President’s Message

As we wait for the next steps in the classification study and negotiations (see below for updates), this is a good time to remind you of the other important component to our labor organization, representing members to management.

Access to representation was one of the main reasons we chose to become an independent union. Today, it is where we spend the bulk of our resources. Why don’t you hear more about this? Personnel matters are confidential and we take that seriously.

ACE represents its members in:

  • Issues around disciplinary action and to assure that the agreed upon process has been followed. Sometimes the issues can be easily resolved with further examination of the Agreement; and
  • Violations of the labor code or education code, like your supervisor assigning overtime work and refusing to give you a choice between being paid out through comp time or overtime pay.

There is no formal mechanism to resolve non-contractual disputes. ACE is willing to consult and mediate these situations, but the District is under no obligation to do so.

ACE does not represent its members in:

  • Discrimination cases, which are to be handled by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH),, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC),
  • Workers’ Compensation Claims
  • Disputes between members because we have a responsibility to represent all ACE members. It is your supervisor and/or human resource’s responsibility to address these disputes.

If you find yourself dealing with possible disciplinary action or an issue instigated by human resources, payroll or benefits, please contact your chief steward immediately. Representation is covered by your dues and we are here to help.

Of service,

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

Retirement Workshop

Friday, May 5 at De Anza College
Conference Rooms A&B, Fireside Room
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Hosted by the Faculty Association (FA), this Retirement Workshop is open to ALL district employees. 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. No RSVP required.

11:00 a.m.
Registration, Hand-outs, and Greetings

11:15 a.m – 12:15 p.m.
CalPERS Basics: Public Employees Retirement System

12:15 – 12:45 p.m.
District Benefits in Retirement for Full-time Employees

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.
Social Security – For full and part-time employees.

2:15 – 3:15 p.m.
ACE Classified Staff Benefits and Retirement Options
Includes Article 17 (Retirement) and Article 17B (Pre-retirement Reduction in Contract).
This session will be held in the Fireside Room.

Negotiations Update

By Cathleen Monsell, Chair of Negotiations

I am looking forward to being the Chair of Negotiations and learning all the nuances of successful negotiations on behalf of ACE members.

On March 29th, we had our first negotiations meeting with the District. Due to unforeseen circumstances not all District negotiators were able to attend and the meeting needed to be postponed. At this meeting ACE presented proposals for the following Articles:

  • Article 8.6 – Professional Growth Award.
  • Article 9 – Holidays and Vacations as it relates to the Cesar Chavez holiday.
  • Article 14 – Worker Expenses and Materials as it relates to Educational Assistance and Travel and Conference Funds.

Our next meeting with the district is scheduled for April 26.

Classification Study: Supervisor Comments and Follow-Up Interviews

by Chris White, ACE President

March 31 was the deadline for supervisors to submit PDQ comments on the position(s), filled or vacant, which they manage. Human resources (HR) sent clear instructions to supervisors that they were not to change anything an employee had written on their PDQ. They also clarified that the supervisor’s role during this phase of the study was to verify the duties and add additional information that they saw fit in terms of what is expected/not expected of the position, emphasising their comments should be about the position and not the incumbent. Over spring break, Myisha Washington in HR prepped and sent the PDQs to the consultants for review.

If you would like to review your supervisor’s comments, please send an email to Myisha Washington, in HR and copy ACE President Chris White,, requesting a copy of the completed PDQ for your position. Please keep in mind:

  • Your supervisor does not have to agree with your answers. Your supervisor may see something that you overlooked and add it in their comments. They have been asked to clarify their comments or review the areas which they disagree.
  • The consultants, who are an impartial party and are very experienced in job analysis, may contact you or your supervisor, or department head if they need to clarify or need additional information related to the PDQ.
  • You may not request a copy of a completed PDQ for any position other than your own.

Next Step: It will take the consultants several weeks to review the information on the PDQ’s and determine where follow-up interviews are needed. We anticipate follow-up interviews to take place in late April/early May. Watch your email for more information and invites. During this process, it is important to note:

  • The follow-up interviews are meant to collect additional information regarding job duties performed within classifications that may have been missed when filling out the PDQ, address discrepancies between employee and supervisor comments, and help the consultants determine how job descriptions line up in our current classification system.
  • Each employee will have the opportunity to be interviewed by Koff & Associates.
  • Employees in a classification with only one position will be interviewed by the consultant.
  • If you did not fill out a PDQ, you may still be asked to participate in a follow-up interview.

REMINDER: Classifications are generalised and not every word from the PDQ will be on the final classification descriptions.

Voluntary Transfers

Voluntary Transfers, Article 7.4.1, are meant to increase job opportunities for permanent classified staff with the district by opening vacant positions to internal candidates first. A transfer is a non-disciplinary change in a permanent employee’s work assignment to another workstation within the same classification or to a position in another classification at the same or lower salary range as the current salary range of the employee. ACE negotiated a new process in October 2015 in response to members’ concerns that the opportunity to transfer was not transparent and help address frustration that current FHDA employees weren’t given first consideration before positions opened to external candidates.

As part of the voluntary transfer process, the District agreed to:

  • Send an email to all FHDA employees about transfer opportunities; and
  • Give internal candidates five (5) business days to submit an application for the position to HR for consideration before it is opened to external candidates.

To be eligible to apply for a transfer:

  • An employee must meet the minimum requirements for the new position and not be on probation.
  • The new position must be equal to or lower than the employee’s permanent classification level. The job title doesn’t need to be the same, just the classification level (46, 48, 52 etc.).

Frequently asked questions:

  1. I want to transfer. I meet the minimum qualifications and have the most seniority, do I automatically get the position? No. This process gives qualified internal applicants the opportunity to apply and interview for a position before it is opened to external applicants.
  2. Can I request a transfer if a position is open but hasn’t been advertised? Yes. You may ask the hiring manager who oversees the open position for the transfer, but they still have the final say on how they want to proceed. To help maintain transparency, many follow through with the new transfer process.
  3. I submitted my application within five (5) days, what happens next? The hiring manager will review applications and interview qualified applicants as appropriate. At a minimum, the hiring committee for the internal hiring process will consist of the hiring manager, an ACE member appointed by ACE, and an EEO designated by HR. As always, the hiring manager has the final say in who they choose for the position.
  4. I missed the five (5) day submission time period, can I still apply? Yes, but the posting is opened to outside candidates and you will go through the formal FHDA hiring process.
  5. The position is at a lower level than my current one. Will my pay stay the same? A voluntary transfer to a lower classification may result in a salary reduction. You will be placed on a salary step in the lower range which corresponds in credit for years of service to that which was provided in the higher range. In no case, shall the new pay level exceed the maximum salary for the lower classification.
  6. If more than one internal applicant is interviewed, the person with the most seniority gets the position? No. Seniority is not a factor in this process. The hiring manager gets to choose.
  7. I wasn’t selected during internal candidate interviews, can I ask to be included in the interview pool with outside candidates? No. The hiring manager has made their determination. If no internal or external candidate is selected and the position is readvertised, you may once again apply for the position.
  8. I was selected for the position, but my old boss says I can’t transfer until they can find my replacement. Can they do that? No. The change in assignment shall be made as soon as practically possible, but it can’t be delayed longer than fifteen (15) working days after HR has been notified officially by the hiring manager that a worker has been selected for transfer.
  9. Am I on probation with this new assignment? Yes. There is a six (6) month probationary period for the new position only (you still retain permanent status with the District) and you will be evaluated in the same manner as a new employee. If you are released from the new job during the six-month probationary period, the Director of Human Resources shall reinstate the worker in the formerly held position, if available, or a position in the class in which he/she has permanency