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ACE News

2023.07.31 Negotiations Update – COLA & Benefits Agreement

ACE Members,

Please see the attached write-up detailing our upcoming COLA and benefits tentative agreement with the district. (ACE Negotiations Update 20230731.pdf)

The negotiated 7.22% salary schedule increase and management of system-wide benefits cost increases are only possible due to your support of collective action, along with labor groups diligently working together.

Kudos to Chris White, Sushini Chand, Chris Chavez, Keri Kirkpatrick, Joseph Gilmore, and Andrea Santa Cruz for their work on these negotiations.

In Solidarity,

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

2023.06.01 Update – President’s Message, Pride At Work, June 6th Site Mtg, Campus Safety, Unpaid Wages

ACE Members,

President’s Message
These update messages are intended to answer the questions, “what is ACE doing?” and, “what do I need to know as a member?” Rarely will I include a information if there isn’t an action or member demand behind it. On a personal action note, next week I’ll be out of the office and away from technology while participating in AIDS/LifeCycle (LINK.) The $5,000+ in funds I’ve raised go toward the San Francisco AIDS Foundation (LINK) to promote health, wellness, and social justice for communities most impact by HIV. It seems fitting to announce as Pride Month beings and especially important to demonstrate solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. During training for the 545-mile event I’ve already ridden with a very supportive group. I do my best communication through actions – “walk the talk.” Raising money for a worthy cause and riding from SF to LA with ~2,000 people hopefully says something supportive.

Pride At Work has an informative “Union Guide to Discussing LGBTQ+ People and Issues” document with language and concepts related to the LGBTQ+ experience in the workplace (LINK.) It’s worth familiarizing yourself with the terminology, or refreshing your understanding, prior to having discussions. The same site also includes model contract language regarding health insurance, leaves of absence, and non-discrimination (LINK) which already appears in our own agreement:

  • Article 18 – Benefits
    • 18.1.4 A dependent shall be defined as the employee’s spouse or domestic partner and any child who is claimed as an allowable dependent on the employee’s federal income tax return.
  • Article 10 – Leaves
    • 10.15 For purposes of this article only, the definition of “immediate family,” when used in connection with any leave provided in this article, shall mean: Husband, wife, domestic partner, mother, father, sister, brother, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild, parent-in-law, foster parent, step parent, step child, foster child, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, son-in-law, or daughter-in-law. “Immediate family” shall also include any relative of the worker, or of the worker’s spouse or domestic partner living in the immediate household of the worker.
  • Article 2 – No Discrimination
    • The District shall not discriminate against a worker based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, union activity or any other legally protected status, or on the, basis of these perceived or based on the association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.

LGBTQ+ rights are workers’ rights. The Association of Classified Employees continues to create an environment that is free from discrimination and violence though adding and enforcing actionable language to our agreements. Revisions are planned to our updated 2021-2024 Agreement to change gender specific language to be more inclusive of non-binary gender identities.

June 6th De Anza / Central Services Site Meeting
This meeting will be hosted by VPs of De Anza and Central Services, @Vins Chacko and @William Baldwin. Our attorneys from the Booth Law Group also attend site meetings. They are the best opportunity to communicate amongst members about what’s occurring at each worksite, let the ACE executive board know what’s important to you, and get you questions answered, like:

  • Can my manager/supervisor adjust my schedule to avoid paying overtime? (Um, no. That’s a violation of labor law.)
  • What do I do if the district hasn’t paid me what they’ve agreed to months ago? (File a wage claim – LINK.)
  • What’s the latest on campus safety and panic buttons? (This is its own topic.)

For those who are unable to attend, you can always reach out to an Executive Board Member for an update (LINK.) These update messages sent via email also capture many of the same hot topics that are discussed in site meetings.

Campus Safety
Chief Acosta held a townhall yesterday at Foothill to provide broad answers to questions about campus safety. Some brief takeaways:

  • Campus police has done a great job of responding to threats that are received via email. If you are the recipient of a threat, forward the message to @Daniel Acosta and cc @Scott Olsen. They are taken seriously and investigated.
  • There will be a virtual Run Hide Defend training on Thursday, June 8th from 11am-1pm.  Register (LINK) or email @Joy Garza with questions.
  • There has been an ask for working panic buttons in a number of locations on each campus. At times this can be a departmental budgetary hurdle, but it is worth talking to your supervisor/manager to express the desire for a panic button. Guidance from the FHDA PD on how to respond to a safety emergency suggests other means may be more informative, such as:
    • A 911 call.
    • A 911 call left off the hook.
    • A text message sent to 911.
      • The ability to get more information regarding the emergency helps officers know how to respond and what to look for when they arrive. Panic buttons alone don’t provide supporting information but are an effective tool to notify campus police that they are urgently needed.
  • Each campus also has different systems and devices for automated door locks. This requires coordination between departments and planning during construction. Unfortunately improvements such as these may take a long time due to costs and logistics.
  • Campus behavior intervention teams have also been very successful in addressing potential risks before they become a safety emergency.

