Dear SCFA Member,
As the 2015-16 academic year begins, we would like to welcome you back to campus and encourage you to become active in the Santa Cruz Faculty Association (and perhaps even become a Board Member!).
As you know, the SCFA is a dues-supported membership organization, made up of members of the UCSC Academic Senate. SCFA is the only actual bargaining unit for a senate faculty in the UC system, and as such the administration is required to "meet and confer" with the SCFA on local issues. The administration is also required to "consult" with the SCFA on matters of systemwide significance.
The Senate is a necessary part of shared governance of UCSC, but its power and authority are limited when it comes to matters of faculty welfare. SCFA is legally empowered to provide a voice to faculty outside the regular channels of the Academic Senate and administration. We are able to bring to the faculty's attention issues of concern that might not be publicized until after many decisions have already been made. SCFA actively advocates for the collective interests of UC Santa Cruz faculty and UC as a whole.
Over the last fifteen years, SCFA has advocated on behalf of faculty regarding outside employment, arbitrary denials of merit increases, health coverage, childcare, and rules for benefits for surviving partners and children of faculty. During the past two years, the SCFA was involved with bargaining over a contract between UCSC and Coursera, one of the large purveyors of online MOOCs. These negotiations were successfully concluded this past spring, with two contracts that protect the rights of online course creators. (If you would like to see the contracts, please let us know).
SCFA is also a member of the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA), a particularly important systemwide organization. Through CUCFA, we speak directly to the Governor, legislators, the UC Regents and the media. Among CUCFA's many accomplishments has been successful co-sponsorship of legislation passed around 2000, which specifies that individual professors, and not UC, own intellectual property rights to their lectures, currently especially relevant to "online learning." Both SCFA and CUCFA have become major conduits of information about UC finances, student debt, and privatization of the UCs. When UCOP introduced new systemwide limitations on our health-care options, leaving UCSC faculty and staff with limited or no access to Palo Alto Medical Foundation, the SCFA was active in protesting and lobbying against the change.
We are all concerned about healthcare, pensions, shared governance and other issues
at UCSC and across the UC system
. There may be both local and systemwide matters that are of concern to you and which we should address. But we can't do this if we don't know about your concerns.
We hope that, if you are not already actively involved with SCFA, you will consider doing so. A strong SCFA benefits the entire UC faculty and system. Make your voice heard.