BOARD GRANTS ONE-WEEK EMERGENCY AUTHORITY TO CHANCELLOR
Peralta trustees disagree on timeline, scope of powers
By Isis Piccillo, Editor-in-Chief
In a real-time example showcasing the importance of technology training, the Board of Trustees struggled to ratify an emergency resolution in a nearly three-hour meeting plagued by poor connection, low-battery equipment, and unfamiliarity with technology.
The resolution, which asked the Board of Trustees to adopt a resolution declaring emergency conditions at Peralta, would authorize and allow Chancellor Regina Stanback Stroud to take “any and all actions necessary” to “ensure the continuation of education, and the health and safety of the students and staff at the district campuses and facilities.” The original resolution failed to win the required unanimous vote.
Resolution amendments proposed by Trustees Nicky González Yuen and Cindi Napoli-Abella Reiss were dispersed through the chat forum of the Zoom meeting, but with several trustees calling in with audio only, much of the meeting was spent trying to reiterate what the amendments were. Trustee Bill Withrow, who was calling in to the meeting, repeated multiple times that he couldn’t vote on the amendments without seeing them.
Among the amendments proposed by González Yuen was a provision for “no permanent appointments of personnel” and another that “emergency powers shall only be used when absolutely necessary” during the emergency period.
During public comment, multiple faculty members cited student confusion and lack of clarity from the district. Representatives from the Peralta Federation of Teachers (PFT 1603) and Service Employees International Union (SEIU 1021) said that they were not consulted about the latest round of changes to the academic calendar announced Monday, which directed that all classes, even online classes, are suspended until April 6.
Trustees echoed some of the concerns raised in public comment and ZOOM chat, adding that they wanted to confirm that employees would continue to be paid, with benefits.
After the emergency resolution failed to pass unanimously, Trustee González Yuen proposed a new motion which would grant Stanback Stroud emergency authority for one week, until March 24. The original resolution was set to end June 30.
The new motion passed unanimously. The meeting ended with an understanding that the board would meet again March 24, and until then, the trustees would work on discussing and potentially amending the resolution.
According to the regular calendar of the Board of Trustees, the next scheduled meeting is set for March 24.
The full language of the amendments proposed by Trustee Nicky González Yuen can be found in The Citizen’s Twitter thread from the board meeting. Follow us on Twitter @peraltacitizen for live updates and coverage of the Peralta Community College District.