City College reaches contract with faculty

City College of San Francisco officials Thursday announced a tentative contract agreement with the faculty union that averts a threatened strike and gives faculty their first real pay increase since 2007.

The deal includes a mix of ongoing salary increases and one-time raises that restore a salary cut taken in 2011-12 and increase salaries by at least 6.7 percent over a three-year period, according to district officials.

That amount could be higher if the district is successful in restoring enrollment after a recent decline caused by problems in the district’s accreditation.

Chancellor Susan Lamb said:

“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with our faculty that provides as much of an ongoing wage increase as possible while maintaining the fiscal integrity of the district. …¬†In addition, the agreement provides a shared benefit as the college restores its student enrollment.”

Tim Killikelly, president of American Federation of Teachers Local 2121, said the contract deal would be good for the college because it would help attract and retain high quality faculty:

“After years of having our salaries so incredibly low, the lowest of the community colleges in the entire Bay Area, we now feel like we’re moving forward.”

The deal avoids a threatened faculty strike and will allow college officials to focus on working to resolve lingering accreditation issues with the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges and rebuilding enrollment.

Enrollment dropped after the Novato-based commission announced in 2013 that it was revoking City College’s accreditation because of issues with financial accountability and institutional governance.

The decision led to the appointment of a special trustee to oversee the college and a heated political and legal battle. The school is currently in restoration status, meaning it is working to correct the deficiencies.

Lamb said enrollment has dropped around 25 to 30 percent during the accreditation crisis, and the district may need to cut back on classes in some areas by the 2017-2018 fiscal year to deal with the expected loss of supplemental state funding. However, it also plans to aggressively work to increase enrollment.

Board President Rafael Mandelman said the district was confident it would resolve the remaining accreditation issues by the spring:

“City College is open, we are accredited, this is a great time to enroll.”