City College of San Francisco notified its unionized faculty members last Friday that their pay would be docked for a day in April when the union held a strike calling for wage increases, a CCSF official said this week.
CCSF notified faculty members in an email last Friday that one day of wages would be docked from their late June paycheck for not working April 27, the day faculty turned out in hundreds to protest the alleged unfair bargaining practices of the administration.
The American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, which represents the faculty, is undergoing contract negotiations with the CCSF administration that have continued since January 2015. The two sides are now engaged in a fact-finding process with a mediator to help settle the dispute.
Ninety-two percent of the CCSF faculty approved the strike last spring before the union decided to move forward with it. Citing security concerns, the college closed down all of its campuses before the strike began.
“It would be inappropriate to force the taxpayer to compensate faculty for an illegal strike,” CCSF spokesperson Jeff Hamilton wrote in an email. “And it would be unfair to pay faculty for denying services to students that they were legally obligated to provide.”
“We have offered AFT the option of resolving this issue through arbitration, but have received no response,” he added.
On May 19, union representatives argued in an email to CCSF’s general counsel that union members should be paid for April 27 because the administration’s decision to close down the college “took away our members’ choice of whether to work or not.”
On the other hand, CCSF argued the union had made it clear the faculty would not work that day, writing in on its website that “City College faculty will withhold our labor, no classes will be held, no papers will be graded.”
The college then offered the union a chance to have its members who did not partake in the strike sign declarations stating that they would have worked April 27 had the strike not happened.
But the union declined the compromise. Union head Tim Killikelly told the San Francisco Examiner the declarations would have been an “illegal poll” of union members and an unfair labor practice.
Killikelly called the pay deductions an attempt to divide the union.
“We’re not going to take the bait on this,” he said. “Everybody should see what this is: simply a power play.”
The pay deductions will be reflected on the June paychecks of unionized faculty members.
Killikelly criticized the college administration for not having “really done their homework” before announcing the pay deductions, as part-time faculty members who are not working over summer received their final paycheck for the school year last month.
It’s unclear how the pay of part-time faculty will be docked.
As for the contentious contract negotiations, the union and administration are scheduled to meet twice more for fact-finding sessions on July 6 and July 14.