President’s Message

For the past year and half, nearly every community college across the state has experienced a decline in enrollment and Foothill-De Anza (FHDA) is no exception. The difference for FHDA? This downward trend has been occurring for at least the past five years, long past the time when, historically, similar enrollment challenges have turned around.  Down nearly 7% in spring, the overall loss in enrollment translates to a projected budget deficit of nearly $6 million for the 16/17 fiscal year.

Increased competition online and off, rising housing costs in the bay area, nearby community college districts that are now “basic aid” – meaning their local property tax revenue exceeds their allocated state base funding – which typically gives them more discretionary funds, shifting priorities by the state, traffic congestion, and accessibility issues for students with the ongoing campus construction have all played a role in this decline, but to what extent we really do not know. The District collects data which tells us where our students come from, how many units they take, if it is their first time with the district or if they’re returning, but the reasons why they leave or never make it to campus in the first place remain largely anecdotal.  And after five years of continual decline, that is a problem.

Fortunately for the District, ACE and the other bargaining units worked collectively with them during the recession to set aside nearly $55 million in stability funds for a rainy day. Much like this past winter, the rain is here and it is unrelenting. The town hall meetings held in winter quarter illustrated how these funds will not last forever – and they should not be allowed to – but they should give the District time to gather data and better understand what current and future students want and need so they can build an enrollment management plan to better address them.

Of service,

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

Classification Study:  Follow-Up Interviews

by Chris White, ACE President

During the weeks of May 15 and May 22, the consultants will be meeting with all employees who elected an interview on their PDQ. The interviews will take place on both Foothill and De Anza campuses primarily between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Individual interviews are 30 minutes long and group interviews are 45 minutes. The schedule was developed by the consultants. If you have sent a request for a change, we’re working through them as fast as we can and will get back to you shortly.  If you have not received an Outlook invite for your scheduled interview and would like one, please contact me immediately.

These interviews are another tool for the consultants to gather information and get clarification on the job duties you perform. The information they gather from them, the PDQs, and interviews with supervisors are what guide the job descriptions and classifications the consultants develop and recommend we adopt.  Your participation is critical to this process so please make every effort to attend the interview you’ve been assigned. If, for any reason, you miss or need to reschedule your interview, please contact myself or Myisha Washington in human resources and we will do our best to accommodate you.

The Interview:

  • Review your PDQ prior to meeting with the consultant.  This will help you stay focused and identify any information you may have forgotten to include when you submitted your PDQ.
  • Know where your interview is being held. Most of the conference rooms are commonly used, some are not.  At De Anza, the corporate yard conference room (120) is located in the plant services area across from the SEM building.  At Foothill, 1943 is located inside the international office (please be respectful of those who are working in the area), and the bio health conference room (5212) is located outside and to the left if you’re facing the bio health division office. If you’re unsure where to go, please ask.
  • Be on time for your interview.  With over 200 interviews to conduct, staying on schedule is critical to collecting the information in a timely manner.  It’s also respectful to the consultants and your colleagues.
  • Checking in for your interview.  Due to the large volume of interviews, the consultants will be conducting interviews simultaneously across the campuses. It is unlikely that there will be someone for you to check-in with when you arrive.  Please knock before entering a conference room to make sure the consultant isn’t still interviewing another colleague.
  • Stay focused on your job duties.  Thirty minutes goes fast. This is not about workload or how your supervisor acts or how other positions are classified.  It is about the type of work that you perform in your job.

Thank you all for your support and patience throughout this process

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

Negotiations Update

By Cathleen Monsell, Chair of Negotiations

On Tuesday, May 2nd the negotiations team met with the District and we are close to coming to an agreement on all open issues.  Once we finish negotiations, we will provide you with the tentative agreements and a summary before you vote on ratification.

Our negotiations will continue on May 24th.

ACE Role on Hiring Committees

You’ve seen the requests but what does it mean to serve as an ACE representative on a hiring committee?  Why is it important for ACE to have a role on hiring committees?  As a labor organization, our role is to bargain collectively on decisions on salary, hours of work, hiring practices, classification, and other terms and conditions of employment at Foothill and De Anza colleges.  In addition, diversity is encouraged when putting together a hiring committee to allow for different perspectives.  This practice lends credibility to the District’s commitment to openness, fairness, and inclusion in our selection process.

Your role as an ACE representative is to work with the equal opportunity (EO) representative to ensure fairness on all hiring committees and to ensure the job and working conditions described to potential candidates follow the ACE Agreement.  Your knowledge, experience and judgment as a member of the classified staff in this District make your input invaluable in this process. Who the District hires directly affects student, and your, success.

In more practical terms, serving on a hiring committee is an effective way to earn hours towards your Professional Growth Award (PGA). It also limits the time temporary workers are needed to fill vacant positions, who often lack the skills and knowledge needed for the position and places a greater burden on permanent staff to get the work done. The quicker committees can be staffed, the sooner they can be filled permanently.

