Today’s negotiations session continued to show no softening in the District’s negotiating position: despite the fact that the “worst-case scenario” (Props A and 30 failing) has not come to pass—thanks to the efforts of labor, students, and community—the District has not pulled back its “worst-case scenario” proposal.
After continued delay in providing the AFT 2121 bargaining team the necessary (and promised) data regarding current year spending and forecasts, the District furnished some of the data. Even though last Spring’s agreement explicitly confirmed that the parties would together “review cost projections” and track savings from cuts, attrition, and salary deductions in addition to current spending and trends related to the current budget, until earlier this afternoon, AFT 2121 had not been provided with real-time data for this semester.
The current spending and preliminary forecast shows that spending is largely on track to meet the adopted budget (using the substantial concessions from employee groups and cuts in program), perhaps with even a small amount of breathing room. (Last year at this time, the District was over-budget by several million dollars even before the surpise cuts from the state.)
AFT 2121 was encouraged to hear a much more complete explanation of the District’s newfound commitment to meeting base enrollment this year: plans are being implemented and actions taken to help with outreach. We also expressed our deep concern that following the Prop A victory—an overwhelming mandate from San Francisco voters—the offical college message to the public was discouraging rather than expressing gratitude or instilling confidence and optimism. These messages will only discourage the community and harm enrollment. We hope a more optimistic message about our College’s future will be forthcoming.
Though we have not yet seen the effects at the negotiating table, the election success is already making concrete impacts on program. Saved so far: at least 275 classes in the Spring schedule as well as summer school.
The District reports that program for the Spring semester will look largely the same as this fall, and perhaps even a little bit bigger in credit. However, the union is having a hard time reconciling this information with reports from faculty of cuts to their assignments.
The teams will be back at the table next Monday, and AFT 2121 will keep you aprised. In the meantime, thank you to the many faculty members who have responded to these negotiations with concerns, encouragement, and information. Please add your voice if you have not already.