Working Class Under Siege- Forum

$15DSAFIGHT FOR (APRIL) 15: Fight for $15 readies for its next rounds of strikes, to be held on Tax Day.

DSA Brings Fight for $15, CSU -Sacramento

Working Class Under Siege:

Organized labor and students fight for a brighter future.

Forum: April 16, 2015.  3 PM.

Speakers, video, dialogue. Join us.

Fabrizio Sasso; Executive Director of Sacramento Central Labor Council.

Kevin Wehr, President, California Faculty Association. Paul Burke, Sociology, Ian Lee, the Fight for $15, Robert Longer-CWA, Citizens to Trade Campaign TPP,  Zobeida Menez, Victoria Ordorica Yanez, SQE, Andee Suderland. DSA Student Debt Campaign Leisa Falkner- exploitation of adjunct faculty. Continue reading

California Faculty Union goes on Strike

Thursday, Nov 17, thousands of faculty members made history by participating in the first-ever strike of the California State University system.

The message to the Chancellor was loud and clear from six in the morning until dark: “If you don’t start making decisions based on what is right for the 99% this system serves – instead of the 1% of executives and upper managers running the system — these actions will continue.”

At CSU Dominguez Hills in Southern California, 2,000 people over the course of the day picketed the ten gates surrounding the campus.

At CSU East Bay in Northern California, according to published reports, 93% of classes were canceled for the day. Traffic was backed up for over a mile and a half into the city of Hayward. At noon, police were forced to cordon off the main entrance on Carlos Bee Blvd, effectively closing campus for the rest of the day.

“This week, we sent the Chancellor a powerful message,” said CFA President Lillian Taiz, a professor of History at CSU Los Angeles.

Taiz continued, “People are fed up with his ‘management first’ priorities. The CSU community is tired of seeing the Chancellor give huge raises to executives while student fees are hiked, faculty pay is stagnant, class sizes keep growing, and class offerings and faculty jobs are eliminated.

“Huge numbers of people came out to support the faculty this week – students, community members, staff, supporters from other unions, political leaders, and parents.

“Chancellor Reed is out of touch with the needs of the people in the trenches. Instead, he focuses obsessively on the compensation and perks of his presidents and his managers. The time has come for the Chancellor to prioritize the future of the people of California.

by Duane Campbell

CFA is a member of NEA, and SEIU. DSA Honorary Chair Cornel West addressed the strikers and East Bay and joined the picket line.

photo by David Bacon

State and local governments provide the most basic services to our populace – public education, police and fire, transportation, parks, libraries and basic infrastructure, not to mention funding half the costs of unemployment insurance and Medicaid. Yet with state and local governments facing a recession-induced budget shortage of close to $200  billion ( out of annual expenditures of $1.7 trillion dollars), the standard conservative and moderate Democratic solution is to slash essential services. Most localities will witness significant layoffs of police and fire personnel and close to 200,000 of the nation’s 3.4 million K-12 teachers received  pink slips by September 2011. Continue reading

California schools in crisis, Unions lead the fight back

Duane Campbell

by Duane Campbell

The financial crisis is hitting most of the nation’s public schools including those in most states- particularly California, Texas, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida,  and others.   In California as of 2011, 30,000 teaches have already been laid  off as federal stimulus money runs out, and another 15,000 face possible lay offs depending upon what happens in the state budget conflict. More than 4.1 Billion $ has been cut from California school budgets in the last three years as a consequence of the national economic crisis and there will be at least a  $2.1B additional cut under the best case scenario.

State revenues for schools are in crisis around the nation.  School spending is expected to  bottom out  over the next two years as  states and districts run out of $100 billion in federal stimulus aid for education passed when Democrats controlled the Congress. The stimulus money saved about 368,000 school-related jobs during the 2009-2010 school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education. Most school funding comes from the state and local levels.   Only about 11 % come from federal funds Continue reading

California’s Perfect Storm

Unions and students Unite!

By David Bacon

Student demonstrations

by David Bacon

The United States today faces an economic crisis worse than any since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Nowhere is it sharper than in the nation’s schools. It’s no wonder that last year saw strikes, student walkouts, and uprisings in states across the country, aimed at priorities that put banks and stockbrokers ahead of children. California was no exception. In fact, other states looked on in horror simply at the size of its budget deficit—at one point more than $34 billion. The quality of the public schools plummeted as class sizes ballooned and resources disappeared in blizzards of pink slips. Fee increases drove tens of thousands from community colleges and university campuses.

But California wasn’t just a victim. Last year it saw a perfect storm of protest in virtually every part of its education system. K-12 teachers built coalitions with parents and students to fight for their jobs and their schools. Students poured out of community colleges and traveled to huge demonstrations at the capitol. Building occupations and strikes rocked the University of California (UC) and the California State University (CSU) campuses. Together, they challenged the way the cost of the state’s economic crisis is being shifted onto education, with a particularly bitter impact on communities of color. Activists questioned everything from the structural barriers to raising new taxes to the skewed budget priorities favoring prisons over schools.

Continue reading

California education unions plan statewide protests on March 4

Capitol Building in Sacramento

Image via Wikipedia

March and Rally for Education


Students and Faculty will march to demand a decent budget for California’s schools and universities. Protests will occur around the state, at universities and work sites at the Capitol in Sacramento. Please join us.

In the last two years California’s k-12 schools have received over a $16 Billion cut back. California presently ranks 45th of the states in per pupil spending and last among the states in class size. Now, the Governor proposes to reduce k-12 spending by another $2.4 Billion. The U.C. and the CSU campuses have suffered over a $2 billion cut while tuition and fees were increased over 30%. Classes have been cut, graduation delayed, and faculty dismissed. They must not be cut more. We must work together to save public education. Continue reading

Students, faculty union unite to protest California budget cuts

by Duane Campbell

Over 300 students, and unionized faculty members marched Thursday, Dec.3, in a protest of the budget cuts and tuition increases at Sacramento State and to the California State University System. The students and faculty, many dressed in black, gathered for a mock funeral procession to mourn what they called the “death of higher education” in California.
Sac State Associated Students President Roberto Torres called the demonstration the start of a new student movement and credited the U.C. students for their leadership.
Members of the faculty union, California Faculty Association (SEIU), joined with the students in the demonstration. Over 300 part time faculty have already been laid off at Sac State and hundreds more are to follow. Over 3000 part time faculty have been laid off state wide. In the CSU, part time faculty and full time faculty belong to the same union. Continue reading

Sacramento Faculty Union protests budget cuts

Bill Camp. Sacramento Central Labor Council

Bill Camp. Sacramento Central Labor Council

by Duane Campbell

Sept.2,2009: Over 400 students, faculty and staff of the California State University–Sacramento rallied against increasing fees and cuts to their classes today.  Across the CSU students returned to find that the 2009/10 academic year offers fewer class days as faculty are furloughed, much greater difficulty getting classes, and more limited services even as their fees have risen by one third.

In response to state budget cuts to the universities,  on July 21, the California State University Board of Trustees approved a fee increase requiring undergraduate students to pay $4,026 per year, an increase of about $1,000 over the previous year.  Over the last seven years, during the governorship of Arnold Schwarzenegger, student fees at the CSU  have increased 170%. The budget cuts were caused by the national and international economic crisis created by the financial crisis of 2008. Continue reading