The union of college professors in the Golden State that one member dubbed “The California Feckless Association” is working overtime to show how out of touch it is with nation, state and world. “At a time when the present California budget crisis causes the California State University system (CSU) to institute steep tuition hikes, drastic restrictions in the number of students admitted, a hiring freeze, and forced non-paid furlough days for faculty and staff (resulting in a forced deduction in pay), is it equitable or honorable to force faculty and staff to contribute to political causes they find highly objectionable?” Leile Beckwith, herself a professor emeritus from UCLA, asks in a piece in The American Thinker. “The question arises from the fact that the California Faculty Association (CFA)—one of the largest academic unions in the nation, representing 23,000 faculty, counselors, librarians, and coaches on 23 campuses—acts as an exclusive bargaining representative within CSU.”
“Although 22 states have Right to Work laws to ensure that employees can decide whether to join or financially support a union, the other states, including California, require monthly union dues as a condition of employment when the union is deemed the exclusive bargaining representative.” Along with dues-collecting authority, the CFA also reserves for itself the right to support political causes, to a degree that may not be constitutional, on subjects hither and yon.
In its recent convention, for example, the CFA introduced resolutions unfavorable to Israel. ”The resolution was written by an ad hoc Peace and Justice Committee made up of five faculty members, who, under the rules for ad hoc committees, were not elected, but chosen by the California Faculty Association President, Lillian Taiz,” Beckwith writes of one of these. “Her choices were inexplicable since none of the members has any expertise in Middle East history or culture.”
“Rather, the choices included professors of government, language, English, and occupational therapy. It is also baffling that not all of the participants are listed on the Peace and Justice page.”
Malcolm A. Kline is the executive director of Accuracy in Academia.