ACE Members,

I could not have forecasted January 2023 to begin the way it has. Recent weather has closed the district for two days and a power outage led to an additional campus closure at Foothill. Many roadways around California remain in need of repair. People around the state have experienced significant losses due to flooding, landslides, and storm damage. Reach out to a steward if you are having workplace difficulties because of recent storms.

Before you hear it from someone else, for the past few years I have been a bicycle commuter. It’s an activity that helps reduce stress and keep me in shape, but it also has qualities related to union work:

  • Groups accomplish more – Riding in a paceline where riders switch off taking turns at the front is incredibly efficient. Dividing up the work amongst our executive board, negotiating team, and membership allows ACE to get further that we otherwise would on our own. In 2022 I did my first two 100-mile rides. Each one was more bearable among an organized group to split time drafting, sheltering from the wind.
  • Preparation matters – Becoming more experienced, trained, and ready leads to success. Our agreement is a document we have refined over time to better prepare us for the mountains we have to climb in the future. The efforts that leave us sore are the ones we continue to negotiate, like remote work, career ladders, and pay increases.
  • No one gets left behind – There are numerous unwritten rules to cycling, but many are kindhearted. “No drop rides” are ones where no person is left behind or alone. If you are new to the sport, fatigued, or have a mechanical issue someone will be there with you. Interacting amongst ACE members when you have an issue is a great way to collect tools that may patch it up. Consider bringing up problems you have at a site meeting or in a discussion with another member or steward.

Temporary Employees

We need your help understanding how widespread the misuse of temporary employees is. TEAs are only allowable in two situations:

  1. as a “substitute employee,” while an employee is temporarily absent from duty or there is a vacancy due to hiring.
  2. as a “short-term employee,” to work on a project not needed on a continuing basis.

Contact if a temporary employee does not fit either of the descriptions above. Workers who perform work that is ongoing and regular have the right to health, retirement and leave benefits, negotiated salary levels and union representation.

13.2.3 Compensatory Time Off

Do you have comp time that is more than 12 months old? Now that we are in a new tax year and both negotiated salary increases have been implemented, this would be a good time look at 13.2.3, which says:

Any overtime worked shall be reimbursed in compensatory time off within 12 calendar months following the month in which it was reported on the time report. If at the end of the 12 calendar month period the worker has not taken the time off, he/she shall receive overtime pay at the rate that was effective for the worker when the overtime was worked. Compensatory time off may not be carried over beyond these 12 calendar months. The worker has the option of receiving either compensation or compensatory time off for overtime work.

Contact if you would like to receive the time as compensation. Work with your supervisor if you would prefer to take time off. Remember that the choice is yours – you cannot be forced to take time off.

De Anza’s Megaproject

December’s FHDA Board of Trustees meeting was well attended by the Creative Arts community and supporters. In response to concerns raised there has been a commitment on behalf of college administration to create ample opportunities for shared governance and broader input. At January’s meeting $19,400 was approved to explore alternative designs for how Creative Arts, Student Services, and an event center will be configured. How bond money is allocated between the three areas is the issue.

Sunnyvale’s HVAC

Currently a heating and ventilation retrofit has been planned as a temporary solution. Unfortunately, completion of a permanent fix remains 2-3 years away. ACE responded to air quality and temperature issues but there are no Cal/OSHA standards which are being violated.

Union household celebrating the holidays. Thankful for better working conditions, decent wages, old age pensions, and shorter hours.

I hope you were all able to relax and enjoy time away from work during the end of December break. Daylight hours are now getting longer, today the sun is shining, and I’m looking forward to working with you all this year.

In Solidarity, 

Scott Olsen (he/him) | ACE President |
650-949-7789 | M-F 8:00am-5:00pm