You're receiving this as a subscriber to updated content on the California Faculty Association (CFA) website. CFA never shares your personal information and only uses your email address to share information with you that you have requested. Use the links at the bottom of this message to manage your subscriptions or to unsubscribe.
As the August 31 deadline to pass bills out of the California State Legislature approaches, two CFA-sponsored bills are out of final committees and headed for State Assembly floor votes. If approved, they go to the Governor to sign into law.
SB 968 (Pan) would increase the number of mental health counselors to help students on California State University campuses. The professionally recommended ratio is one counselor for a maximum of 1500 students, which the bill would instruct the CSU administration to honor. Typically, the ratio on CSU campuses is far higher, in some cases as many as one counselor per 3000 or more students.
Mimi Bommersbach, a mental health counselor at Chico who chairs the CFA Counselor Faculty Committee, said in a CFA news release:
“At the very time students’ anxiety is rising over debt and cost of living, students are facing longer wait times to see a counselor on the campuses. There are too few mental health counselors to keep up with student need. On most campuses, administrators are replacing full-time, experienced counselors with counselors on temporary or part-time appointments, which makes it even harder for students to get timely and consistent care. Passage of this bill is a necessary step.”
SB 1421(Skinner) is a “Right to Know” bill that would modify the special secrecy afforded police officers, making the record public in cases involving sexual assault or dishonesty in criminal investigations. It would only apply when accusations had been sustained after due process. The bill also would make records available related to police shootings and other serious uses-of-force incidents. A coalition of groups developed a community fact sheet explaining the reasons behind this bill.
PHOTO: San Francisco State students express support for SB 968 at the CFA Counselor Faculty Committee’s art installation, “Tissues for Issues.” The display illustrates the severe shortage of mental health counselors on campus with a chair representing a counselor surrounded by thousands of tissue boxes representing the number of students who rely on that counselor. Docents discuss with passersby and local news reporters the role of mental health counseling in student success. Leading up to votes in the legislature during the spring, the display also traveled to CSU Chico, Cal Poly Pomona, CSU East Bay, CSU Long Beach, and CSU San Bernardino. Expect to see Tissues for Issues at more CSU campuses this fall.
CFA Members who have been affected by wildfires in California can seek help through relief funds set up by CFA affiliates—the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the California Teachers Association (CTA).
Members of both affiliates donate to Disaster Relief Funds that help other union members affected by fire, flood or earthquake.
SEIU union locals across the country are contributing to an SEIU Disaster Relief Fund to supplement insurance and government assistance for California members who face those “unusual costs which stretch our budgets during a natural disaster.”
A CFA member, because of our affiliation with SEIU, can request funds to help pay for temporary housing or to replace clothes, household goods, and tools, among many other disaster-related expenses.
CTA’s long-standing Disaster Relief Fund also is funded voluntarily by union members “to provide assistance with dignity.” CFA members can seek relief funds for significant hardships including disruption of utilities and displacement or damage to one’s home, among other catastrophic needs.
For assistance in applying for these funds, contact Maritza Lara, CFA Membership & Organizing Services Support Coordinator.
Inspired by an engaging and instructive discussion at CFA’s August Kickoff, the Radio Free CSU podcast this week focuses on the “Race-Class Narrative to Unite Working People.”
Host Audrena Redmond interviewed Tinselyn Simms, communications coordinator for the SEIU Racial Justice Center, and Anika Fassia of Demos about how racism is being used in our country to divide working people—including white folks, Native people, and people of color—as a tactic to build wealth for an elite few while exacerbating economic inequality.
The conversation also turns to ways to create an alternative narrative, which can be extremely helpful for CFA members who want to talk with others about the need for greater racial and social justice in the CSU and the larger society.
“We have to be talking about race and class together because that is the way SEIU members and working people across the country experience things,” Simms says. “The conversation about race is happening and unless we’re having that conversation too, we’re conceding to the narrative put in place by our opposition.”
The Racial Justice Center, in collaboration with Demos, launched an exploration of how people perceive various ways of talking about the issues in our country.
“How do we talk about it in a way that galvanizes people and brings people closer together to build a powerful movement (for) a livable wage and benefits and the things that our families depend on?”
The special 18-minute podcast is available on the CFA website, and also available on iTunes.
To assist new probationary faculty to establish their programs of research, scholarship, and/or creative activities, and to carry out other activities, CFA successfully bargained a reduction in their assigned teaching workload during the first two probationary years of their appointment.
