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S.D. College Issues

October 19, 1986

I continue to read that the San Diego Community College chancellor and two board members up for reelection are convinced that the recent votes of no confidence at Miramar, Mesa and City colleges are the work of the "teachers' union," which has brainwashed us all. This is pure poppycock, though it does show just how out of touch these people are.

I have taught at City College for many years. Let's set the record straight. We have two organizations, California Teachers Assn. (CTA), and American Federation of Teachers (AFT). Some of us belong to one, some to the other, some to neither. No group has succeeded in getting us all to join. I have belonged to both at one time or another; right now I belong to neither. The two groups argue, which is healthy. More importantly, teachers are independent thinkers and scholars by trade, and we resent mightily having anyone try to do our thinking for us, a major problem in our district, with the board doing just that. On this one issue, however, we agree: we have no faith in our board or in Chancellor Garland Peed. Here's why:

At City, we no longer have enough classes, including those necessary for the students to major or transfer, in spite of what board members Dan Grady and Louise Dyer say to the press and each other. We no longer have a student newspaper or a journalism program. We have far too few counselors, and Peed is threatening to reduce their numbers and status even further.

We have no stable student club program with faculty advisers. We have no learning skills classes in our Independent Learning Center. We have far too few full-time contract faculty; 60-70% of our classes are taught by hourly teachers, "freeway flyers," as they are called. We have no budget to replace lost books in the library and only one full-time librarian. I could go on and on. Of course, we have never had adequate parking for the students. And our salaries are almost the lowest in the state, the new two-tiered schedule a disgrace and an insult to new teachers.

We're angry and we have been for a long time. We are actively prevented from doing our jobs, that is, providing these services to the students. The money goes to Stadium Plaza, to savings, to the foundation, to administration.

We're feeling very good about Joe Abrahams and Maryann Zounes, candidates for the board. They listen, they hear, they care, they are intelligent, they know. We have high hopes for change, with them on the board. We ask everyone to help us to get our colleges back where they belong, by voting A to Z, Joe Abrahams and Maryann Zounes for San Diego Community College Board of Trustees.

NORMA SULLIVAN

San Diego

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