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Does anyone care about the staff, faculty, and students at ASA College?

Updated: Jan 22


The answer to that question is NO. As a faculty member of the legal studies department, I have asked myself for some time why no one at the governmental agencies in charge of supervising these colleges like ASA College have left teachers and staff alone, not to mention students. For months faculty and staff have had their salaries delayed and, in some cases, many faculty members have suffered stressed related illnesses because they have not been able to pay their bills, not to mention that all ASA employees were left without a paycheck for Christmas. I can go on and on about how the USDOE has frozen funds that belong to students and employees to punish the management of ASA without ever considering that more 600 employees work to put food on the table of their families. Unacceptable that while punishing and sending ASA College to the verge of closing, not one public official ever considered thinking the pain many employees are going through right now.


The heroes in this problem, no doubt are the teachers and staff. These individuals have worked for free for weeks, have acted ethically and provided lessons to their students despite not even having money to pay for their basic needs. Yet, the USDOE has not even provided a statement where employees and staff can get their salaries from the frozen funds. Now, do not get me wrong, the only person to blame here is the administration at ASA College, starting with the CEO Alexander Shchegol, who had to know that the decision of being placed under review would come as a result of many complaints both from students and former employees, and that the school, after being put under review, which means that no public money that comes from students loans would be available for the school to use, would put the institution in a road to financial disaster. One must ask, did the CEO of ASA College not understand this? Was this not evident after all the scandals that were published in local news papers in NYC and NY state? What would make this businessman think that the local and federal government would allow him to continue leading the institution? To this date no one knows the answer to these questions. Nevertheless, the result is that all employees because of bad business practices are now either jobless or with no monies to pay for their basic needs.


Endless meetings and town-halls have been done, and in the end, those screwed have been staff, faculty, and students. As of January 19th, 2023, many ASA employees decided to strike and demand their salaries be paid. As an instructor, and a person whose salary is owed for almost 6 weeks, I decided to write this article and use my own platform to denounce what is going on alerting the media that ASA employees demand action, and their monies be paid. It is not fair to have people work for free being told monies will come, and not see the direct deposit hit their accounts as promised.


Teacher and staff provided the following statement:


“ASA TEACHERS AND STAFF ON STRIKE

Since the beginning of this semester employees at ASA College have been dealing with all the dire issues facing ASA College with our heads held high and with all the respect we have for our students. Since the beginning of the Fall Semester of 2022, we have had delayed salaries – at first just a couple of days or so, but as of this writing none of us has received a paycheck since before 12/24/2022, which as of now means that we have missed two payrolls completely, and we all have bills to pay and families to support

This situation is of course unsustainable, and we cannot keep working without pay until the end of the semester, which is scheduled to end in late February 2023.ASA’s leadership has not been transparent with us, and as of now we don’t know not only when but IF we are getting paid at all. For this reason, we are going ON STRIKE and will not be teaching any classes or doing any form of work until this and other issues are resolved.

Our demands are:

1. Assurances that all staff be paid immediately for all the back pay and a documented plan to make sure salaries are deposited on a timely basis going forward 2. Full transparency from the administration, especially Interim President Jose Valencia, on the deals going on during the TEACHOUT process – including regular communications with staff and faculty.

3. Fulfillment of the promises documented during the chaotic Town Hall meeting, including the five percent bonus that was never deposited.

Let us reiterate that staff and faculty have done their best to keep ASA College afloat during these difficult times. The decision to go on strike is NOT something we take lightly. We simply can no longer keep on working while having none of our salaries to support our necessities. Signed FACULTY AND STAFF”


It has been difficult to decide to strike for me and many others, not because of management, but because of our students who are the most affected in the end and for whom we care for dearly. Faculty and staff have kept ASA afloat but thus far, the USDOE nor the local or state agencies have cared about anyone at ASA. We demand to be paid, and this article could probably be longer than this column, because it is an endless mismanagement of an institution that for years was able to serve many students. Unfortunately, bad decisions have put us where we are today, and we as faculty, staff and our students demand that our monies be paid and that we are able to teach out our students while ASA fights to stay in business. Enough of ignoring us and we demand action be taken.



Cristhian Mancera Mejia

ASA Faculty Legal studies

Director

www.latribunacolusnews.com

Twitter @cmancera33

IG @manceramejia




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