Firings prompt union charges

Firings prompt union charges

In what critics say was an action against labor union organizing, Sierra Nevada College has fired six instructors. It’s a charge the college denies.

“It was a data-driven decision, not a political one,” college president Alan Walker told the Tahoe World.

“I believe I was fired for trying to unionize the faculty,” said instructor Dan Aalbers, vice chair of the faculty council.

The departed professors are psychologist Aalbers, who has lectured on the American Psychological Association’s involvement with U.S. torture; English instructor and Sierra Nevada Review editor Courtney Berti; philosophy professor Samantha Bankston, an organizer of the college’s French film festival; art instructor Daniel Kelly; art historian Pierette Kulpa; and author and poet Jared Stanley.

“Everyone let go is someone who has spoken out, taken a public position criticizing the administration,” Aalbers told the World.

“It’s a mix of a couple of issues,” Walker said. “One is the changing demographic of high schools around the county … The other one is the increased focus that society has, that the government has, on the return on investment of education.”