Spring semester has begun!
Last year at this time we were preparing for a new round of bargaining. Midway through the semester we learned of the tentative agreement that included a salary increase of 3.5% to be paid 1 November 2018 and another increase of 2.5% to be paid 1 July 2019. The extension of our contract was approved by the end of the semester and is in effect now.
This year national politics is going to cloud our future. Toward the end of this month, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in the Janus v. AFSCME case. This is the son of the 2015 Friedrichs case that died with a tied vote when Judge Scalia died, a deus ex machina solution we cannot expect to save us again.
Anti-union consultants and their corporate backers have generated these cases to weaken public employees and our unions. The immediate goal is tipping the rules governing employee-employer relations in favor of employers. The political purpose of the Janus case is to weaken the public employee unions that are the main advocates for public services like the CSU. In fact, as in Michigan and Wisconsin, they would like to turn California into a so-called “Right-to-Work” state.
Your union has been a strong advocate for adequate funding of the CSU. We lobby elected officials to reinstate the Master Plan and to reestablish the CSUs as places where you don’t need a fortune to get a good education. You can join us April 30th and May 1st when we visit legislators in Sacramento to tell your story. April 4th, we invite you to join CFA in Sacramento to pressure Governor Brown to fully fund the CSU.
The new political realities foisted on us by national politics means that we must change how we are involved with CFA. We will have to rely on our own effort to maintain and secure our contracts and the working conditions that flow from them. Each of us must vocally express our membership in CFA when we are with our colleagues, and ask everyone to become a member. Spend an hour every other week helping non-members become members.
Preston Rudy, PhD
President of CFA @ SJSU