ACE Members,

By the end of the month, we were hoping to have made substantive progress on bilingual pay. Instead, the following guidance must be provided because of where we are currently:

If your manager/supervisor is asking you to provide services in a language other than English, you are not paid to do so or required to do so – STOP

The district has made the choice not to pay ACE members for language translation or communication (written/verbal) skills that they bring.

Complaints/Concerns can be directed to @Rocio Chavez and @Pat Hyland in Human Resources.

Note: The only classification in our bargaining unit that identifies a language other than English, is the Sign Language Interpreter (American Sign Language.)

Will this disrupt departments like Outreach, Financial Aid, International Students, English as a Second Language, EOPS, etc.?
Yes. In the last round of negotiations, the District chose to uphold the status quo and determined that our ability to communicate in another language has no additional value (even when it is requested of us.). Work stoppages are intended to be disruptive to demonstrate the skills we provide. If they are refusing to pay you for specific work, don’t do that work. Continuing to provide services for free undermines our ability to obtain compensation.

What are we specifically trying to gain?
Here is the proposed MOU language:

Bilingual Pay
The District acknowledges the contributions of those workers who possess bilingual skills. The professionalism shown by workers using these skills has enriched the educational environment for students with diverse communication needs.

  1. Each worker requested to use their bilingual skills in the regular course of business shall receive a bilingual stipend of one hundred ($100) per month.
  2. Bilingual pay will be for languages deemed appropriate by the District and may change as the needs of the District change.
  3. Those employees who, upon the recommendation of their immediate supervisor, and who successfully complete the Bilingual Performance Examination for another language including American Sign Language (ASL), will receive $100 per month in addition to their regular pay.
  4. To continue receiving bilingual pay, employees must successfully complete a short validated oral PASS or FAIL examination every three (3) years. Candidates who fail the Bilingual Performance Examination may re-test once every six months.
  5. Each worker that receives bilingual pay will only receive $100 per month no matter how many languages they are certified to speak.

This mirrors the language the District has already agreed to with the Police Officer’s Association (POA) in their Article 6.6 (Source). It is not unreasonable or impossible if they’ve already agreed to it with another unit within the district.

What do we do when a manager/supervisor is still asking us for bilingual services?
Contact a steward @Andre Meggerson, @Anthony Caceres, @Thomas Marks, or @Scott Olsen. We can inform the manager/supervisor of the current agreement with the district and clarify who their bargaining team members are if they have any questions.

If we’re successful, does that mean we can learn any language and get the additional $100?
Not necessarily. Read the proposed MOU language above. We must be requested to utilize the skill, the languages are determined by the district, we must pass a test, and we have to be re-validated every three years.

Is that proposed MOU language finalized?
No. It’s a starting point that we were hoping to engage the district with, but we haven’t received a written response in return. Which is why we are asking you to STOP to make the district understand this is important to our campus community.

My parents had the forethought to enroll me in a bilingual education (Spanish immersion) program at a young age. I certainly do not expect to benefit from bilingual pay in my Client Systems Specialist position, but I personally recognize the value of being able to understand another language and communicate in that language. In my second term as president, I’m confident we can organize to obtain compensation for language skills that are required of us which are beyond the scope of our classifications.

In Solidarity,

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