A Gullible Union Never Learns…..

June 3, 2022

Back on February 4th, I posted my commentary on the acquiescence of the California Faculty Union (CFA) with the Chancellor’s Office of the California State University System. After months and months of refusing to negotiate a new contract in anything resembling good faith, the bargaining process had broken down and the CFA had opted to get the opinion of an outside mediator as to which sides’ claims were more fair. Suddenly, the CO made an offer that seemed to be too good to be true. Instead of realizing that now was the time to press one’s advantage after decades of being barely able to budge the need of equitable compensation, the union settled for a promise that the entire raise would only happen if the Legislature alloted funds for it. It was put to a vote, and 95 percent of the membership voted yes.

I voted “NO.” (See my post for how the ballot was marked.) Four months later, guess what? I got an announcement from the CFA the other day that the California State Legislature and the Governor, at the last moment, pulled the funds that would have provided the full agreed upon raise. The CFA’s letter was full of righteous indignation about how the governor and legislature betrayed the union.

Wrong once again, CFA. You got what you deserved for your gullibility. You trusted someone who can’t be trusted, and your whining is just pathetic self-pity. You have no one to blame but yourself.

If the CFA had really wanted to fight for its membership, it would have demanded a non-negotiable four percent raise (which is way below what inflation is right now) with a chance to convince the legislature that a five percent raise was long overdue to make up for years of austerity and stalled compensation. Obviously, the union was in cahoots with the system the whole time. It was just a public dance meant to convince its membership that “we’re all in this together.” That particular flimsy ideological bromide was at the core of an alleged collaboration between the CSU and the CFA years ago in which union membership was told that if we worked to get a supermajority in the Legislature and we had a Democratic governor that an oil tax would finally be imposed and that the CSU’s woeful budget challenges would finally ease up. And, of course, that was all bullshit.

Yesterday, waiting at a red light, I noticed a placard on a bus: “Cancer won’t wait. Take control.” What’s missing from the second sentence? Four words: “(Let us) take control (of you).” This means, let corporate medicine with all of its self-serving excuses for giving as little service as possible take control of your life. Indeed, let us take control of you the way the way the predator devours the prey.

One should never trust HMOs. One should never trust those who control the distribution of social wealth. In point of fact, if the CFA really wanted to help out the taxpayer, it would investigate why the CSU pays so much for the health care of its employees and how its employees get so little for what is paid. Good luck waiting for that to happen.


From the CFA’s announcement:
“News of the Governor’s decision to trade away, at the last minute, funds that would have guaranteed our full four percent in raises, really is a gut-punch,” said Meghan O’Donnell, CFA Associate Vice President, Lecturers, North. “At a time when people are truly feeling desperate to make ends meet, this money, which is budget dust for the state of California – yet would make all the difference for hard-working folks in the CSU – to trade it away for no reason just feels cruel and unjustifiable.

“It’s not the kind of behavior one expects from a man who claims to be a champion of higher education and of the working class. This feels like someone playing political games with our livelihoods.”

How touchingly self-exculpatory the CFA is! The CFA knows full well how the political game should be fought. It just wants to play the idealistic ingenue instead of playing hard-ball and fighting for the raise without which there can no meaningful social justice.

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