President’s Message

Participating, sticking together, and educating potential members and the public about ACE are simple, everyday ways we can support our labor organization. Here are a few others:

  • Attend monthly site and board meetings regularly. Site meetings are held at noon. De Anza’s are generally held the 1st Tuesday of the month; Foothill and Central Services site meetings are generally held the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Can’t make a meeting? Talk to your Vice President or other members about what took place.
  • Stay informed. Read your email and bookmark for updates.
  • Participate in elections. Your vote is your voice.
  • Get to know your steward. As your primary contact with ACE, they can answer many of your questions or refer you to the appropriate resources.
  • Know your agreement. Available online at
  • Spread the word.  If you hear about an issue that concerns you, tell your coworkers and show them how to get involved. Educate others.
  • Serve as an ACE officer.  With the exception of the ACE Recorder, all of the positions on the ACE Executive Board and Negotiators are elected by the membership.

Chris White, ACE President
(650) 949-7789, office

Dues Forgiveness in March 2017 Paycheck

ACE will forgive dues in your March paycheck (March 31st).  For Classified Hourly employees, this will be reflected in your April 15 paycheck.

Last September, ACE permanently reduced dues by 10% but we also promised to monitor our budget, and if finances allowed, we would forgive one month in spring.  We are making good on that promise.

PDQ’s and Next Steps

by Chris White, ACE President

Approximately 75% of you completed the position description questionnaire (PDQ) and it is clear you put a lot of time and thought into your responses.   Thank you.

Next steps:  Managers have until March 31 to make comments on the PDQs you submitted and/or complete a PDQ for any classification under their purview which was left unanswered.  After the 31st, the PDQ’s are sent to the consultants who will begin the review process. Based on their recommendations, follow-up interviews will be scheduled with employees and supervisor, even if a PDQ wasn’t submitted. Not everyone will need to be interviewed but we will work with the consultants to make certain our members feel heard throughout this process.  The interviews will most likely be scheduled for late April.

A few reminders:

  • This s not a performance evaluation. After the 31st, if you wish to review your supervisor’s comments, we will work with HR to give you access to your PDQ.  While this process is about the position and not the person, I also recognize not everyone is comfortable having their information made public so we will not be posting the PDQ’s.
  • This is not a staffing study. The consultants are reviewing tasks being performed to make certain they are assigned to the appropriate classification. Their job will then be to make recommendations for any changes they feel are appropriate. ACE and the district will negotiate, ultimately with your approval, on whether or not to implement the recommendation(s).
    • They base their job analysis on: Education, training, and certification or licenses required to do the job; experience needed by a new hire;  independence of action performed; responsibility of resources; supervision received or given to others; consequences of actions; working conditions; and physical and mental demands.
    • The volume of work a position is performing is not a factor in classification.   If you have absorbed more duties due to vacancies, it is incumbent upon you to have a conversation with your supervisor to prioritize workload and determine what can be eliminated. If your supervisor says it all needs to be done, call your ACE steward and we will work with you and your supervisor to get this addressed.  By not filling vacancies or combining positions, the administration has made the decision that they are willing to sacrifice this work. FHDA is very lucky to have so many conscientious employees who want to make sure students aren’t impacted by these decisions but when you do the added work there is no incentive on the district’s part to add more staffing. Their goal to get the work done has been met.
  • Classifications are generalized.  Not every word from the PDQ will be on the final classification descriptions.

As we move forward, your participation will become even more critical in developing a classification system which will affect our unit for years to come.  Just because the results may not affect you right now, doesn’t mean they never will.

Retirement Workshop, Friday, May 5 at De Anza College

Hosted by the Faculty Association (FA), this Retirement Workshop is open to ALL district employees.  Tentatively, the workshop will include sessions from CalPERS, CalSTRS, Social Security, and Medicare.  Employees at all stages of their career are encouraged to attend. It is never too early to plan for your retirement.  More details to come.

Access & Control –  Your Independent Labor Association
By Bradley Booth, ACE Attorney

For many years ACE was represented by the SEIU, an international union affiliated with the AFL/CIO. SEIU collected the dues and sent a labor representative to represent members on grievances and in bargaining. There was little or no access to a labor attorney. Because SEIU collected the dues, they alone determined how they were spent. The majority of the funds were spent on the labor representative, but also on lobbying and political contributions.

In 2009, a majority of members decided that they wanted a different type of representation. They formed a labor association that would be strictly controlled by non-supervisory white-collar classified employees, employed by the Foothill-De Anza Community College District (FHDA). An election was held and a majority of the classified employees voted to leave SEIU and formed what is now known as the Foothill-De Anza Association of Classified Employees, or ACE. ACE is formed as a 501(c)(5) non-profit corporation and is tax-exempt by both the federal and state taxing agencies. ACE is the state certified exclusive bargaining representative for all white-collar, classified employees at FHDA.

ACE is governed by a constitution, which allows members only to vote in elections, for changes to the constitution and for any collective bargaining agreements. Anyone employed at FHDA in a white-collar job can and should be a member of ACE in order to contribute – not only to collective bargaining – but for the betterment of your colleagues and working conditions. ACE represents all employees, regardless of membership, in all matters relating to the collective bargaining agreement. That includes not only bargaining but also enforcement of the agreement and assurances that all employees are treated properly under the agreement and the California Education Code.

One of the advantages of leaving SEIU was the total control over dues revenue. Employees of FHDA determine how and on what dues are spent, eliminating any concern over them being spent on political or social issues that don’t directly benefit all of the members. The ACE Board of Directors set up a Political Action Committee (PAC) which is funded solely by voluntary contributions and is limited to expenditures on issues which directly relate to FHDA, such as Board of Trustee elections, bond measures, and other tax assessments.

Another major advantage as an independent union is the unlimited access to legal and labor representation. Your ACE Board hired the Booth Law Group to provide representation to its members, the Board of Directors, negotiations, and meetings with the District. The Booth Law Group also provides ACE with access to an attorney, at all times, for the President and the stewards and when necessary for members and fee payers. This relationship has allowed ACE to file a lawsuit on a representational issue, file unfair labor practices and arbitrations without any additional cost to the ACE.

In order to have an effective voice in the representation of all ACE employees, ACE urges everyone to become a member; and, to be actively involved in this vital organization, for the benefit and betterment of all ACE represented employees.