City College administrators walk away from faculty contract negotiations
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, August 8, 2013
Representatives of the City College of San Francisco’s administration left the bargaining table with its faculty union, American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, at 9:30 pm on Wednesday night, without reaching agreement on a contract. The two sides had been negotiating since Tuesday morning.
Faculty have been working without a contract since January 1.
College administration representatives said they were unprepared to offer a counterproposal to the union’s most recent offer and wanted to wait until later in the fall semester to prepare a response.
“Management’s team told us that they are going on vacation,” said AFT 2121 President Alisa Messer, an English professor on the college’s Ocean campus. “We are stunned. They agreed to a marathon two-day bargaining session. We have made progress. We were prepared to stay here as late as we needed to.”
The union’s negotiators proposed meeting on each of the next five days. City College’s representatives declined to meet until August 17.
“We are teachers,” said bargaining team member and Engineering professor Wendy Kaufmyn. “I can’t believe that they want us to take time out of teaching in the first weeks of the semester to do this.”
“Everything we have heard suggests that this contract needs to be finished quickly for City College to move forward with our accreditation process. We’re ready right now to continue negotiating for as long as necessary to reach an agreement. What is more important for administration to be doing than this?” asked AFT 2121 vice-president Nancy Mackowsky, an English as a Second Language instructor on the college’s John Adams campus.
CCSF faculty and management agreed on two important items, although final agreement remains contingent on both teams coming to terms on the entire package. Part-time faculty will retain current levels of pro-rata pay and employer benefit contributions, and also retain their re-employment rights.
Kathe Burick, part-time faculty in Physical Education and Dance on the Ocean campus, commented, “These victories on job security, pro-rata pay and benefits for part-time faculty are key to me and to many other faculty I’ve talked to in the last week. When I’m worrying about how to make the rent, I have less time for lesson plans, and that’s not good for my students. I’m proud of our union for fighting for these issues.”
While making modest steps toward one another, the two parties remain far apart on restoration of the 5% pay cut below 2007 levels suffered by all faculty starting last month. The administration’s current offer is for a half a percent off-schedule payment to be made in 2013-14. This was one of several issues on which there was little movement.
“My family is struggling to make ends meet missing the $300 that’s been cut from my paycheck every month. The $30 that the District has offered as a rebate this year won’t even start to fill that gap,” said Jessica Buchsbaum, full-time ESL instructor at the Downtown campus. “If it weren’t for our rent controlled apartment, we would have to leave the Bay Area. Unfortunately, that’s a conversation happening all too often at our dinner table.”
For more information, www.aft2121.org