Union prez asks profs to cancel class for May Day

Amber Athey
Investigative Reporter

  • The president of the San Diego Community College faculty union is encouraging professors to cancel their classes, take a personal day, and bring their students to this year’s International Workers’ Day protest.
  • The president of the San Diego Community College faculty union is encouraging professors to cancel their classes, take a personal day, and bring their students to this year’s International Workers’ Day protest.

    The union, which an anonymous source connected to the organization told Campus Reform collects dues from all teachers regardless of whether they are a member, will be holding a teach-in and marches on May 1 (the “May Day” holiday celebrated by socialists) in order to “reclaim this day in recognition of workers in the United States.”

    “This doesn’t seem ethical, moral, or legal.”   

    [RELATED: Union asks profs to give extra credit for anti-Trump events]

    Jim Mahler, the president of American Federation of Teachers Guild Local 1931, sent an email to the San Diego Community College District telling professors to “not...perform your usual work duties” on International Worker’s Day.

    “The most important point to this May 1st is that there be NO BUSINESS AS USUAL THAT DAY,” Mahler wrote [emphasis in original]. “We are asking those that teach that day to cancel their classes, take a Personal Necessity Day, and bring your students to the events.”

    Mahler even managed to tie the day’s events to President Trump, arguing that “given the threats we face from the Trump administration, it is extremely important that we demonstrate our solidarity with one another. These are troubled times. Only our unity and mutual support will get us through with minimal damage to our most vulnerable community members.”

    [RELATED: Profs pledge to ‘use regular class time’ to protest Trump]

    Ken Berger, a professor at San Diego Mesa College, took issue with Mahler encouraging professors to cancel classes and responded to the email chain.

    “Is it proper to call for a cancellation of classes and to ‘not to perform your usual work duties that day’?” Berger asked, remarking that “this doesn’t seem ethical, moral, or legal.”

    Another Mesa College professor chimed in, claiming that the protest is necessary because “what is not ethical, legal, or moral are the attacks on public education, our students, our healthcare, our environment, our right to organize as workers.”

    “We are in dangerous times. Taking one day, having people stand up for justice is taking the long view and providing venues for students to attend talks, to speak out, to march and call out these attacks,” Professor Jennifer Cost said. “This is good citizenry. This is democracy in action.”

    An anonymous source who provided Campus Reform with the emails contended that this is “not a proper use of school email” and “just more left-wing shenanigans.”

    Campus Reform reached out to both the union and professor Cost, but neither had replied by press time.

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @amber_athey





    Amber Athey

    Amber Athey

    Investigative Reporter

    Amber Athey is an Investigative Reporter for Campus Reform. She graduated from Georgetown University with a B.A. in Government and Economics, and is currently a member of the 2016-2017 Koch Associate Program. 

    More By Amber Athey

    Latest 20 Articles