During the first two years of their probationary period, faculty may only be assigned a maximum of eighteen (18) direct Weighted Teaching Units (WTUs) on a semester campus (normally resulting in the instructional assignment being reduced by two courses per academic year) or a maximum of twenty-four (24) direct Weighted Teaching Units on a quarter campus (normally resulting in the instructional assignment being reduced by three courses per academic year).
CFA BOARD ENDORSES SEPTEMBER 8 EVENTS ON CLIMATE CHANGE:Rise for Climate, Jobs & Justice is an international movement that will take action on six continents to link the issues and challenge anti-intellectual science deniers. California’s main event on Sept. 8 is in San Francisco, with lead-up activities around the state in the preceding weeks.
CFA Secretary Kevin Wehr asked the CFA Board to endorse the event and called for CFA members to participate. He says, “We university faculty need to be out there taking a stand for science, for knowledge, and for the future of our planet. This is a decisive moment in which we really can say that truth is truth.”
2018 CFA HANDBOOKS FOR LECTURER AND COUNSELOR FACULTY NOW AVAILABLE ONLINE: New editions of these two much-acclaimed CFA Handbooks are available now on the Lecturers’ Council web page and the Counselor Faculty Committee web page. Both explain the many new terms in the Contract, including opportunities for eligible Lecturers and Librarians on temporary appointments to gain Range Elevations, and the salary raises that go along with an elevation. There are details about eligibility and the application process, which are important because, even if you are eligible, you still have to apply.
NOW ON THE CFA BOARD OF DIRECTORS: San Marcos CFA member Sharon Elise, sociology, assumed a new officer seat on the board as CFA Associate Vice President-South for Affirmative Action. She serves alongside founding AVP for Affirmative Action Cecil Canton, who continues his role in the north.
CFA also has new chairs of committees who serve on the board. Sacramento CFA member Nicki Mehta, education, now heads the CFA Membership & Organizing Committee, continuing the work of D.D. Wills who retired after years of developing “M&O” to keep CFA strong. The CFA Librarians’ Committee is now chaired by San José CFA member Paul Kauppila, and the CFA Retired Faculty Committee is chaired by retired SLO CFA member Rich Saenz, physics. Congrats and thanks from all to all for your service to our faculty union.
Who killed David Josiah Lawson? University Times (Cal State Los Angeles)
Humboldt State student Josiah Lawson was murdered over a year ago; his death remains unsolved.
Youth in California’s Central Valley are reclaiming region’s activist roots EdSource
Decades after civil rights icons Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta brought worldwide attention to the plight of farm workers in California’s Central Valley, a new generation of activists are making an impact in the region — with the focus now on the myriad issues facing young people and efforts to get them involved in civic affairs.
Judge upholds ruling that DACA must be restored CNN
DC District Judge John Bates said on August 3 the Trump administration still has failed to justify its proposal to end DACA, the Obama-era program that has protected from deportation nearly 800,000 young undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children. But Bates agreed to delay his ruling for 20 days (until tomorrow, August 23) to give the administration time to respond and appeal, if it chooses…. The Justice Department, which argues DACA is “an unlawful circumvention of Congress,” has signaled it will appeal.
A major barrier to a college degree for low-income Californians: housing costs Marketplace
Attending a university in California can be a financial burden beyond the means of many college hopefuls. Rising tuition is compounded by the lack of affordable housing in the state and the high cost of living
Require ethnic studies to graduate high school? California inches closer to the idea Calmatters
Report Shows Drop in Students in Teacher Ed Inside Higher Ed
A decline in enrollment in colleges of education and many impending faculty retirements.
DeVos ends Obama-era safeguards aimed at abuses by for-profit colleges New York Times
Historians Want Tubman on $20 Bill Inside Higher Ed
A coalition of historians has issued a letter calling on the Trump administration to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. And the American Historical Association has endorsed the effort.
More States Opting to ‘Robo-Grade’ Student Essays by Computer NPR
Many teachers are unconvinced…. “What is the computer program going to reward?” Henderson [a teacher] challenges. “Is it going to reward some vapid drivel that happens to be structurally sound?” Turns out that’s an easy question to answer… [Meet] the Babel (“Basic Automatic B.S. Essay Language”) Generator; it works like a computerized Mad Libs, creating essays that make zero sense, but earn top scores from robo-graders.