of AAUP members are part of collective bargaining units represented by the AAUP or one of its affiliates, like CFA. CFA members have from the start and continue to play important roles in the AAUP. Today,CFA member Hank Reichman serves as AAUP first vice-president, and other CFA members serve on the AAUP-CBC Executive Committee, the AAUP national Council, and numerous AAUP committees. CFA members have played an important part in reinvigorating the California conference of the AAUP.
As CFA marks this important milestone in its history, the union is also preparing to negotiate a new contract. In recent years these negotiations have been inordinately prolonged and difficult, but with the CSU administration now under new leadership CFA is hopeful that this time will be different. Whatever happens, however, the AAUP will stand with our CSU colleagues in supporting CFA’s efforts to secure much-needed gains in compensation and workload reduction, improved job security for contingent lecturers, and strengthened protections for academic freedom and faculty intellectual property, all elements of a fair contract.
For more on CFA and its contract negotiations go to www.calfac.org.