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Faculty Rights Tip of the Week: Don’t let administrators intimidate you or violate the law when it comes to the strike

Both HEERA and Article 6 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement protect our faculty members from reprisal for union activities including the work we’re doing to prepare for the strike.  Additionally, our faculty members enjoy many constitutional rights including the right to free speech and freedom of assembly.

We’ve heard about a number of messages and public comments from administrators warning faculty about their conduct with regard to strike preparation. The messages are chilling, and skirt dangerously close to violating the law.

We will take all steps necessary to ensure that our union’s and faculty members’ rights are protected, including pursuing legal claims against the Chancellor, the Trustees, and individual administrators.

In the tradition of Academic Freedom, we fully expect faculty members to discuss appropriate and germane topics within their classrooms. To be sure, faculty members can talk about issues that are relevant to the classroom, which can include the strike, the situation of faculty, student fees and debt, and the CSU as a public agency. In last week’s tip of the week, we provided some information and background about the long honored tradition of Academic Freedom and members’ rights.

Our Collective Bargaining Agreement comes into play as well, as faculty members have an enforceable right to be free from reprisal for participation in CFA activities. To that end, we will file contractual grievances whenever CSU administrators violate our members’ rights to engage in union activities including strike preparation.

HEERA, the act governing collective bargaining, provides CFA with a number of rights, and we will file unfair labor practice charges should the University interfere with CFA’s statutory rights.

Again, it is an intrusion into Academic Freedom and a violation of the First Amendment for the administration to try to interfere with the rights of faculty members to engage in activity and discussion in and outside of the classroom.  Administrators should know that they face individual liability when they violate the contractual and civil rights of employees.

We do not expect to see administrators acting badly as we prepare for the strike. However, if you are aware of CSU administrators violating the Collective Bargaining Agreement, HEERA, or your constitutional rights, get in touch with us right away.  Contact your chapter or email bargaining and legal advocates at: strikequestions@calfac.org.

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