In the highest turnout our union has ever seen, over 800 faculty cast ballots with 92% approval to authorize the union’s executive board to call a strike, should contract negotiations fail. In the lead up to this historic vote we have also conducted a membership drive and signed up dozens of new members. AFT 2121 leadership, student supporters, and negotiating team members publicly announced the results of the vote today at a press conference in front of the Chinatown Campus.
The struggle between our union and the CCSF administration has gone beyond a simple labor issue. The very future of City College is at stake as the continuation of the status quo would mean a significant reduction in the size of the college and the diversity of programs offered. CCSF administration’s plan to reduce the college by 26% is of grave concern to the faculty, students and the community. By voting to strike if necessary faculty are clearly demonstrating that we will do what we must to stand up for CCSF and the quality of education at our college.
Teachers, counselors, and librarians at City College became public servants because we want to help students. Going on strike is not a step we take lightly, as it will mean hardship for our families and missed days of instruction for our students. But withholding our labor is ultimately our strongest tool to defend the quality of education at City College for our students and for San Francisco. The District must come to understand that the faculty will not stand for business as usual. This overwhelming vote should be their wake-up call.