College Instructor Placed On Leave: 'This Is Union Busting'
7:24 AM, Oct 26, 2009
One of 4 Southwestern College instructors suspended after a rally against school budget cuts talked to 10News about why he is not teaching at the moment.Faculty union leader Philip Lopez has taught English at Southwestern College for more than 30 years. Last Thursday, students held a rally in protest of sweeping class cuts to fill a budget gap. Lopez was not at the rally, but two instructors were and four were ultimately placed on administrative leave.Lopez showed 10News the letter he received, which cited a penal code dealing with "causing a willful disruption."Lopez said all four instructors have spoken out against Southwestern College President Raj Chopra's decisions to cut classes."Clearly, this is union busting. Dr. Chopra has a reputation for retribution. We're accused of willful disruption, but they are the ones disrupting classes for students by putting us on leave. They are hypocrites," said Lopez.Chopra is currently on vacation and could not comment. The school said the suspensions were unrelated to the rally and would not comment on the reasons because of a pending investigation.