ACE Members,

Bilingual Guidance
Generally, the reaction to the guidance issued last week was positive and members understood. The entire negotiations team stands behind the message and sees it as the way to demonstrate the value of the skills we are required to perform in service of the mission of the college/district. There were a handful of follow-up questions:

What if my manager/supervisor agrees with ACE’s position and supports bilingual pay for me as an employee?
They should email @Rocio Chavez and @Pat Hyland acknowledging that the skill is required in the department and needed in support college/district’s mission.

Is ACE saying I shouldn’t speak a language other than English in casual conversations with colleagues or students?
No. The bilingual pay we are seeking would only apply when required by your manager/supervisor. Social situations or when you are volunteering assistance in someone’s first language aren’t something we are asking to change.

We are really trying to compensate those who shoulder the weight of a specific language speaking population in an office due to their ability. The practice we’ve seen in the past has gone something like, “Oh! You’re fluent in Vietnamese? That’s fantastic. We’re going to direct all students and community members to you for that department support. In addition, we’re going to identify you as a point of contact for departments outside your work area.”

Won’t the district recognize what we provide and provide bilingual pay to us without causing a disruption?
No. What we saw in the last negotiations session is that there is a real disconnect between the district’s bargaining team and what happens at the college/district. There is little recognition of what we as classified professionals provide. The district’s chair of negotiations was their attorney, who is based in San Diego. As a team, their two main proposed items were takeaways: (1)eliminating personal leave, and (2)expanding the disciplinary period from one-year to two-years.

Management will regularly issue very supportive and positive statements, but those don’t translate to supportive and positive actions during negotiations. The hope is that we can highlight the importance of this skill and only have to withhold it for few weeks before we achieve parity among the district.

Travel and Conference Fund Requests
Apologies for delays in application approvals (specifically at Foothill.) Initially I was told there was told there was only $6,500 remaining for all ACE employees(!!!), but didn’t receive an accurate report until Feb 6th after some discussion and investigation. In total we have $110,000 for De Anza, $80,000 for Foothill, and $40,000 for Central Services. Expect pending approvals to be processed within the next week, in the order they were received.

Article 14.7 covers Travel and Conference. We receive $60,000* each year for all ACE employees which is distributed between the De Anza(50%), Foothill(30%), and Central Services(20%). Unused funds are carried over to the following year.  *per 2019 negotiations (Source)

In addition ACE has approached Human Resources to allow for the annual $1,600 maximum allowance per employee to be increased but they are startled with the notion of developing MOUs outside of the annual negotiations cycle. I’m told the creation of MOUs to address contractual items is common at other districts. Current approvals will fall under the existing language.

De Anza Chief Steward – Andre Meggerson
We’re happy to announce that @Andre Meggerson has been appointed Chief Steward for De Anza. Andre served as a steward while at De Anza and was a Chief Seward for Foothill. His experience is valued along with his ability to work with members and management. Thank you on behalf of all members for agreeing to continue serving in support of us.

ACE could always use more members as stewards. Each Chief Steward can appoint up to two additional stewards at each location per our constitution, section 5.3 (LINK). What does a steward do?

b. Duties of the Chief Stewards and Steward(s)

1) Represent their respective jurisdiction in all membership meetings in the absence of the members.
2) Be the first line of contact with administrative or supervisory staff subject to this Constitution.
3) Be responsible for the enforcement of all applicable collective bargaining agreements in their respective jurisdictions.
4) Be responsible for holding management accountable for all applicable safety and occupational health laws, rules and regulations, and are responsible for notifying appropriate administrative or supervisory staff of unsafe working conditions.
5) Shall have copies of the Constitution and all necessary working agreements available at all times.

Now that we have a full executive board and a steward appointed, training will be scheduled soon. Reach out to @Andre Meggerson, @Anthony Caceres, and @Thomas Marks if you have any questions about becoming a steward.

“Many hands make work light” is a common saying among unions. As an independent organization we depend on members stepping forward to take leadership positions. We need you. If you have a minute to send a message of gratitude to a negotiator or board member (other than myself), I’m sure they’d appreciate hearing from you. Those serving as representatives do a ton of work to keep the organization operating smoothly. Scott Olsen may deliver the messages, but the work of a union is delivered by all of us as members.

Site Meetings In-Person
De Anza’s in-person site meeting went very well. We probably haven’t had one like it since Feb 2020 but the format does bring a few things that Zoom doesn’t offer (beyond pizza and salad.) Anthony Booth and I were in attendance to answer questions and address topics of concern. Direct access to legal expertise is a key benefit of our organization. The 40ish members who attended seemed generally satisfied. Please set aside time to participate during a future meeting.

Expect that the upcoming Foothill/Central Services meeting will transition to being in person.

District Employee Housing Survey
As a reminder, please take the time to participate in the district employee housing survey if you haven’t already (LINK). Proposed solutions are less likely to cater toward our needs if we don’t contribute our opinions.

Thank you to everyone who responded to the last message requesting support for Mario Ramos and his family.

In Solidarity,

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