During the summer I had the chance to interact with union leaders from around the globe at Labor Notes 2022, from Higher Education Labor United(HELU), and from the Public Higher Education Workers(PHEW) network. Initially I came to each looking for advice, but then quickly came to understand that ACE is already built to win. We are a model member-driven labor organization that others are looking to emulate. Recently we’ve been able to bargain for the classification study, the process to substitute professional growth award hours, the remote work stipend, and the 5.07% plus 5.56% salary schedule increases (that’s 10.91% over two years) with retroactive pay. Consistently we are able obtain the workplace improvements we collectively want. In addition to negotiated items we keep all parties accountable to our agreement, labor law, and ed code. We defend our members against unfounded unilateral salary adjustments, overpayment claims, and disciplinary actions. I’m thankful to every member who contributes to making ACE a strong organization that we can all take pride in.
At last Monday night’s board of trustees meeting, on behalf of ACE, I thanked ETS, HR, and Payroll for their work in processing retro pay for the negotiated FY21-22 COLA increase, which is planned to appear in September 30th paychecks. Susan Cheu from business services claimed there are plans to increase staffing to support this work in the future, but here is where we are now in the process:
✅ FY21-22 5.07% Ongoing (Completed – June 30th)
✅ FY21-22 Retro (Completed – September 30th)
❓ FY22-23 5.56% Ongoing (Pending)
❓ FY22-23 Retro (Pending)
As soon as I receive updates with specific timelines, I will pass that information on to all members. The impact of inflation in an already high cost of living area has put many member’s households in a difficult financial position. Paying out salary increases demonstrates a sense of respect for our work and shows that we are a priority for the district. ACE will continue to advocate for full staffing in district departments to build capacity to support the basic needs of employees.
ACE Elections Upcoming
Do you want to become more involved with our union? Start preparing your candidate statement for one of the following positions:
- Chief Steward – De Anza Campus
- Board Member – De Anza Seat 2
- Vice President – Foothill Campus
- Chief Steward – Central Services
- Board Member – Central Services
See details on each here (LINK) and in our constitution (LINK). Officers serve an important role in maintaining the organization and fulfilling its purpose. Specific election announcements will be in upcoming messages.
Dues & Membership Rate Committee
As part of our approved 22-23 budget the board agreed to establish a committee to investigate our dues structure. Although currently 91%(336/370) of eligible employees are members, there’s been an enrollment decline amongst new hires. Of those hired since 2020, 15 are listed as “undecided” as they have not responded when asked to become a member. I believe some of this can be attributed to a lack of getting one-on-one time to explain the benefits of ACE. To ensure outreach we are pushing to receive accurate employee information from human resources, make sure we are a part of the onboarding process, and continuing to advertise the benefits of membership.
If you forward this message to someone who didn’t receive it directly they may not be contributing toward our cause. If enough people choose not to become members we lose our ability to make advancements in the workplace.
Returning to the topic of the committee, we need representatives from the membership to take a closer look at how this trend may affect us in the future. Are we charging an appropriate amount to fund our organization today? If trends continue, how well will we be able to fund our organization in the future? Currently we have two members from Central Services and one member from Foothill on the committee: Logan Murray, Thomas Marks, and Anthony Caceres. We’d like to get member representation from De Anza and about 6 or 7 members in total.
Please email email@example.com if you would like to join. The committee will receive support from Kathy Nguyen, our treasurer, our attorneys, and myself. I served on a similar committee in 2016 and it was a great way to learn how ACE makes financial choices.
COVID-19 Safety & Procedures
The district’s covid-19 safety guidelines remain posted here (LINK) and the form for self-reporting an employee exposure or positive test is available through the De Anza website (LINK). Per Judy Miner’s message on 8/16, “we reached consensus to continue to require face coverings in all indoor classes and public-facing offices and to recommend masks in all other areas,” as a means of reducing the spread of the virus. Work with your supervisor to request any personal protective equipment, such as masks, hand sanitizer, wipes, HEPA filters, gloves, etc..
ACE has also negotiated a separate MOU regarding covid exposure and teleworking (LINK) to support members which has been described in previous messages and at site meetings.