As faculty at City College of San Francisco prepare to strike Wednesday over unfair labor practices, Interim Chancellor Susan Lamb has decided to shut down the 11 community college campuses around The City for the day.
In an email sent to the CCSF community Monday, Lamb cited safety concerns for the campus closure and said she “deeply” regrets that the American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 authorized a strike after more than a year of unsuccessful contract negotiations over faculty pay.
“Closing the school and its eleven locations on Wednesday is the safest and most prudent course of action,” Lamb wrote. “Due to the strike, we do not anticipate having the necessary personnel onsite to maintain and operate the buildings.”
The college has been struggling with student enrollment, and by extension funding, since 2013 when its accreditation was threatened.
AFT 2121 President Tim Killikelly said the union still plans to carry on with the one-day strike, which will be the first in the union’s decades-long existence.
“There’s a reason why they decided to close the college,” Killikelly said. “Because they know… we were going to be able to have a successful strike.”
CCSF and the union are gearing to enter a fact-finding phase of negotiations after an impasse was declared and a moderator could not bring the two sides to a settlement. Union leaders decided to strike April 11 and the union cleared the final hurdle to authorize the strike last Tuesday.
“There’s a reason why we called for a strike,” said Killikelly. “The reason is they have not been negotiating in good faith with us… The bad faith doesn’t go away because they decide to close the college down for a day.”
The all-day strike is set to begin with picket lines at various campuses around 8 a.m. Wednesday, with supporters gathering at Civic Center for a noon rally.
All classes have been canceled and campus buildings will be locked, according to Lamb. Online registration is still available while on-campus support services will not be available.