Updated 10:30 a.m. Friday

Ten faculty members at City College of San Francisco were arrested Thursday evening by San Francisco police during a protest at CCSF’s Ocean campus, according to AFT Local 2121, the union that represents CCSF faculty.

Instructors and CCSF students were protesting the school’s plan to lay off dozens of faculty members to help solve a multimillion-dollar budget deficit.

An SFPD spokesperson told KQED that officers arrested and cited 11 protesters for failing to obey a peace officer and for being pedestrians outside of a crosswalk.

On Friday, CCSF’s Board of Trustees will vote on a measure that may result in cuts of up to 200 faculty members across multiple departments.

The cuts are striking departments of all sorts, affecting everything from workforce training courses like aircraft maintenance and auto mechanics, to classes needed to transfer to four-year schools, like chemistry and English.

Pink slips — layoff notices — already have been mailed. The response has been swift: On Sunday, teachers took to the streets, celebrating May Day. And on Tuesday, they zipped up their sleeping bags to brave the night in front of the college’s administration building.

One of those camping faculty members is Tim Killikelly, a 25-year teacher at the college and former union president. While he’s used to marching in the streets, Tuesday night he was zipped up in his sleeping bag in front of Conlan Hall, at the school’s Ocean campus. The building is at the base of a hill overlooking the Ingleside neighborhood, which funnels ocean winds and fog to the campus.

Killikelly warmed himself up for a few minutes in his gray Toyota Prius while he spoke to KQED.

The night was “cold and uncomfortable, but inspiring as well,” Killikelly said. Roughly 50 people made it to the campout, he said, though the population was fluctuating, and they plan on staying at least through Friday’s vote at 4 p.m.

“We want to work with them to make revenue for the college, so that the community can have a stable college so they can get the classes they want, and need, and deserve,” he said.

The alternative is pink slips.

And while some 58 faculty members have netted pink slips so far, after a vote by the board in February, another roughly 150 part-timers may not be hired back for the next school year, the union says. While those aren’t technically layoffs, they nonetheless leave teachers who have devoted years to City College out of work.

City College’s 2013 accreditation crisis — which infamously threatened its closure — sent its enrollment into a spiral from which it never fully recovered, teachers say.

Fewer students means fewer dollars to pay for teachers, and the college is now facing a $5.8 million deficit in its 2025-2026 fiscal year, according to the SF Standard.

College administrators didn’t respond to requests for comment. But the faculty union’s political director, Adele Failes-Carpenter of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2121, said the union disagrees with City College’s math. The union proposed an alternate budget that preserves jobs.

“We found that there’s no mandate to make layoffs this year at City College,” she said. “If the district acts responsibly, no layoffs would be needed. And they can close the year without any deficit and be in a position to work with us to go to a ballot in November to bring revenue to the college and address the long-term funding needs of the college.”

A coalition of unions has tried to pitch tax proposals to stem the gap, including Service Employees International Union 1021, which also represents City College of San Francisco workers and met with Mayor London Breed in February to propose new tax mechanisms to raise dollars for CCSF.

Despite the start of new programs like Free City College, which offers free tuition to San Francisco residents, other factors soon compounded the existing drop in student population, including a statewide community college enrollment plunge during the pandemic. A CalMatters analysis found that, at 42 out of 116 California community colleges, more students left in the fall of 2021 than in the fall of 2020. That comprised a statewide loss of more than 300,000 students, which California tried to correct by spending an extra $120 million.

It also isn’t the first time City College of San Francisco has warned layoffs were on the way. Last year, the college voted to suspend layoffs of some 160 faculty, but the Board of Trustees warned that new funding would need to be identified to stem future cuts.

“This is a one-year deal. And City College will continue to have a structural budget deficit and funding gap,” City College Board Trustee Alan Wong told KQED in May last year. “Immediately after approving this tentative agreement, we must turn our attention to long-term funding.”

Wong didn’t return requests for comment this week on the latest round of cuts. Indeed, even until Wednesday, faculty didn’t know what date the vote would happen — only that the results would be enacted for next school year.

At the May Day rally and march in San Francisco on Sunday, City College faculty who’d been served with pink slips spoke out.

Golnar Afshar, a full-time biotechnology teacher, told KQED she got her pink slip in February. Afshar is one of only three faculty in the biotechnology program. Now those students will have fewer classes available to complete their learning.

Most of Afshar’s students are older and changing their careers. They have bachelor’s degrees but need to fulfill hands-on training experience to get laboratory jobs — a highly sought-after career path in the Bay Area, which Afshar called “the Mecca of biotechnology in the world.” Now those students may have a tougher path.

“I have no idea what’s going to happen,” she said. “If the classes are canceled, the students will not be able to finish up.”

And for Afshar, who is 55 and was looking toward retirement in the next decade, “I’m just going to have to start looking for a job.”

KQED’s Haley Gray and David Marks contributed to this report.

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