Why California State University Faculty Will Strike on November 17


Posted on 16 November 2011

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By Lillian Taiz
California Faculty Association

Today-- November 17th the faculty of this great university system will take the historic step of striking on two campuses—Cal State East Bay and Dominguez Hills.

Faculty and staff have been more than patient we have watched this administration focus obsessively on the wellbeing of Presidents and top managers and pay millions to consultants who duplicate the work of existing departments.

We have waited for years for this Chancellor and this Board to prioritize the people of California and the people out on the campuses—the students, staff and faculty —who built this system.

Instead, like so many other leaders in this nation, you have talked openly about how a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. You have administered “shock therapy” by bombarding our students, faculty and staff with one ill conceived initiative after another. These initiatives all try to do higher education on the cheap.There is a reason that those in the trenches see most of you as the 1%-- isolated, remote, cut off from the consequences of your decisions. Meeting after meeting, we watch you make decisions that will have disastrous long term consequences for a whole generation of Californians.

Meeting after meeting, we watch you turn a deaf ear to the students who suffer from your decisions and faculty and staff who are horrified by them.

Instead of listening, you act as if you ARE the CSU and the rest of us should, in the words of your chair, just “shut up and get with the program.”

There is a reason that you continually look to us to bail out the university by relentlessly raising fees and refusing to compromise on contracts. Like Wall Street and the Bank of America—you are using us as ATMs while asking us to accept that THIS is the new normal.

Well, it is NOT normal—and we will not accept it.  Enough really IS enough.

We know our 3-minute speeches at your highly choreographed meetings in front of this little microphone will never change you.

But there’s a sea change gaining momentum outside your tightly closed circle in the world—and in the CSU.

We think it can change even YOU.

The shift in understanding on the part of the 99% puts your leadership—and your legacy--under a bright spotlight.  That shift can, we believe, open a real conversation about the need for a board that is truly representative of the people of this state and of the people they are supposed to lead.

We think that’s a conversation that is long overdue.

November 17 Strike Information

California State University East Bay – 5am–5pm

--Starting at 5 am, faculty members will set up and by 6 am will start picketing at the main entrance to campus at Carlos Bee Blvd. and West Loop Rd.

--Spokespeople will be available, including Spanish and Chinese-speaking faculty members

--Peak times for activity include 6:30am-9am, a NOON rally at the main entrance, and a 4-5pm picket line where faculty will be joined by nationally renowned professor Cornel West.

California State University Dominguez Hills – 5am-7:30pm

--5-6:15am, Stevenson Park -- 17400 Lysander Drive, Carson‎ CA‎ 90746-1507

(across Victoria and one block up a side street from Gate E, the main entrance to CSU Dom Hills.

--At 6:15am faculty will launch the Media check-in table at Gate E of the main entrance to campus on Victoria.

--Picket lines will be going all day long. Spanish-speaking faculty members will be available. Peak times include 6:30am-9am and NOON rally at the main entrance.

NOTE: Visuals at both events include theater, drumming, chanting, giant banners, and more.

All of the action will be documented on:

• Twitter: Use hashtag #csustrike

• Facebook: photos and video at facebook.com/californiafacultyassociation

• Pitchhenge: For uploaded photos by 10 am on 11/17, see: http://bit.ly/rLkHQs

• Livestream: On Nov 17 view live action on CFA TV from CSU Dominguez Hills at livestream.com/californiafacultyassociation

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Lillian Taiz is a professor of History at CSU Los Angeles and President of the California Faculty Association (CFA). CFA is the labor union representing 23,000 faculty members, coaches, counselors and librarians working in the CSU system.

"The shift in understanding on the part of the 99% puts your leadership—and your legacy--under a bright spotlight. That shift can, we believe, open a real conversation about the need for a board that is truly representative of the people of this state and of the people they are supposed to lead. We think that’s a conversation that is long overdue."

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