History of the SCFA Membership

The SCFA was founded in 1975 to give the faculty of the campus opportunities for negotiation with the university administration and lobbying at the state level that are not available to the Senate. Arising on most UC campuses around that same time, the various Faculty Associations joined together to form the Council of University of California Faculty Associations (CUCFA). The associations foresaw a time when an act like HEERA (Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act) would legalize bargaining for university employees.

Led by Professor David Feller, Professor of Law at Boalt Hall of U.C. Berkeley, CUCFA played a large part in the design and passage of the Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) in 1978. That law constituted Senate faculty as a separate unit from other employees and specified that matters traditionally within the purview of the Senate (such as curriculum, hiring and promotion) should remain outside the scope of bargaining.

With the passage of HEERA, the rules of governance changed. Previously the administration had normally consulted the Senate on terms and conditions of employment (such as pay and benefits), although it had no obligation to do so. With the new law the administration was absolved of all responsibility to consult on such matters with any group except an elected exclusive representative.

In 1981, three campuses held elections to determine faculty representation for the purpose of bargaining with the administration: UCSC, UCB, and UCLA. At Santa Cruz the SCFA was elected as the local bargaining agent; at the other two campuses, the Senate faculty voted for no representation. Consequently, under HEERA of 1978 the Regents recognize the Santa Cruz Faculty Association as “the exclusive representative” of the employee unit made up of members of the Academic Senate on this campus. As a result, the administration is required to “meet and confer” with the SCFA on local issues. But we have a unique position in the UC system that is even more important. Because we are the only legal bargaining unit representing Senate Faculty in the U.C. system, the administration is required to “consult” with the SCFA also on matters of systemwide significance.

As a certified collective bargaining agent for senate faculty, the SCFA is the only such Faculty Association in the UC system that has the right to negotiate over local terms and conditions of employment. Moreover, the SCFA must be consulted over any systemwide change to faculty members’ employment conditions in the UC. The SCFA thereby invested the Senate faculty of the whole university with power, and benefits from the weight of the Council’s collective authority and from the expertise of its members, especially of faculty from the UC law schools.

In 2001, the SCFA affiliated with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) for a two-year period which was indefinitely renewed by vote of the membership, effective January 1st, 2003.

As of 2012, we were no longer formally asssociated with AAUP. But, we continued to participate in broader movements to educate the public about the value of public higher education and the threats it faces today through our evolving partnership with CUCFA, AAUP, the California Faculty Association (of the CSUs) the national Campaign for the Future of Higher Education.

In 2015, CUCFA and AAUP agreed to form a partnership together as independent but allied entities. By partnering with AAUP, CUCFA will be better able to advance its goals in the defense and promotion of academic freedom, shared university governance, and the economic security of all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education. AAUP will also gain from the valuable experience and ideas of CUCFA’s members and leadership and from CUCFA’s promotion of these goals on the University of California’s ten campuses.

As a member of a UC Faculty Association, which is a chapter organization of CUCFA, you will now automatically enjoy a connection with AAUP through CUCFA. To receive the full rights and privileges of individual AAUP membership, however, you can, as a supplement to your campus Faculty Association membership, join AAUP at special rates.

Membership, Leadership, and Dues

Any member of the Academic Senate may join the SCFA. We must negotiate on behalf of all members of the Senate, whether they are members of the SCFA or not, but only members have a say in the management and decision making of the Association. Our Executive Board of seven members is elected on a rotating basis from members in good standing and selects from among its own ranks the a Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer.

The members of the Executive Board serve without remuneration. The members of the Executive Board serve in staggered two-year terms, three of them elected one year, four the next. A Nominating Committee of members of the SCFA (not on the Executive Board) selects a slate of candidates each spring and an election notice is sent out. Any member wishing to stand for election to the board may make such wishes known to a board member–the Board seeks the regular renewal that comes from new participants. The Executive Board’s members engage in frequent consultation by telephone and email to take care of daily business, and they try to meet in person at least once a quarter.

Members’ dues support the SCFA’s advocacy work, as well as CUCFA’s lobbying and other activities. The SCFA maintains a reserve, derived entirely from the monthly dues of members, so that we may proceed against the university administration in court should the need arise. The Academic Senate, by contrast, has no independent funds to sustain such actions.

Past Activities of the SCFA

In 1991-92, merit increases to faculty coming up for merit increases during that year were arbitrarily denied by the Administration as a cost-saving tactic. At a time when the Statewide Academic Senate was supine and the administration showed no intention of ever paying the merit increases, the SCFA–through CUCFA–filed a complaint against the university administration before the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) on the grounds that the university failed to consult either the SCFA or the Council with respect to the university’s denial of merit pay for the period January 1-June 30, 1992.

All the lawyer’s fees in the PERB complaint, and they were considerable, were paid exclusively by the SCFA. Much of the research for the PERB suit was conducted by CUCFA’s Executive Director in consultation with members of the SCFA board. Although the SCFA’s suit was not itself successful (the court found against the SCFA on a technicality in late 1993), that action contributed substantially to the success of the later suit that did succeed both in recovering the merit increases for that year and in establishing the illegality of the Administration’s ever taking any similar action of arbitrary denial of salary increases in the future.

* The SCFA’s lawyer for the PERB hearing had engaged in detailed discovery and was able to help the lawyers in the later suit that was successful.

* The argument advanced in the successful suit had its origins in discussions between the SCFA and the Council.

* The further argument that was successful in reducing the lawyers’ fees from 25% to 19.5% was devised by a member of the SCFA.

Some years ago, upon the death of a local faculty member, the Association became aware that the rules for benefits for widows and surviving children of faculty had been altered without any consultation. The Association negotiated the restoration of the original system of benefits.

When the university administration unilaterally eliminated a favored health plan from the range of opportunities available to all UCSC employees, the SCFA protested the grievance through legal channels, employing its own lawyer and secured a new, acceptable, and cheaper plan for the campus; the administration paid the association $6000 in penalties, which the association distributed to all Senate faculty affected by the change in the campus policy.

During 1995, the SCFA was extremely active over the issue of the university administration’s revision of the APM regulations concerning outside employment of faculty, a document that claimed the right to regulate all outside employment, including activities conducted during weekends and holidays. CUCFA sent a lengthy analysis of the manifest deficiencies of the document to the administration and to the Academic Council of the Senate, and set a date for a formal consultation in August if our concerns were not addressed. In the end the administration accepted a redrafting of the regulations by the Academic Council which responded to the concerns of the CUCFA’s letter, and the formal consultation did not have to take place.

For several years, legal actions by the SCFA delayed the implementation of parking fee increases for senate faculty members, and in pursuing that matter, the SCFA has established important precedents that should help us hold the administration more responsible for its use of parking revenues in the future.

Please see our Home page and  annual report to read about our more recent activities. We also encourage you to visit the websites that are maintained by CUCFA where you can read about Faculty Association NEWS,  Accomplishments and CUCFA’s vision of how to restore the California Master Plan for Higher Education.