City College Approves Layoff Notices For 50 Teachers As Labor Coalition Seeks New Funds

City College of San Francisco officials voted Feb. 24 to layoff 50 full-time faculty members, with notices issued on or before March 15.

City College of San Francisco
City College of San Francisco is eliminating jobs to balance its budget ahead of a visit from its accreditors. Alex Mullaney/Ingleside Light
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City College of San Francisco’s Board of Trustees voted Feb. 24 to layoff approximately 50 full-time teachers, with notices issued to affected faculty on or before March 15.

Chancellor David Martin said at the meeting that the layoffs are part of the college’s ongoing effort to stabilize its budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal year. The college’s upcoming budget, he added, will be of “utmost importance” as a critical piece of evidence in determining institution’s accreditation through 2030.

“This recommendation was not made in a short time,” Martin said. “It was not taken lightly. But it is what I truly believe is in the best interest of the San Francisco Community College District.”

The resolution showed the English and Counseling departments having the most faculty losses with nine teachers each.

The faculty union estimated more than 300 part-timers will lose their assignments because of the layoffs of the 50 full-time faculty.

The American Federation of Teachers Local 2121 issued a news release following the vote, citing that students will lose out in programs, such as in business, automotive maintenance, chemistry and computer networking.

“The trustees have approved these cuts despite a state budget surplus, a city budget surplus, and no budget mandate for such action,” AFT 2121 President Malaika Finkelstein said in a news release.

Earlier in February, The Ingleside Light reported that members of AFT 2121 sent Valentines to college officials to not layoff the 50 faculty members.

Martin said state audits have continued to find the college’s financial situation as a “weakness” and that the college cannot have the audit finding to continue, especially as the Accreditation Commission for Community and Junior Colleges will reexamine City College this spring.

“We do believe that the 50 March 15 notices are necessary for the San Francisco community college district to be financially stable and to ensure a positive accreditation visit,” Martin said.

In a letter to the college last October, the ACCJC placed City College on “enhanced monitoring” and “at-risk” in several categories, including for having deficits over the last three-year reporting period and a decline in student enrollment.

Board President Brigitte Davila said that the ACCJC is something that the college cannot ignore and the college must be accredited or else there would be no point for students to attend the college anymore.

“So, all the talk about serving Black and brown students, if the school is not here, it will not be serving those students,” Davila said.

In addition to the layoffs, the board voted against renewing contracts of administrators set to expire on June 30, 2022, as recommended by the chancellor. Martin said he wanted to use the next few months during the budget process to determine which five administration positions to eliminate in the future.

Martin said the college would save between $800,000 to $1 million in salaries and benefits by eliminating the five positions.

The CCSF Revenue Unity Coalition, a group composed of representatives from AFT 2121, Service Employees International Union 1021, the San Francisco Building Trades and Local 39, met with Mayor London Breed and staff on Friday, Feb. 25, to present a plan to bring millions in new revenue to the college through a ballot initiative.

The mayor suggested other stakeholders she would like to see involved and a follow-up meeting is being planned, according to the faculty union.

Disclosure: The Ingleside Light’s publisher is a part-time instructor in the Journalism Department and belongs to AFT 2121. This reporter attended CCSF.

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