The California Faculty Association continued its one day strikes early this morning at the California State University of Los Angeles, marking the third day of a weeklong campaign for CFA members who are hoping their contract demands will be met by the CSU administration.
Anthony Ratcliff, the CFA Chapter President at CSULA, believes that these strikes have been years in the making. Faculty have continued to advocate for better working conditions and wages for years, but the CSU has not been able to meet their demands.
“With these strikes, we are trying to show that our faculty and our students are the primary reason for these universities. Our staff is what keeps these schools up and running,” said Ratcliff. “This is a great example of student, faculty and staff solidarity. We have shown that we are capable of shutting down the campuses, so if we need to do it more, we will keep doing it.”
The CFA strike organizers arrived at CSULA at 5 a.m. to set up check-in tents, establishing what volunteers would be doing throughout the day and making sure that the strike remained safe and respectful.
Politicians, union representatives and students took the stage and gave speeches sharing why this strike is important for them and the future of the CSU.
Anita Rangel, a student intern at Students for Quality Education, gave a speech to the hundreds of picketers highlighting why this fight is important to the students, especially for minority students.
“The universities used to be free, it was until Black and Brown students started to attend is when they started to charge… They (the CSU) are greedy. It is our job to keep the doors open for future generations so that they get the education that they deserve,” said Rangel. “We will make the path for them. We will guide them. This movement does not stop now, it will continue to grow, and it will continue to be reimagined.”
CFA Associate Vice President Michelle Ramos Pellicia thanked the crowd for their continued support during the last two strikes, but assured the crowd that the CFA is just getting started. The CFA will continue to strike until their own members feel fairly compensated and intend to stand solidarity with other bargaining unions within the CSU such as Teamsters and Academic Professionals of California (APC).
“The power of solidarity is undeniable. Without us these institutions do not run and that is why we are shutting it down,” shared Pellicia.
Though the strikes are taking place all throughout the state, individual campus communities such as Channel Islands, Dominguez Hills and Long Beach traveled to CSULA on buses to join the picket line including students.
After the speakers finished addressing the crowd, hundreds of protesters began to march around the CSULA campus to remind the administration and the individuals who crossed the picket line, the CFA will not back down until demands are met.
The march included chants that highlighted the demands of the CFA such as a 12% raise and extended leave benefits for parents.
The one-day strikes conclude tomorrow Dec. 7 at California State University of Sacramento CFA protestors hope that the CSU administration acknowledges their fight in next week’s negotiation session.