Our union, AFT 2121, has spent a large part of the summer reaching out to faculty about our campaign for a fair contract. We’ve been talking with members who have endured years of cuts and a lack of respect for their voice in the governance of CCSF. We have hope that recent changes at the college will be for the better, but our members also understand that it is our campaign, along with the allies that we have made in our struggle, which kept the college afloat through the accreditation crisis. We organized with students against class cancellations in the middle of an enrollment crisis; we built a coalition to keep the Civic Center campus open; and we continue to fight back against the capricious, anti-public education ACCJC.
What’s at Stake
Now we’re organizing around our own contract, the provisions of which will determine our working conditions and our students’ learning conditions. A lot is at stake. In order to live in an increasingly expensive city, faculty need salaries restored to 2007 levels and raised above that. Students deserve a college where faculty are not overburdened or working at multiple colleges to make ends meet, and faculty deserve fair compensation for our labor.
Escalation and Strike Readiness
Faculty understand how important our contract is, but so far administrators have not treated it as equally important. Our negotiating team was ready for talks all last semester, but we are starting the year without a contract because of administration’s delays and maneuvering. We realize that we must build our union power to negotiate the contract faculty deserve. Part of that is becoming ready for the possibility of a strike.
In the hundreds of conversations we’ve had this summer, faculty have overwhelmingly supported a small temporary increase in dues to establish a Hardship Fund. If we vote as a union to take the step of a walkout or strike, the Fund would be used to help our most economically vulnerable members weather the walkout. Any successful job action requires maintaining the solidarity of everyone, full-time and part-time, credit and non-credit.
Referendum on Hardship Fund
We need to show the Administration that we are united and prepared to take the necessary action to win an excellent contract. We are planning a referendum in early September to establish a Hardship Fund for our local and we urge faculty to vote YES. Hundreds of your colleagues have already signed commitment cards promising to vote yes in the referendum. We want a contract – a good contract – by Thanksgiving. Together we can win it!
For more information about what the Hardship Fund entails, check out this FAQ.
Our bargaining team goes back to the table this Wednesday, August 12. We hope to see the administration’s negotiating team come prepared and ready to negotiate on substantive issues. We will give a bargaining report at our Union Flex Day meeting, 2:30 to 4:00 in MUB 140.