Pasadena City College faculty are filing an unfair labor practice lawsuit against the college and resisting college orders to resume in-person teaching.
By Melissa Michelson
Some classes had to be canceled due to COVID testing chaos on campus. Here is a timeline of events:
– On January 19, 2021, the PCC Board of Directors met virtually. All public comments made were in favor of extending distance learning, but the CCP board voted to resume in-person classes.
– The following day, January 20, professors protested the forced return to campus in front of the college.
– In the absence of a campus-wide student survey, an individual CCP student started a Change.org petition to continue remote learning (as of Jan. 25, 2,174 have signed it.)
– On Friday afternoon, January 21, after a 7-hour bargaining session in which the district would not change Monday’s scheduled return date, the PCC Faculty Association (PCCFA) announced that it would be filing a lawsuit unfair against the college, citing security concerns affecting both faculty and students.
We strongly believe that for the health and safety of your students, yourselves and your families, you stay away.
~ CCP Teachers Association, January 21, 2022
- On Saturday January 22, unlike wait times earlier in the month, there was a 2.5 hour wait for COVID testing while students and faculty were being tested. Lines of cars circled for 5-6 blocks. (See PCC COVID Testing Fiasco) Faculty and students who test positive are not permitted to be on campus. (Read what you need to know about the CCP to come to campus). During this time, the district and the union met again, but negotiations failed.
– In a Sunday morning email, Jan. 23, the union told faculty “Once again, the district has provided no rationale for rushing to in-person classes amid the greatest surge of COVID. Of the history. We are appalled by the district’s continued and unlawful disregard for the health and safety of faculty and students. »
– Six minutes later, in an email to faculty and staff, the CCP chairman revealed, “The district submitted a draft proposal that included enhanced testing requirements and approximately $1,200 per member in faculty incentives. for COVID-19 testing and booster vaccinations. President Erika Endrijonas also tried to assure teachers: “…we are best prepared for this transition thanks to our testing protocols, our air purification systems, our mandatory masking and our 50% classrooms. of capacity. On the waiting tests, the president said on Saturday 1,700 tests were administered in a single day, which is usually administered in a week.
– Hours of waiting continued on Sunday and Monday, with teachers having to cancel classes because results were not delivered or emailed.
– On Sunday afternoon, about 220 professors attended a union meeting on Zoom where professors discussed their concerns and those of their students and shared what their deans had told them:
- that they would not be allowed to conduct a Zoom lesson in their classroom while their students are at home on Zoom;
- that there would be no one to verify COVID test results, and that it would fall to individual teachers to do so;
- that to arrive on time to start a lesson at 9 a.m., the teacher could go to the test place at 6 a.m.
The meeting lasted an hour and a half.
– On Sunday evening, the union sent sample language to professors to inform their students and deans of their decision if they decided to continue working remotely.
Sample email from PCCFA to student from professor:
“I continue to work remotely as LA County is in the midst of the biggest surge of COVID-19 yet. I do not want to endanger my health and safety, nor that of my family and my students. Rest assured that I will be conducting our class reunion and office hours remotely as we have for the past two weeks. The faculty has made a safe and community-conscious decision to stay away during this time of high transmission.
Sample PCCFA email from Professor to Dean:
‘I work remotely. I don’t want to put my health and safety, my families and my students at risk. I will be performing all of my work remotely as I have been for the past two weeks.
– On Monday, January 24, 2022, six hours after the start of classes on the first day back on campus, some professors received notices regarding masks: “Each professor and staff member will receive a KN95 mask. These masks can be worn effectively for a week, so you will receive enough masks for each month. These KN95 masks are for faculty and staff ONLY. Surgical-grade masks will be provided to students by the faculty or administrative office…. A reserve of surgical masks will be in the mailboxes of the faculties in Administration. To date, no campus-wide instructions regarding verification of test scores or student mask use have been issued.
– At the end of the day, in an email to staff, the President’s special assistant Alexander Boekelheide acknowledged the backlog of COVID test results and that starting Tuesday, January 25, two walk-in locations in parking lots would replace drive-thru and walk-up testing locations to “better allocate staff and resources to keep our process flowing.” Finally, he wrote “No change to class format: Delays in testing today have resulted in unscheduled cancellations of some classes, and we apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. Please understand that classes are not permitted to be moved to remote learning, and all classes listed as face-to-face in the Class Schedule must be held as such.
It is currently unknown how many professors are boycotting face-to-face classes and staying on Zoom or online.
> CCP COVID Dashboard (Vaccinations, Exemptions, and COVID Testing)
> Historical PCC COVID Dashboard data tracking since October 2021
> The CCP’s vaccination requirement reads: “All students, faculty and staff will be required to provide proof of an accepted COVID-19 vaccination or qualifying exemption based on medical or religious grounds prior to admission. ‘be allowed in a classroom, facility or office on campus’. Last semester, students who did not upload proof of vaccination or exemption were dropped.