Yesterday, AFT 2121 Prez Tim Killikelly sent this message to the CCSF Board of Trustees on our union’s overwhelming vote to approve a Strike Hardship Fund.
To: City College of San Francisco Board of Trustees
From: Tim Killikelly, AFT 2121 President
Re: Strike Hardship Fund Vote
The membership of AFT 2121 took a big step this past week, voting to raise our own union dues in order to create something we have never had before: a Strike Hardship Fund. Faculty voted September 1-3, 2015 to create a fund for our colleagues who would suffer the greatest hardship if and when AFT 2121 decided to go on strike. In the highest turnout ever for AFT 2121, the Yes vote was 93%.
After suffering years of an accreditation crisis and enduring cuts that have left us 3.7% below our 2007 wages, in the midst of an affordability crisis in our city, this vote should come as no surprise. Unfortunately, the District’s 3-year initial offer comes nowhere near recognizing the realities of the circumstances that faculty endure. The District’s offer seeks to keep part-time faculty and a large number of full-time faculty below their 2007 salaries, providing only small COLA increases (this year at 1.02%) over three years. For full-timers who would be restored the District’s offer of a 4.8% raise above COLA amounts to a paltry 1.1% increase above 2007 salaries. The Bay Area affordability crisis has depressed the purchasing power faculty salaries. The college is in a position to increase salaries. Frankly, these proposals – even as an opening offer – are insulting.
The District put this proposal on the table—presumably with your approval—despite their own projections of tremendous reserve funds of tens of millions of dollars. The reserves are 19% of this year’s budget, 24% of next year, and 22% for 2017-18. Also alarming is the District’s plan to cut classes by 15% over the next three semesters. This plan hurts students and diminishes diversity and equity in our college. What sort of “future focused” CCSF is being planned?
Our proposal calls for an immediate restoration for all faculty to 2007 levels and a 16% across the board raise over 3 years. This proposal restores faculty purchasing power that has been lost through years of cuts. We continue to call for increased engagement—at the table and throughout the college community—regarding CCSF’s enrollment crisis.
This Strike Hardship Fund vote should be a wake up call to the Board of Trustees: the District is not addressing the legitimate needs of the faculty. We want our work to be valued for all we do for the students and the city we serve. A strike is always a last resort. We hope we are not forced to go on strike. But the proposals on class cuts and wages will hurt students and faculty alike.
We continue to hope that despite the delays and this terrible initial proposal negotiations can lead to a contract that will move the college forward. That can occur when a competitive and livable salary proposal is tendered, when faculty work, excellence and sacrifice are acknowledged, and when we are all jointly focused on rebuilding the City College San Francisco we all deserve. We are committed to making that happen.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.