This year’s largest Troublemakers School took place this past Saturday (LINK). More than five-hundred people were in attendance at Oakland Technical Highschool, including @Adriana Garcia, @Blaine Agustin, and myself. We’ll describe the event at an upcoming site meeting but general purpose of it was to serve as a forum for rank-and-file workers to get inspired and learn from each other. If you ever get the opportunity to attend I’d highly recommend doing so. Opening speakers provided lessons from recent bay area strikes, which are also described in videos and articles linked:
- Teamsters potential upcoming strike against UPS (YouTube) (Article)
- OEA strike against OUSD (YouTube) (Article)
- NUHW strike against Kaiser (YouTube) (Article)
- USW 5 strike against Chevron (YouTube) (Article)
- “This Year’s Biggest Strike Is By 48,000 Academic Workers at the University of California” (Article)
Labor Notes holds many events online via Zoom and in-person. Review their website (LINK) for one you are interested in attending. Email @Scott Olsen to ask about available funds for reimbursement prior to registering.
Two De Anza students were in attendance on behalf of their unions. The first was a Starbucks worker who spoke as part of a panel describing the benefits of opening up bargaining, necessity for maintaining frequent communication, and the difficulties of negotiating with their corporate employer so far. The second was a UPS worker who was preparing to strike alongside his union siblings and looking to get more involved. Both may speak at an upcoming De Anza event in honor of International Workers Day – more details to come in a separate message.
ACE is currently working with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources to place members affected by layoff into vacant positions, per Article 11 of our agreement (LINK). Equivalent vacant positions in which a member holds seniority are always considered the least senior for the purposes of bumping and are the first space offered to an employee who has been laid off. Ed Code regarding this process has changed recently and we are working with new administrators to navigate this process with as little disruption as possible. There is no escaping that this transition period won’t have difficulties, but we can certainly remain understanding that these layoffs are not the fault of the employee and they deserve support in adapting to new departments working within their same classification. Empathy at this time is truly appreciated.
This process is a stark contrast to recently tech company layoffs where many employees in outside industry don’t become aware of layoff until their keycard to enter a building doesn’t work or they can’t login to their email. The purpose of our agreement is to maintain our member’s employment, benefits, and wages in a way that is as fair as possible. ACE has had a track record of success in working with the district to make sure no employee leaves the district unwillingly.
As a reminder, while we are in a layoff period ACE members receive first consideration as internal applicants for all hiring committees. When applying for a position as an internal candidate, respond with your cover letter and resume to transfer/promotion opportunity emails sent by Keisha Sentosa. If you are on a hiring committee and the hiring manager is not following this process, contact @Scott Olsen and human resources will be alerted. External candidates should not be reviewed if it is determined that there is a qualified ACE member in the internal pool.
Human Resources Woes
At the past Board of Trustees meeting I continued to speak up about the issues ACE members collectively face – department reorganizations that were approved long ago have yet to be implemented, approved reclassifications have yet to be implemented, pending reclassifications have yet to be reviewed, claims have not been paid out, grievances regarding compensation have not been paid out, crucial reports are inaccurate, … it’s a tragically long list. We’ve filed appropriate lawsuits, unfair labor practices, and grievances to prompt some sort of resolution but no vision for how this situation gets better has been shared. There’s acknowledgement that human resources is under staffed and much is legitimately blamed on Banner. Despite many issues involving compensation being retroactive, that’s not something we can take to the bank if money is needed now. No one should have to wait four months or more to be paid appropriately for their work.
We deserve a functional human resources department that is able to operate within a respectful amount of time and respond in a dignified way so that we can focus on our jobs. The value we provide to the district should be enough to merit that but we may have to speak up in the future if there is no response for how this improves. Join a future site meeting to talk to your colleagues about how we as a union should speak up for change.
Temporary Employee Usage
ACE continues to monitor the usage of temporary employees per Article 4 of our agreement (LINK). If there’s an employee who is not working on a special project or backfilling a vacancy, let us know. We’ve filed four grievances in the past month and held informal meetings with management to come to an understanding.
Sick Leave vs Personal Leave
At the past site meeting the document attached (see original email) to this message was provided to help clarify the usage of sick leave vs personal leave. As a rule of thumb, sick leave is for you – personal leave is for household emergencies or obligations. Contact a steward if you have any difficulty scheduling personal leave for an obligation such as a family member’s graduation (‘tis the season.)