Remove Rosalinda Sandoval as Chair of the Language Department at San Diego City College

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This petition asks San Diego City College President Ricky Shabazz, City College Vice President of Instruction Minou Spradley, San Diego Community College District Chancellor Constance Carroll, and the SDCCD Board of Trustees for the removal of Language Department Chair Rosalinda Sandoval for abusing the authority and the power of her position to discriminate, humiliate, punish, and retaliate against adjunct Language professors Salvador Gonzalez, David Becerra, and Antonio Jimenez.  This petition is based on the complaint recently filed in Federal Court by said professors against Sandoval, her supervisor, Dean Trudy Gerald, and the District.  The following is a narrative of the charges in the complaint.  For a fuller account, see http://www.sdafa.org/city-language-adjuncts/.

On December 12, 2017, three San Diego City College adjunct professors filed a lawsuit in federal court to address long term abuses by their Chair and Dean. The complaints included discrimination, intimidation, and ratalitory class scheduling. The discrimination was based on race, age, class, and of course -- being an adjunct. The three adjuncts, Salvador Gonzalez, David Becerra, and Antonio Jimenez are respected by their peers and students. Their complaints are the tip of the iceberg: other adjuncts in the City College Language Department have similar complaints, and this fits the general pattern of abuse of power against adjuncts. The current lawsuit names Language Department Chair Rosalinda Sandoval and her supervisor, Dean Trudy Gerald.  AFT Guild 1931 (the teachers’ union) President Jim Mahler and others have been mentioned as colluding with the abuses.  The lawsuit is set to be served by February and a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint is pending.

Starting in 2010, Professor Gonzalez realized that Rosalinda Sandoval was racist and would use the power of her position as chair to make life miserable for adjuncts. She insulted him based on his origins in Mexico City, and continued with a series of racist insults: Chilango prieto, mosca prieta, and Elvis Mexicano prieto. Chilango is an ethnic slur for people from Mexico City. Prieto means “dark skinned”. Mosca means “house fly”.

Rosalinda Sandoval is also accused of discrimination against adjuncts based on their age. She frequently referred to David Becera as a ruco, a condescending term equivalent to “old fart”, and viejito or “little old man”. These were said in an aggressive context meant to belittle the adjuncts. During a Language Day Celebration where the adjuncts were volunteering their time, Sandoval again made derogatory, discriminating, disparaging and harassing comments about the age of Antonio Jimenez in front of students.

Sandoval also discriminated against adjuncts based on social class. She criticized Becerra about his clothes, by telling him, “buy yourself some new clothes, old man”. A full-timer telling an adjunct to “get new clothes” is a cynical form of classism.  In 2014, Sandoval made $143,181.02 in salary and benefits, while Becerra made $32,706.18 (TransparentCalifornia.com).  

The common thread of discrimination by Sandoval and Gerald against all the adjuncts was based on employment status.  The most salient way Sandoval and Gerald ranked people can be best understood as “tenurism”,  a term coined by Keith Hoeller to describe the discrimination of adjuncts by their full-time colleagues (https://cpfa.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Hyperlinks-FINAL-Journal-F2017.pdf). Tenurism is the form of discrimination that “categorizes people by their tenure status and makes the false assumption that tenure (or the lack of it) somehow defines the quality of the professor.”

The City College administration and San Diego Community College District defended the discrimination and abuse, citing the need to protect the right of the supervisor to fire bad employees.  But these three adjuncts are excellent professors. They have the proper degrees, training, and years of experience. When students enroll in their classes they have no way of knowing they are being paid half as much, and insulted by their supervisors.  Students describe them as "[having] passion for teaching", "extremely organized [and] prepared", and "professional [with a] clear command of language instruction".

The AFT Guild's role in supporting these adjuncts fell short. Normally the collective bargaining process encourages workers to organize to represent their interests, but here is a situation where the same union represents both, the supervisor and the supervised. This is known as a “company union,” which is illegal in the private sector, but a loophole pertaining to government employees’ unions allows this union to represent both chairs and the adjuncts they supervise. Many activist unions have addressed this conflict of interest by setting separate bargaining units for chairs and adjuncts. Some have even made provisions where a faculty member is not represented when acting as a chair.  But the AFT Guild lacks such a provision. And when the adjuncts went to their Union for help, the Union sided with the chair.

Rosalinda Sandoval used her office and authority to retaliate against those who complained about her. She made good on her promise to Antonio Jimenez that he would “be sorry for having made accusations against her to the Union,” adding that he was “a defenseless adjunct with no real power to defend” himself and that the Union was not going to protect him because she and AFT Guild President Jim Mahler “ware good friends and he will always be on my side.”

Despite being excellent professors, supported by students and full-time colleagues, the three Language adjuncts from San Diego City College, Salvador Gonzalez, David Becerra, and Antonio Jimenez have endured discrimination and abuse by their supervisor Rosalinda Sandoval in collusion with Dean Trudy Gerald, and AFT President Jim Mahler (Gonzalez was successfully ousted in 2017).  

Please sign this petition to have Rosalinda Sandoval removed as Language Department chair because of her blatant discrimination and abuse of power, which are in direct conflict with SDCCD Board Policies of Civility and Mutual Respect, Nondiscrimination, and Prohibition of Harassment (BP 7150, 3410, 3430).  Also, please add a personal message stating your affiliation with SDCCD (faculty, staff, student, concerned community member).  Your thoughts on the situation would be greatly appreciated.

More information can be found in the article on the SDAFA website: http://www.sdafa.org/city-language-adjuncts/

 



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