The California Community Colleges Board of Governors will call on the ears of federal education officials to request a new accreditor to oversee the 113 California community colleges, including City College.
On Sept. 20, the board voted unanimously for the California Community College State Chancellor Brice Harris to send an accreditation report written by a state task force last month to the U.S. Department of Education by Sept. 25.
The task force, comprised of community college administrators, faculty, trustees and officials with the state chancellor’s office, advised the board of governors to replace the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges with a new accreditor.
The accrediting commission attempted to revoke City College’s accreditation in 2013, a decision that was fought and overturned by the City Attorney’s office.
However, the commission’s sanction over City College to “show cause” is still in effect until January 2017, when the school must meet accreditation standards set by the accreditor. – Marco Siler-Gonzales/News Editor
AFT Members Authorize Hardship Relief Fund
After more than six months of tense weekly contract negotiations between American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 (AFT 2121) and the San Francisco Community College Board District, the City College teachers union voted on Sept. 9 to create a Hardship Relief Fund in anticipation of a possible strike in a 93 percent landslide.
The union’s leadership is pushing not only for full restoration of teacher’s salaries lost after the 2007 cuts but also an increase of 16 percent over three years for both full and part-time teachers.
“(This will) bring us back to about the same purchasing power we had before. We at City College are 3.5 percent behind (in salary) where we were in 2007 and it’s 2015,” union president Timothy Killikelly said.
The district’s current proposal includes a salary restoration to undo the 2007 cuts for full-time teachers only and an annual cost of living adjustments of roughly 1 percent. Part-time instructors were offered only the annual cost of living adjustments.
The district’s proposal includes a 15 percent class reduction over the next three semesters. Although union negotiators have no formal say in class reductions, it inevitably will factor into a strike decision.
“The district has the authority to make those cuts. We think they’re terrible. Some of the diversity departments in particular will be really hurt by this proposal,” Killikelly said. “We don’t negotiate the cuts but that doesn’t mean we won’t fight them.”
Union members cast a record 600 ballots to temporarily raise annual union dues from 1.26 percent to 1.31 percent of salary to develop a Hardship Relief Fund to aid the most financially-vulnerable faculty should a teacher’s strike
Union members still must vote to authorize union negotiators to call a strike. It would be the first strike ever called by AFT 2121 since its founding in 1978.
As the next step of negotiations unfolds, student equity will be an important AFT 2121 consideration. Currently, the union is strategizing to minimally interfere with student’s schedules.
“We are discussing a wide variety of options for how we could move forward. We want to impact students
as little as possible.” Killikelly said. “The conditions of the faculty are the conditions of the students.
When people aren’t paid enough and a college can’t have competitive salaries that affects what happens in the classroom.” – Otto Pippenger/Staff Writer