ACE, and formally SEIU, have worked diligently to ensure fair pay, comprehensive benefits and safe working conditions for our members. Some of these achievements:
- Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA’s) typically 1% or higher than what the state has budgeted.
- Working with the other FHDA bargaining units to keep health benefits comprehensive and affordable:
- Negotiated the use of one-time district funds to help offset contribution increases for members;
- Established a trust for post-1997 employees to help offset health costs after retirement when workers are medicare eligible.
- Staff Development Leave, which provides up to ten (10) months of paid leave at 85% of full pay for classified professionals after completing seven (7) years of service.
- Financial incentives including:
- Professional growth award program that offers a $12,960 maximum benefit in additional salary;
- $1,600 towards travel and conference opportunities and $1,200 for educational assistance;
- Longevity awards.
- Paid time off including:
- Eight (8) hours monthly sick leave for full-time employees;
- Accrued vacation for full-time, part-time and hourly employees;
- Forty (40) hours personal leave; and
- Seventeen (17) paid holidays.
ACE and SEIU have also worked diligently to ensure our Agreement is properly enforced.
Article 8 – Pay and Allowances
- Under Working Out of Class (WOC) opportunities, ACE has addressed several issues to ensure workers are properly paid.
- ACE stopped the district from removing the retention incentive, or Step 7, of the salary schedule and then paying the worker 5% for WOC, effectively eliminating 3% of a member’s salary adjustment. ACE resolved this issue in March 2013.
- ACE resolved a grievance with the district in the fall of 2015 regarding partial WOC. The district was paying workers for half of a WOC assignment, but by our Agreement, Article 8.9.2, to qualify for out-of-class pay, a worker must “temporarily be assigned a sufficient number of higher-level duties to clearly justify the conclusion that the worker is performing within a higher classification.” These members were assigned a sufficient number of higher-level duties and full WOC pay was awarded.
- Overtime issues have included:
- Workers who were scheduled to work the front lines in a department for their entire 40 hours, did not have time to fill out state-imposed deadlines and paperwork. They did this work at home on their own time. The scheduling issue was resolved by hiring a new manager, but ACE fought for back pay of 2 hours of overtime for each worker since the inception of the new law requiring the paperwork.
- For a worker who was required to travel and stay overnight for a large portion of their regular assignment, ACE was able to secure partial overtime pay for them.
- For a worker who was assigned overtime work and required to use one hour worked for one hour comp time off only, ACE was able to get the worker paid correctly for their overtime and establish overtime is accrued at time-and-a-half and a worker has a choice between comp time and pay.
Article 11 – Layoff
Created and implemented an Internal Placement Process for workers affected by a layoff– now a negotiated part of the Agreement–whereby ACE was able to save over thirty (30) jobs during a three-year period. We have also been successful in the following circumstances:
- Under SEIU, stopped the district from unilaterally implementing furloughs in 2004 without negotiating them.
- A laid-off worker was reinstated after they applied for a position for which they were qualified but not chosen.
- Restored hours to a worker whose contract was reduced and then some of their work was assigned to a faculty member.
- Made whole a worker who was laid off and replaced by an open position at a higher level doing the same work.
Article 18 – Paid Benefits
- ACE led the way in recouping overcharges to members for health benefits in 2010. The result yielded $20,000 in reimbursements to both active and ACE retires.
- ACE was able to get a retired workers lifetime medical benefits reinstated after the district revoked them when the worker missed a premium payment due to illness.
- The district imposed disciplinary action for insubordination and other charges against a worker who did not believe they were guilty of the charges. In lieu of fighting with the district, this worker chose to retire. The district claimed that in the process of the insubordinate act, the worker committed a felony, never charged them and then tried to deny the worker their lifetime benefits without due process. ACE was able to have the workers lifetime benefits restored and the worker retired.
Other issues ACE has resolved on behalf of its members include:
- In 2016, after establishing non-classified staff were performing the same work, converted five (5) classified hourly positions with limited benefits and no guarantee of hours into permanent positions.
- Removed a work assignment that belonged under Dean’s purview and ensured assigned work was appropriate to a worker’s classification.
- Stopped a harassment of workers based on union discrimination when an immediate supervisor would retaliate with harder workloads or unreasonable assignments for any worker who exercised their rights under the contract or called the Union.
- Successfully defended a false claim of discrimination by a student.
- Asserted a worker’s right to speak before the FHDA Board of Trustees after the worker was reprimanded for doing so.
- In 2003, the District had 526 full-time classified professionals in Unit 1 and nearly 800 temporary employees. Some of these temporary employees had been with the District for 13 years. SEIU filed a lawsuit and was able to reduce the number of temps the District could employ, converted some to full-time positions and drew attention to the legal and illegal use of temporary employees, now closely watched by the FHDA Board of Trustees.