City College Faculty Protest May End Today: Was it Enough to Protect Their Jobs?
Teachers at City College of San Francisco have been protesting this week against major staff and budget cuts. Their sit-in started Tuesday around noon in front of Conlan Hall. The staff cuts could impact over 200 faculty members, potentially cancel many classes and impact and impact over 20,000 students next semester alone. With the board of directors potentially voting as soon as 4pm Friday, we should know soon if the faculty protest was enough to save their jobs.
Organizer Wynn Newberry urges people to support public education at City College, “Join us today, at Conlan Hall at Ocean Campus at 4pm to show support for our students, teachers, and programs and to stop the devastating cuts!”
Although some said staff planned on staying indefinitely, the protest potentially concludes today with the board of directors vote looming tomorrow.
The Board of Directors will need to fix a huge alleged $7 million budget gap due to a major decline in students signing up for classes at City College. SFGate explains the budgeting issue “Public records show that City College enrolled fewer than 25,000 students last fall — a loss of more than 2,100 students, or 8%, from the year before. Even more jarring is the enrollment plunge over the past decade: the student body has fallen by 66% from nearly 73,000 in 2012 to 24,791 today. Yet even when student numbers were much higher in 2012, an accreditation commission threatened to shut down City College, in part for spending more on faculty than it could afford.”
“Yesterday, we challenged the City College board of trustees to debate the budget and they did not accept the challenge. Instead, we spoke directly to the press with the union’s (AFT 2121) alternative budget numbers, which show that the college will have a surplus even without laying off any teachers or cutting classes. Today we are doing a mass call for support at 4pm,” states organizer Wynn Newberry.
According to an article published by KRON4, staff and faculty have been working hard to get a measure on the ballot in November which would help bring in more funding. But sadly, it could be too late for the teachers impacted by this potential staff cut.
“We’ve already seen cuts to 30% of our classes in the last three years here at city college, and we know a lot of students have been pushed out of the classes they need, have been waitlisted, have had to go to mother institutions and we don’t want to see more of that,” said Adele Failes-Carpenter, Women and Gender Studies instructor at CCSD, when speaking to NBC Bay Area.
It’s not just teachers impacted by this potential budget and staffing cut. Students are also being impacted. When speaking to NBCBay Area, Heather Brandt, a student at the institution said “students are saying what their needs are and those needs are not being heard or met. I don’t think this is the appropriate time for cuts.”
We hope that the potential cuts aren’t the nail in the coffin for the already struggling school. The worrying about budget cuts and staff layoffs at City College comes while the school has already been having a hard time for a very long time. These cuts will cause classes to shut down which are already filled with enrolled students.
We will update this article once we hear what the board of director’s decides tomorrow. In the meantime, consider supporting our teachers by attending their protest this afternoon at 4pm. If you can’t support in person, you can sign this online petition.
Supporters of CCSF to write letters to Trustees here: https://www.aft2121.org/
You can also see AFT 2121’s Alternative Budget for CCSF here and a full recording of their April 13 Budget Forum at this link.