Teachers at Long Beach City College say they will stay home Friday to demonstrate their distress over salary negotiations, despite claims by school administrators that they have stretched the college's budget to its limit.
Mary Weir, president of the faculty bargaining unit, predicted that "well over 75%" of the college's 295 faculty members will take the day off either as a discretionary day or a personal business day. Either is allowed under the faculty contract, which expired Dec. 31.
Faculty members and non-teaching employees have reached an impasse in negotiations. A state mediator is expected to arrive next week.
About 220 employees converged on a board of trustees meeting this week. "I'm not going to strike," said Donald Howey, an electronics instructor and one of nine employees who spoke in protest of the board's offer. "But there's a lot of people here who will."
During a budget presentation preceding the employee protest, administrators said that they will have even less money than expected this year because of lower-than-expected student enrollment, a late start in the state lottery, which is to supply funds for education, and employee demands for salary increases.