CFA brings noise to SFSU during one-day strike

The following article is in collaboration with San Fransisco State University as a part of California Faculty Association strike coverage 

By Golden Gate Xpress Staff, Dec 5, 2023

The California Faculty Association went on strike early Tuesday morning at San
Francisco State University. The strike is part of a state-wide rolling effort that started on
Monday and will span for the next two days at four of 23 California State University

Alan Robert leads the first chant of the morning on the CFA-SFSU picket line in front of 19th and Holloway on Tuesday, Dec. 5,2023. | Adriana Hernandez, Golden Gate Xpress

“I feel great,” said Brad Erickson, SFSU CFA chapter president. “This is power. This is
us flexing our muscles.

Strike participants seeped onto the campus and surrounded the entire main entrances
of the campus. They held picketing spots at the Creative Arts Building, parking lot 20,
Lake Merced Boulevard, Gym/Science Building, and in front of the SFSU construction
site on Font Boulevard starting at 7 a.m.

“By the end of the week, we would have doubled our strike day as a union,” Erickson
said. “We are demonstrating to management that we’re serious about a fair contract and
not going to accept their crummy offer.”

CFA members picketing at the most populated area, 19th and Holloway picket line on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. | Dmitry Berdnikov,
Golden Gate Xpress

Campus administration –– in partnership with SFSU Police –– hired an additional 20
security guards from Apex, SFSU security vendor, according to Kent Bravo, SFSU
media relations specialist.

“The primary objective of that plan is to ensure no one is blocking access to buildings or
campus pathways and to mediate obstructive or confrontational activity among
attendees,” Bravo. “We will deploy additional staffing to assigned posts if there’s a need
to escalate.”

Amidst the strike, CFA members and supporters chanted a discordance of diverse
chants. Most of them referred to SFSU President Lynn Mahoney and added that they
don’t trust her budget.

Though SFSU was on strike today, some professors didn’t partake in the strike and kept
classes open for students.

James Dudley, is a criminal justice studies lecturer professor and has been an SFSU
faculty member for 11 years. However, he is currently not a member of the CFA Union.

“I had about half the regular number of students show up,” Dudley said. “I think, in large
part because we didn’t put out a lot of publicity about whether or not we were going to
hold class. I sort of had a mixed message of whether or not we should address the
union issues in class or not. So, I just left it and any student who did ask if we were
going to have class I said, ‘Yeah, I’d be there,’” Picketing supporters of the strike were
very upset with faculty who held classes today.

“Professors that didn’t stop class today don’t think this [the strike] was important. We will
keep striking louder to show them that this is important,” said Kaedan Fleischer, a
member of Young Democratic Socialists of America.

The union passed out essential resources such as shirts, bandanas, water, pins, pizza
and signage to their union members who were participating in the strike.

he League of Filipino Students leads the chants at 19th Ave on Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023. | Andrew Fogel,Golden Gate Xpress

“Greed is not good,” said Mark Allan Davis, an associate professor of Africana Studies.
“Greed is not good, because people always get left behind. There’s no recourse but to
end up having to do what we’re doing today, which is to strike.”

“$54,000 a year is unlivable,” said Julia Calderon, the YDSA social media personnel. “I
make more than that and I’m a student, which is ridiculous. It is absolutely insane and it
makes me really sad and I just want to see them be paid for what they do.”

On Friday, Dec. 1, the SFSU administration sent an email to faculty members guiding
that if they participated in the strike, all faculty were required to notify their dean or
associate dean and it would count as an absence by the CSU.

Per the CFA union guidelines, all CSU faculty that strike are not obligated to notify
SFSU and it would not count towards an absence.

“The only way a CSU would not pay a faculty member participating in the strike would
be if the faculty member reports their absence to CSU management,” said Davis.
“We are fighting for better wages and [a] better, equitable and fair contract, which the
CSU hasn’t been able to provide us,” Davis said.

SFSU’s faculty strike also had a lot of support from different organizations and other
CSU campus faculty members. Multiple members from other CFA chapters were seen
on the picket lines all around the school. The CFA Sonoma State Chapter President

Napoleon C. Reyes and other members from surrounding Universities all came to SFSU
to support the CFA-SFSU chapter in their rolling strike.

“This is something that we feel is essential for us to be able to continue to work in the
CSU and until they give it to us, we’re going to continue to take strike action,” said
Meghan O’Donnell, Cal State Monterey Bay lecturer.
Faculty from Cal State Monterey Bay, San Jose, Fresno and Sonoma State were also
present for the strike.

Approximately 30 faculty members from the campus have made the journey to SFSU in
a show of solidarity between campuses, according to Meghan O’Donnell –– a lecturer at
Cal State Monterey Bay.

O’Donnell, who is also the CFA union’s lecturer associate vice president-north, said that
faculty across the state are united in their needs from the CSU system.
“Faculty are really desperate; we’re at the end of what we can tolerate from the CSU
management,” O’Donnell said. “What we are fighting for are very, very reasonable

The statewide rolling strikes will continue on Wednesday at California State, Los
Angeles. It will conclude on Thursday with a stint at Sacramento State.

Feature image courtesy of Kayla Williams at the Golden Gate Xpress 

Collaborated to this coverage: Matthew Ali, Dmitry Berdnikov, Andrew Fogel, Victor
Harris Jr, Adriana Hernandez, Daniel Hernandez, Jason Hernandez, Shunti Jong,
Letícia Luna, Sophia Osborn, Daniela Perez, Steven Rissotto, Michelle Ruano, Destiny
Walker, Kayla Williams, Neal Wong, and Zac Zavala.

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