By Cassie Ordonio/ Staff Writer
Protesters held signs high at a demonstration where hundreds of City College faculty and students from downtown campus to the new Civic Center campus, and expressed complete dissatisfaction with current faculty contract negotiations.
The district and City College administration cited the proposition for a cumulative 26 percent cut to classes over the next five years as a step down they claim will be necessary after state stabilization funds run out in 2017.
The state’s stability funding, pushed through legislation by Sen. Mark Leno in 2013, has kept City College from a complete budget crash when enrollment started to tank in 2008.
Faculty remains adamant that local and state monies were set aside through education funding propositions, passed in 2012, promising City College millions of dollars in aid to avoid such cuts.
San Francisco voters that year passed Proposition A, a parcel tax projected to bring in $16 million to City College alone.
Statewide, Proposition 30 was passed the same year to fund all levels of public education. It ensured City College would take in $20.7 million for the 2013-2014 school year, according to the state controller’s office.
In reference to these propositions and stability funding, City College spokesperson Jeff Hamilton told local nonprofit online news source 48 Hills via email that the school is “incredibly fortunate to have them” but “they either run out soon or are not guaranteed to continue.”
“The purpose of the teach-in is to empower students, faculty and staff, and get an understanding of what the students’ perspective is on the struggle of City College, and what we think is the best way forward.”
— Lalo Gonzales
City College’s teachers union, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 (AFT 2121), has called for members to vote on a proposed one-day strike between Nov. 20 and Nov. 30.
“The district could end up avoiding that, if it decides not to create its unfair labor practices,” AFT 2121 President Tim Killikelly said in reference to the strike. “But if they continue doing it then the faculty has no choice but to go forward.”
The union also filed an unfair labor complaint against the district on Nov 9. The complaint alleges bad faith bargaining tactics and illegal surveillance of union activity.
A district representative said the district is in the midst of discussion with AFT 2121 on this matter, and declined to comment at this time.
“The Fight for CCSF Teach-In,” a two-day panel discussion from City College’s solidarity committee stressed their concerns on the new proposals set forth by the district in the ongoing faculty contract negotiations.
Approximately 100 people attended the teach-in on Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 and heard testimonies from students and faculty representing various departments and student groups.
“The purpose of the teach-in is to empower students, faculty and staff, and get an understanding of what the students’ perspective is on the struggle of City College, and what we think is the best way forward – as far as the campus – and combating the cuts,” Lalo Gonzalez said, organizer of the activist group MEChXA.
The students and faculty plan a walk out at Ocean campus on Nov. 18 at 11 a.m.
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