Kelly Gunjardo, 30, Program Manager of La Voz Latina and member of the Community Labor Studies department protests at CCSF downtown. (Kevin Kelleher/Special to S.F. Examiner)

CCSF faculty union to begin strike authorization vote next week

City College of San Francisco’s faculty union will begin a 10-day voting period next week for its members to decide whether to go on strike after months of unsuccessful salary negotiations with the school’s administration.

Administrators and the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, which includes 1,500 part- and full-time teachers, librarians and counselors, have been meeting since the spring to negotiate new contracts for faculty. Prior contracts expired June 30.

The school’s proposal includes a 7.8 percent increase for full-time faculty, which includes 3.7 percent to restore salaries to what professors earned in 2007 with an additional 4.1 percent, and a cost-of-living adjustment of a 1 percent annual increase over the next three years. There is also a 3 percent increase over the 2007 salaries over three years proposed for part-time faculty.

The union, in turn, has asked for a 16 percent across-the-board raise over three years, said Tim Killikelly, president of CCSF’s faculty union.

Both sides were scheduled to meet today, and if an agreement is not reached the union will begin a 10-day strike authorization vote on Nov. 20.

Meanwhile, several hundred CCSF faculty members and students, along with Supervisors David Campos and Eric Mar, and Assemblymember David Chiu, marched in downtown San Francisco on Thursday to protest a proposed 26 percent cut to student courses over the next several years.

“Downsizing City College while our city population grows makes no sense,” Killikelly said in a statement. “We want to make sure that students have access to high quality public education.”

Administrators say the reduction is needed to align the school’s schedule with current enrollment, which has dropped by about a third in recent years after CCSF nearly lost its accreditation in 2013. The school today remains open and fully accredited.

In the 2008-09 school year, there were 30,000 full-time students enrolled in CCSF. That number has dropped to 23,000 this school year, and CCSF has lost a total annual revenue of $50 million since 2007, said Jeff Hamilton, a spokesman for CCSF.

“We’re trying to manage this process, and we recognize that it’s not easy,” Hamilton said. “These are challenging times for the institution, but we’re committed to finding a financially viable way forward.”

In September, CCSF’s Board of Trustees approved the 2015-16 budget, which includes about $2.2 million for projected salary increases. The budget approved was $202 million in revenue and $195 million in expenses, leaving about a $7.7 million surplus.

Some $32 million in the budget includes stabilization funding secured by Sen. Mark Leno through Senate Bill 860. California’s community colleges are typically funded based on how many full-time students are served, but because of the stabilization funding CCSF is receiving nearly as much money as it did in 2012 before the enrollment took a hit.

CCSF also remains in restoration status, which gives the school until January 2017 to meet all accrediting requirements, one of which is a handle on its finances.

Bay City News Service contributed to this story.

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