Follow-up with @Scott Olsen and we can advocate or investigate plans for hardening a work area. You may also be able to schedule a visit from @Daniel Acosta and/or @Joy Garza for a workplace specific safety assessment.

Unpaid Wages
Members are stepping forward to submit claims with the local labor commissioner but the more of us who file a claim, the brighter and hotter the spotlight shines on the issue. If you aren’t getting paid appropriately, please contact @Scott Olsen, Anthony Booth, or Bradley Booth for more information. Filing these claims demonstrates that this issue is important on behalf our membership. Even if your household can afford to wait for a retroactive payment, many of us cannot. As an incentive, fines are payable to the employee.

Note: Our colleagues in Payroll do wonderful work and provided great workshops on Professional Development Day. To clarify, they work under the direction of management in Human Resources. If you have a payroll issue, please reach out to @Scott Olsen or a steward to assist in resolving it.

In Solidarity,

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

2023.05.25 Update – Wage Theft, New Chancellor, CalPERS PEPRA May Additional Deduction, Update Rewind, Translation Services

ACE Members,

President’s Message
During Classified Professional Development Day, which kicked off this week of appreciation events, a question during the opening session asked about what the best part of working for the district was. Many respondents including myself agreed that it’s our colleagues. I’ve said before that what gave me confidence to serve as ACE president is the people that I would be advocating for. As a Client Systems Specialist, I’ve been in enough offices at both campuses, the district office, Sunnyvale, HOPE sites, to know that you are all dedicated to supporting each other in service of the overall mission of serving students. Thank you for your contribution – soak up the praise – we as ACE will negotiate for our raise ✊

Wage Theft / Timely Payment of Wages
After review and consultation, ACE is beginning to assist members in filing complaints with the Labor Commissioner’s Office that fit the definition of wage theft (LINK). “Not receiving agreed upon wages” is one of their examples. Many of us have experienced significant delays(multiple months) in being paid appropriately following the discovery of an inaccuracy or a new agreement for a salary adjustment.

This would be a violation of labor code 210 (LINK) and penalties would be payable to the employee:

  1. For any initial violation, one hundred dollars ($100) for each failure to pay each employee.
  2. For each subsequent violation, or any willful or intentional violation, two hundred dollars ($200) for each failure to pay each employee, plus 25 percent of the amount unlawfully withheld.

Contact @Scott Olsen for more information on how to file a claim. We can connect you with our attorneys to determine if your specific situation falls within the scope of the Labor Commissioner’s Office. You can also contact them directly for information:

Labor Commissioner’s Office (San Jose)
100 Paseo de San Antonio,
Room 120
San Jose, CA 95113
(408) 277-1266

Open Monday to Friday:
9:00 AM – 12:30 PM
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM

We are anxious to receive a determination on initial claims that have been submitted so far. Members stepping forward to call out the long held practice of “we’ll pay you when it’s convenient for us” is necessary to set a higher standard for what we expect as employees of the district.

New Chancellor
The Board of Trustees announced their choice for the person they found to be the best fit to fill the chancellor position – press release available online (LINK.) Honest communication goes a long way toward establishing a relationship, but it is really actions in their new role going forward that they will be measured by. How does this person value the contributions classified professionals? Respond to working with labor unions? Create an equitable environment for employees? Listen to what they say. Look closely for evidence that supports their claims.

Onboarding by ACE members and an introduction to the supportive culture at the district can help set a tone for how we operate. Undoubtably there will opportunities to interact at events to be announced, such as district opening day, to bring this new chancellor into the fold.

Upcoming Additional CalPERS Employee Contribution for 2.5% Salary Increase Now Being Pensionable (Reminder)
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.

Update Rewind
If you didn’t see the previous update (LINK), it includes a significant negotiations update regarding the governor’s May revise of the 2023-2024 state budget (COLA) and items we are expecting to start negotiating which will appear on the June 12th Board of Trustees agenda, such as vacation, remote work, a change in the probationary period (12 mo. ➡️ 6 mo.) , layoff procedure, and discipline procedure.

Translation Services
If at anytime there is a need for union information to be translated or a translator to be present during a meeting, contact @Scott Olsen. Our attorneys have experience contracting with outside groups or we are able to call for translators from amongst our members.

In Solidarity,

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