Tuesday, November 21, 2006

video from the CFA protest at the CSU Board of Trustees

Apparently, someone involved in the protest action organized by CFA at the CSU Board of Trustees meeting captured some video of the event. What you'd be seeing if you'd click the links, are the protestors making a hell of a racket, and then the more direct civil disobedience action, where some of my colleagues put a pledge* in front of each member of the Board, sat down, and the Board eventually left, leaving my CFA colleagues behind, to hold a shadow meeting.

I think the reactions of the members of the board and the chancellor (he's the - pardon me for saying - largish bald guy who keeps pretending there's nothing going on) speak for themselves.

CFA intended to prevent the Board from conducting business as usual. The video clips show us the Board calling the roll, and then abandoning the room when the protestors' chants keep them from doing anything. In other words, the protest worked perfectly. Whether this will help us is anybody's guess; in mediation, the CSU has already reneged on tentative agreements made this summer. CFA didn't fail to expect this, but in collective bargaining settings, taking back what you'd already tentatively agreed to is deeply weird.

*The text of the pledge is as follows:

“Pledge for the Future of the CSU.”

Our nation’s largest four-year system of public higher education — the California State University
— faces extraordinary challenges that threaten to undermine broad access for students to a
quality public higher education.

Every year 400,000 California students look to the CSU as their hope for a college education. The
CSU provides opportunity to vast numbers of students who might otherwise not be able to pursue
higher education.

The CSU fuels not only California’s economy, but also our quality of life and our democratic
institutions. This understanding was enshrined in 1960 in California’s Master Plan for Higher
Education, a document that set out the creation of our state’s public higher education in a new
way not before attempted by other states.

That goal means, among many other things, keeping the CSU affordable even for those with the
least means, and guaranteeing a strong, stable teaching force with effective student services in
an environment conducive to learning.

We pledge to preserve this vision of public higher education by adopting policies and acting in
ways that best serve this primary mission of the CSU – the instruction of our students.

We refresh our commitment by joining in this pledge to rectify the system’s inequities; we seek a
new direction that will preserve the basic concept of public higher education in the 21st Century.

We begin by committing to:

1. End immediately excessive perquisites for executives present and past;
return the money to the CSU

2. Roll-back student fees to 2002/03 levels

3. Negotiate a fair contract with the CSU faculty and all CSU employees

To accomplish these ends,

We will advocate persistently and devotedly for the necessary resources to fully fund the CSU.

We will seek to reach a fair and equitable contract with the teachers, librarians, coaches,
advisors, counselors, and all of the staff who make the university work every day.

We will adopt policies that protect California’s taxpayers from abuse, fraud or waste of the
precious dollars devoted to the CSU.

We will work hard to restore the trust placed in us by the students, faculty, staff, alumni and
people of California to ensure a well-managed university system able to guarantee a vibrant,
successful future for the CSU.

1 comment:

KOM said...

When I was in 5th grade, we had a mock CA legislature (much like the mock UN which has swept the country, and that we also participated in...)

It amounted to: "We meed a new super-highway between CA and NV!"

"Cool. Where do I sign?"

I am always in awe of the idealism of youth - it's too bad that it must be tempered with the wisdom of age.