By Audrey Garces/ News Editor
Approximately two hundred seats were vacant when Chancellor Susan Lamb addressed faculty opening the professional development flex-day event on Jan. 15, as college staff, student leaders, and community members picketed outside Diego Rivera Theatre led by the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) 2121 union.
City College faculty held signs that read “Fund Education–Not Administration,” following 10 months of negotiations and six months of working without a contract. They have accepted concession contracts which pay some of the lowest wages of community college faculty in California.
The current proposal that administration put on the table would barely bring faculty pay above their 2007 levels by the year 2018. Currently, faculty is being paid below their 2007 wages.
“An injustice against teachers and faculty at City College is an injustice against the students and communities that rely on City College,” said Emily Li of the Chinese Progressive Association during the rally.
Faculty, who are also unsatisfied with the District’s proposed 26 percent class cuts over the next six years, rejected AFT 2121’s proposal to make minimum class sizes of 15 as City College’s enrollment has continued to drop over the years.
“How about instead of a 26-percent cut to classes, let’s cut the salaries of administrators by 26 percent,” proclaimed Sheila Tully, President of the California Teachers Association at San Francisco State University.
Faculty members performed a skit dressed as Star Wars stormtroopers held a variety of signs that expressed their frustration with administration, such as “Punitive Evaluation” and “Puny Salaries.” They “battled” against other faculty members who held green signs which highlighted the proposals of the union.
No More Business as Usual
The union, who officially declared an impasse with the labor board, will now begin a mediation process between faculty and the District. AFT 2121, will produce a fact-finding report if the the two parties still cannot come to an agreement.
If the District still does not give faculty a contract they deem fair; faculty plans to strike.
AFT 2121 kicked off their “No More Business as Usual” campaign at the rally, and they announced their next step is to push the Board of Trustees to take action on the issues at hand. The Board of Trustees have regained their power since winter break.
Several faculty members began this effort by expressing their concerns to the Board of Trustees during a meeting on Jan. 21.
“I love my students and I love my job,” said Kate Frei, a part-time ESL teacher, “but I am also willing and ready to strike if I need to.”
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