Davis Faculty Association

What is the DFA

We would like to introduce you to the work of the Davis Faculty Association. The DFA belongs to the Council of UC Faculty Associations (CUCFA). By far the largest independent dues-supported organization representing the faculty at the campuses of the University of California, CUCFA coordinates activities of the Faculty Associations on a statewide level, acts as collective bargaining agent for faculty at UC Santa Cruz, and maintains a lobbyist in Sacramento.

Location: The DFA’s office is off-campus; its Executive Director, Eric Hays, can be reached by email at info@cucfa.org.

Formation: UC Faculty Associations are independent organizations composed of members of the Academic Senate. They were set up in the 1970’s to protect faculty interests by monitoring and influencing decisions of the University Administration and the legislature in matters of salaries, benefits, and working conditions of the faculty. Because it is state-funded, the Academic Senate may not use its resources to lobby on behalf of faculty interests; the Faculty Association is not restricted in this way. Thus the Faculty Association provides a framework within which members of the Academic Senate can do a job that very much needs to be done.

Governance: DFA members elect an Executive Board of eleven members. Terms are two years, and elections are held in April or May of each year (a list of our current DFA Board of Directors is available elsewhere on our website).

Eligibility: All members of the Academic Senate, including Emeriti and lecturers with security of employment, except those who hold more than half-time administrative positions above the rank of Department Chair, are eligible to join.

Relation to Academic Senate: The DFA is an independent organization which makes no use of Academic Senate resources. DFA fully supports the role of the Academic Senate in governance of the University as expressed in the present delegation of authority by the Board of Regents.

What does the DFA do?

Strong, Active, Effective Lobbying: The DFA, together with the other UC Faculty Associations, has employed the services of a professional lobbyist in Sacramento ever since the early 1970s  to advocate  for faculty salaries and benefits and on issues affecting the academic climate at UC.  The CUCFA also employs staff to monitor legislation affecting faculty interests,  and we often work closely with the UC  and other higher education lobbyists.

Watchdog for UC Systemwide Issues: The DFA does not have specific labor rights, but the CUCFA does, by virtue of its role as agent for the Santa Cruz FA, the legal bargaining agent for the faculty at UCSC. The UCOP must notify the CUCFA, and thus the DFA, about any proposed changes to the wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions of UC faculty. In this way, we monitor activity within the UC system on matters which affect faculty, such as domestic partners benefits, merit pay delays, changes in the APM, etc. Most of the time we serve merely as a watchdog, but, when necessary, the DFA and/or CUCFA advocates strongly within the University for the faculty’s interests in these matters.

Forums: The DFA provides forums on campus on issues of interest to faculty, such as retirement and benefit packages, shared governance, and long-range campus planning. In addition, the DFA invites legislators to campus to discuss faculty concerns.  For reports on past forums and legislator visits, see the news archive links.

Is the DFA a Union?

Collective Bargaining: The CUCFA substantially influenced California legislation on collective bargaining in higher education, creating the Higher Education Employees Representation Act (HEERA, the Berman Act) which contains protections for the interests of the faculty. The Act requires separate bargaining units for Senate members if collective bargaining is adopted and provides that matters within the jurisdiction of the Academic Senate are not subject to collective bargaining.

DFA’s Role: The DFA was formed in 1979; its mission is to promote the interests of the Davis faculty without regard to the existence of collective bargaining, which was rejected by faculty at both Berkeley and UCLA. The DFA has not sought to promote collective bargaining on the Davis campus. Systemwide, Santa Cruz is the only campus that has adopted collective bargaining for faculty, and it has chosen the CUCFA to be its bargaining agent.

What is the History of the DFA?

Origin: The DFA was launched in May of 1979 when Political Science Professor Ed Costantini invited Academic Senate members to form a committee to make bylaws, elect officers and lay the groundwork for a faculty association. They acted  in response both to the recently-enacted Berman bill which allowed faculty for the first time ever to meet and confer over working conditions, and the report from the Faculty Welfare Committee of the Academic Senate, which found no reason for the faculty not to organize. 

How much are dues and how are they spent?

Active faculty pay monthly by payroll deduction. (Information about the dues amount and how to join the DFA is available elsewhere on our website). Emeritus faculty pay annually (see join the DFA for the amount), payable by check to the DFA. A portion of the local dues goes to the CUCFA to pay for a professional  lobbyist in Sacramento as well as a legislative monitoring service that alerts us to bills that affect UC faculty interests; these funds also pay the salaries of the CUCFA staff, consisting of an Executive Director and a Lobbying Director. The remaining DFA dues cover the services of a local Executive Director and the costs of newsletters, forums, office expenses, and transportation to Oakland and Sacramento.

Why Join the DFA?

For over 35 years, the DFA has been serving faculty interests in a variety of ways that change with each legislative session and each new administrative cycle. We cannot list all of our accomplishments here, but we invite you to look at our news articles, our history, and our current activities to see what we do for you. Some of  our achievements include: Christina Rose, our first lobbyist, persuaded the Legislature to overturn Governor Brown’s veto of a 14.5% pay raise for faculty in 1979. The threat of collective bargaining by faculty pressured the UC Administration to offer a “cafeteria” of benefits, both in terms of health care and investment opportunities over a period of years. Active lobbying helped prevent the state from taking an extra share of University overhead funds  (1994) and killed a bill which would have precluded faculty from assigning their own textbooks (1996).  In 1997-98, we supported domestic partner benefits in letters to the Regents and formally opposed a legislative measure that would have prevented both UC and CSU from providing them. Our lobbying efforts helped to obtain a $10 million augmentation in the 1998-99 state budget in support of library  print collections systemwide.

In 2000 we got a law passed that clarified that professors, not the University, own their lectures. In 2002 we asked UC to agree that parking lost to construction should be replaced out of the construction budget, not out of higher parking fees, and in 2003 we successfully opposed bills mandating higher teaching loads by educating legislators about how teaching loads are set and what they mean in terms of actual work performed by faculty. In 2005 we successfully opposed a legislative proposal (ACA5) to eliminate all defined benefit retirement programs for new public employees in California and successfully defeated legislation (AB 992) that would have allowed UC police to engage in electronic recording of conversations without a person’s consent and without a warrant. In 2007 we supported the passage of legislation (SCR 52) to allow faculty a voice in UC Retirement System governance. Through the depths of the recession we lobbied aggressively to protect UC funding as much as possible, including the Keep California’s Promise website. In 2011, after years of effort at increasing faculty input into UC Retirement System changes, and greater transparency in the UCRS decision making process, the UCRS Advisory Committee began publishing meeting agendas and minutes. We also successfully opposed the unconstitutional appointment of David Crane as a UC Regent

In 2012 we helped prevent the state’s pension reform law from superseding UC’s own recent pension reforms. In 2013 we helped squash SB 520, Senator Steinberg’s bill that could have at one point required UC to purchase MOOCs through private companies, we also challenged UC’s MOOC contract, which asked faculty to sign over all intellectual property rights to their lectures when MOOC providers did not require this, and we successfully opposed cuts to central funding of campus healthcare facilitators. See our home page for more recent actions. Please Join the DFA.