Who selects the ACE representative?
For ACE hiring committees, a “representative from the bargaining unit who is not an employee in the same department/program will be appointed by an officer of the union.” (FHDA Administrative Procedure 4130).  It is not appropriate for the hiring manager or staff who work in the hiring area to request or appoint an ACE representative. ACE has selected the vice president at each location to fill these appointments.

  • Central Services: Bill Baldwin, x 6191
  • De Anza: Matt Trosper, x8646
  • Foothill: Denise Perez, x7256

The next time you receive an email asking for an ACE representative, please considering serving. Your participation benefits you, and the District, far longer than the small amount of time you spend serving on the committee.

Know Your Agreement:  Staff Development Leave

Staff Development Leave (SDL), Article 10.13, has been established to encourage and enable classified workers to enhance their value to the district through further job-related education, the upgrading of their skills, or retraining for a different career path.  Out of the 72 community college districts in California representing 113 community colleges, very few offer staff development leave for classified staff.

Institution Paid Benefit Leave Length Eligibility
FHDA 85% of full pay Up to 10 mo. 7 yr. of service
Los Rios CCD
American River, Folsom Lake, Sac City, Consumnes River
85% of pay Up to 5 mo. 7 yr. of service
State Center CCD
Fresno, Reedley, Clovis
50% of pay Up to 1 yr. 5 yr. of service
North Orange CCD
Cypress, Fullerton
100% of pay Up to 240 hours (1 mo.) 6 yr. of service
Kern CCD
Bakersfield, Porterville
60% of pay
90% of pay
Up to 1 yr.
Up to 6 mo.
7 yr. of service
3 yr. of service
Merced College 50% of pay or the difference in pay between worker on leave and a substitute employee Up to 1 yr. 7 yr. of service

Eligibility and Benefits

  • Receive up to 10 months paid time off at 85% of full pay.
  • To be eligible, you must have completed seven (7) years of service to the District.
  • The leave may be used to complete interrupted studies, learn by observing methods used in industry or other educational institutions, or get a substantial start on a goal of better education.
  • During the leave the worker will be entitled to all the benefits of classified contract workers except that only 85% of service time will be credited by the Public Employees Retirement System.
  • During the leave the worker shall earn 85% of the normal credit for sick leave and seniority. No vacation credit shall be earned during SDL.
  • The worker may apply for Educational Assistance (EA) for courses taken during the leave but courses paid through EA cannot be used to qualify for a Professional Growth Award (PGA).
  • Classified hourly are not eligible for SDL.
  • The District funds a minimum of ten (10) staff development leaves are granted annually.

The Application

  • Applications for the succeeding college year must be received by the Director of Human Resources before December 15.
  • Unit members may submit a copy of their request for leave without appropriate signatures by December 15; however, all signatures must be received by January 31.
  • The written application must present a detailed description of the proposed activities of the leave and the potential value of these activities to the District as well as the learning outcomes that are expected from this leave.
  • If the worker intends to enroll in school, the application must identify the educational institution to be attended and, by academic term, a list of courses (with course descriptions) the worker will be taking.
  • The application shall contain precise dates for the beginning and ending of the leave.
  • If a unit member is attending school full time, which is 12 units either semester or quarter for undergrad and 8 units, semester or quarter, for graduate, then the unit member does not have to participate in other activities related to the leave.
  • If the unit member is not going to school full-time, other activities related to the leave must be completed in fulfilling the 12-unit minimum. For this purpose, one hour of activity per week equals one unit and so forth.
  • Any changes to the leave must be submitted in writing to the Director of Human Resources, who will consult with the Staff Development Leave Committee, to approve such changes prior to the unit member participation in those changes.

Staff Development Committee

  • This Committee is composed of two representatives from ACE, two representatives from CSEA, and two administrators designated by the Chancellor, one of whom will serve as chairman. Your ACE representatives are Denise Perez at Foothill and Chris White with ACE.  Pro Tip:  Have your application reviewed by an ACE representative before the due date so you can submit you best possible application.
  • Each application that has been submitted and has received the recommendation of the immediate supervisor and the appropriate administrator shall be forwarded to the Classified Staff Development Leave Committee for review and recommendation to the Chancellor.
  • Board-approved leaves will be announced by March 1 of each year.

Returning From Staff Development Leave

  • If a leave is granted, the worker must agree in writing to render, upon return from leave, a minimum of two months of service to the District for each month of staff development leave.
  • Failure to render this service will require the worker to refund the salary paid by the District during the leave.
  • Within thirty days of return from a leave, the worker shall submit a written report to the Classified Staff Development Leave Committee of the activities of the leave, emphasizing the value to the District and the learning outcomes achieved.
  • If the worker attended school during the leave, he or she shall also submit a transcript or other appropriate documentation showing satisfactory attendance and successful completion of the course work as soon as reasonably possible.