The FHDA CCD Board of Trustees agenda had yet to be released prior to the previous ACE update message, but you can see what was discussed and acted upon on May 1st (LINK). “Ratification of Contracts”, the “Human Resources Report”, and the “Human Resources” specific sections are items I pay careful attention to – Is there an attempt to contract out our work? Who’s been hired? Who’s earned a PGA? Who’s resigned or retired? Are there new MOUs or agreements with labor groups? All the answers are there. On the June 12th agenda we have made it clear that we are expecting to see our updated 2021-2024 Agreement and our sunshine letter, which legally kicks off the contract negotiations process. While the text of our 2021-2024 Agreement will be very similar to 2018-2021, there are updates which are long overdue for us to literally be on the same page when it comes to understanding conditions of employment. The Agreement is a foundational document that we refer whenever there are misunderstandings about an employment practice or questions about how to proceed – it’s akin to a game’s rulebook but attorneys are involved on both sides.
I recognize almost everything takes longer than expected but we do need capacity on the District administrator-side to take care of business without having to file lawsuits, grievances, and unfair labor practice charges. The June agenda along with how our negotiations go forward will be telling. As members I encourage you to pay close attention, be engaged, and ask questions.
As a reminder, current layoffs are not due to a shortfall in the general fund and are not the fault of the affected employees. ACE continues to work with the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources to place employees into positions in which they hold seniority or find comparable alternative positions, per Article 11 of our Agreement. We also continue to scrutinize the use of temporary employees and contractors to argue for permanent benefitted positions to be created where it has been demonstrated that there is an ongoing need. Thank you to those who’ve brought examples of misuse to our attention.
Upcoming Additional CalPERS Employee Contribution for 2.5% Salary Increase Now Being Pensionable
CalPERS members hired after 2013, or PEPRA (Post-Employee Pension Reform Act) members, will see an additional deduction on their May paychecks to pay for the employee contribution for making a “temporary” salary adjustment pensionable. The average deduction is $190 (median $205). Contact @Scott Olsen for the exact amount or this would create a financial hardship.
This additional deduction is a result of winning our lawsuit against CalPERS, which determined that the OSSP-np line item (off salary schedule payment-non pensionable) was actually pensionable for all of our members. Not only does this affect the past salary schedule increase, it will be precedent setting in the event we negotiate for future one-time salary increases and both PEPRA and Classic members will be treated equally.
Negotiations and the May revise of the Governor’s 2023-2024 State Budget (by Chris White, chair of negotiations)
Last week, the Governor released the May revise for the proposed 2023-2024 state budget. I would encourage you to read the full proposal as it relates to CCCs. You can find it here: https://ebudget.ca.gov/2023-24/pdf/Revised/BudgetSummary/HigherEducation.pdf.
The part most people want to know, is the cost-of-Living adjustment (COLA). It crept up from 8.13% in January to 8.22%.
WOOHOO! That means we’re getting an 8.22% COLA! Not so fast. For FHDA, COLA is not an automatic pass through, and we must bargain any increase. A couple of facts about this state budget proposal:
- The legislature and the governor must agree and sign it by June 15, which means there is still time to negotiate. Historically, it hasn’t changed much from the May revise proposal, but this COLA is funded differently.
- A portion of this COLA is funded through one-time funds. That can be problematic down the road and may have an impact on the final budget. The Legislative Analyst’s Office outlines some of those concerns here: https://sbud.senate.ca.gov/sites/sbud.senate.ca.gov/files/May%2017_Higher%20Ed%20May%20Revise.pdf
- FHDA has its own budget issues with over a decade of declining enrollment, increasing costs, and the ending of hold-harmless funding in 2024-25. When this happens, we won’t lose funding, we also won’t get any new funding (like COLAs) until our enrollment matches the funding the state has been giving us despite fewer students (its pegged to 2017-2018 enrollment). That means unless we increase our FTES on average by 1,000 over the next three years or we get a five percent or more COLA each year during that same time period, both are highly unlikely, wages will most likely remain stagnant.
So, what are we getting? Your negotiations team will do everything to be fair in our proposals to help our members get a COLA that works for them now and in the future.
As I mentioned in my last update, we are expecting our proposals to go to the board of trustees’ June 12 meeting. In addition to the articles, we are opening – 8 (pay and allowances), 9.2 (Vacation), 13.2.6 (Remote Work) and 18 (benefits) – you’ll see some additional items which need to be amended due to changes in the law. They are:
- Articles 3 – Union Security – this is the elimination of fair-share fee payers from the 2018 Janus supreme court decision.
- Article 7 – Employment Practices – this is a change in probationary status where the maximum is now six months. Ours is currently 1 year.
- Article 10 – Leaves – this is a change in parental leave (12-weeks at 50% of pay, can’t be supplemented with any other leave). Change says the max is 12 weeks within a 12-month calendar. If you use sick/personal/vacation to be covered at 100%, the number of weeks you used is subtracted from the 12-week total that parental leave allows. You still can’t use parental leave + your earned leave to accrue 100% of your salary.
- Article 11 – Layoffs – sets March 15 notice deadline and requires the option to have an administrative hearing to demonstrate the layoff is due to a lack of work or lack of funds.
- Article 16 – Discipline – changes the length of time from one year to two that the district can’t initiate any disciplinary action for any cause alleged to have arisen prior to the worker becoming permanent nor for any cause alleged to have arisen.
Chris, chair of negotiations
Andrea Santa Cruz
… and happy bike to wherever day(s) 🚲(LINK).