The majority of professors at San Francisco State University and beyond are voting for a call for strike against the possible change in contract by the administration, according to the California Faculty Association.
The administration wants to change thecontract that faculty are not pleased with. Under the new contract, there’d be no cap on class sizes and more online courses -which may force professors out of jobs. The CFA have tried to make negotiations with the administration, however they have not lived up to what the faculty is asking for thus far.
“They have refused to provide us with a cost of living increase that we negotiated with them back in 2008, so it’s a promised raise, but they refused to give us a raise while giving raises to their own executives,” said Philip Klasky, a professor at SFSU’s department of American Indian Studies and Ethnic Studies and a member of the CFA executive board.
The strike vote began on April 16th and will end on the 27th. If enough professors vote, then professors and possibly students will strike on the streets of San Francisco.
“We have to raise awareness about these issues and we encourage students and parents to join us in our efforts because we are really concerned about the quality of public education,” Klasky said.
Klasky, among other professors, are not happy to strike, but at this point they feel they have no choice.
“When a faculty person retires, they are not replaced, which leads to an increase in class sizes of the remaining faculty members. Students only see their fees go up - but those fees do not cover the cuts in funding we used to receive from Sacramento,” said Lucia Volk, Associate Professor & co-director of SFSU's Middle East and Islamic Studies program.
Last semester, Volk and a few other professors organized a picket line to express their support for the strike in the East Bay and Dominguez Hills.
Nandi Robinson, senior and student of Professor Volk joined her fellow classmates and faculty last semester to show her support.
“In regards to the contract, I think the administration has little to no concern for the students. I do not think they realize the drastically negative effects that can come about by increasing the class size and cutting courses. Personally, it is extremely hard to learn material online while not having physical contact with the professor,” said Robinson.
Students at SFSU are siding with professors and are expressing their concern of the future of public education.
“The professors are right to strike. They should. They need to let [the administration] know what's going on isn't right and that the state of education now is crazy,” said senior Sara White.
SFSU junior, Chauncey Robinson, is for the strike as well and frustrated about the cuts on classes and increase on fees.
“We’ve already had to deal with enough cuts but increasing fees. It’s ridiculous. I don’t see the teachers striking as a negative to my education because if they are striking they are doing so because they see the problems and feel direct actions is needed,” Robinson said.
Klasky fears for the “quality of education in California and would invite the administration to work with [them] not against [them] and to stop funding for education to those cuts and by increasing student fees.”
Who knows, maybe the administration will come to negotiate with the faculty and try to continue with the previous contract.