After a year of fruitless contract negotiations, the faculty union at City College of San Francisco notified administrators on Tuesday that it is considering a one-day strike later this month alleging unfair labor practices.
Citing “bad bargaining” on the part of the administration, the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 said it would hold the strike on April 27 pending approval from an assembly of union delegates who are set to meet next week.
“The district has bargained in bad faith over and over again,” said union President Tim Killikelly. “They’re basically negotiating in the media rather than directly mediating with us. They’re trying to go above and beyond the union.”
CCSF Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb called the strike notification a “little bit disappointing,” noting that the California State University system was able to reach a tentative agreement last week with its faculty union following the fact-finding period of contract negotiations, which CCSF and its union are expected to soon enter.
The potential strike could impact student registration at a college that has been struggling with a 35 percent decrease in enrollment since the 2011-12 school year, Lamb said. The planned strike date is the first day of registration for the fall semester, when priority registration opens for veteran and disabled students.
The announcement comes less than a month after confidential mediations between CCSF and the union ended without a settlement. The contract negotiations are expected to enter a fact-finding period once both sides have presented their offers.
On Wednesday, Lamb said the college is offering a total salary increase for all full- and part-time faculty of 7.19 percent over two years. However, faculty would not receive two percent of that increase after next school year unless the college is able to increase its enrollment.
A significant percentage of the college’s funding each year is based on the number of full-time students enrolled in courses. CCSF began to receive stability funding from the state in the 2013-14 school year to compensate for its decline in enrollment.
Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration Ron Gerhard said CCSF has been using the funding “to really cushion the fall, and cushion the steps that we are going to have to take in those out years to balance our budget.”
“If not for that stability funding, we would have had to make significant reductions beginning in [school year] 13-14,” Gerhard said.
However, that funding it set to expire after the next school year. In preparation, the college has been stockpiling stability funding to keep it from sinking in the years to come if the poor enrollment trend continues.
Faculty would also be impacted by a decline or flatline in enrollment.
In 2007, CCSF faculty members earned a salary 3.5 percent higher than at present, according to the union. If enrollment does not return to its previous levels, faculty would only receive an ongoing 5.19 percent salary increase — or about a 1.7 percent salary increase over 2007.
“How can they seriously think that we would entertain this proposal?” said Killikelly. “It’s completely unfair.”
The union is still working on its offer, expected to be released before fact-finding begins.
“The most talented people will go elsewhere,” Killikelly said. “How are they going to provide competitive salaries so that the college can meet the educational needs of the students?”
The CCSF offer would also entail a one-time bonus for faculty members amounting to almost 9.4 percent of their salaries, which they would receive in July.
“If there are monies that we have not anticipated we would put that toward the negotiations, toward more bonuses,” said Lamb, noting that the stability funding cannot do toward ongoing salary increases. “We’re trying to get as much as possible in our faculty pocket.”