President’s Message

Budget News

Governor Brown’s 2017-18 May Budget Revision offered a few pieces of good news. First, an increase in base funding of $186.3 million which, according to the District, brings an additional $4.3 million in ongoing funds to Foothill-De Anza (FHDA).  Second, a small increase in the cost of living (COLA) adjustment from 1.48 percent to 1.56 percent, netting the District approximately $2.3 million.  Third, $135.8 million in one-time funding for deferred maintenance – with FHDA’s share at $3.2 million – but it won’t be allocated until the second half of the 2018-19 fiscal year.

The District’s budget projections haven’t been as optimistic.  The 2016-17 fiscal year started with a $6 million deficit from enrollment decline the previous year. During the February budget town halls, the deficit ballooned to $12 million – the result of a larger than anticipated enrollment decline in fall ’16 and winter ’17 – with the latest District projections moving that number closer to $8.6 million. At this point, the District is asserting the additional $6.6 million coming form increased base funding and COLA is needed to offset the deficit. Those dollars are subject to collective bargaining and until the District presents their 2017-18 budget to the Board of Trustees in August, ACE isn’t ready to agree. Historically, the District’s conservative budgeting strategy has resulted in deficits significantly decreasing or disappearing altogether once the final budget numbers are known.

Add to the mix nearly $48 million in district stability funds. Out of those funds, $14.9 are allocated to the colleges and district as one-time carry forward savings from unfilled positions and budgeted expenses funded through other one-time categorical revenue sources. The District asserts these carry-forward funds aren’t available to help offset the deficit since they aren’t ongoing and there are plans to spend them down. While they aren’t ongoing in the traditional sense, these cost-saving sources and the amount carried forward annually have remained relatively consistent for more than a decade and any plans to spend down the funds never seem to materialize. For 16/17, only De Anza has developed a plan to use their share of the funds and no final decision has been made on whether they will use them or not.  Both of these factors suggest these funds could be used as an ongoing funding source, with minimal risk, to help address the budget deficit.

To be clear, the enrollment decline issue is real. A large stability fund, not counting the $14.9 million, along with the new ongoing increases from the State put the District in a good financial position to cover any revenue loss should enrollment continue to decline over the next year.  How the District decides to solve this enrollment problem will influence how ACE approaches future negotiations. For now, we watch and wait.

Of service,

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

Classification Study: Next Step

by Chris White, ACE President

Again, I would like to thank everyone who took the time to fill out the PDQ and participate in the follow-up interview for the classification study.  There are a small number of follow-up interviews left to conduct with staff and administrators. Once completed, the consultants will gather all the information they have collected through the PDQs and interviews and begin to develop draft job classifications.   This phase will take several months and we most likely will not come back to you until fall quarter.  This is a couple of months later than the original timeline due to delays by both staff and administration in the data collection phase.


  1. We have already agreed with the district that NO ONE will go down, in pay or classification, as result of the consultants findings.  Read that again.  One more time and pass it on.
  2. Classifications are generalized and not every word from the PDQs will be on the final classification description. Positions and classification are two words that are often thought of as interchangeable; but in fact have very different meanings.  In a classification plan, a position is assigned a group of duties and responsibilities performed by one person. A classification may contain only one position, or may consist of a number positions.  When there are several positions assigned to one classification, it means the same title is appropriate for each position because the scope, level, duties, and responsibilities of each position assigned to the classification are sufficiently similar (but not necessarily identical); the same core knowledge, skills, and other requirements are appropriate for all positions; and the same salary range is equitable for all positions.
  3. The goals for this project:  To align job descriptions with the current roles and responsibilities of classified employees, create career ladders were appropriate, and conduct a market analysis of compensation in similar or like jobs in other districts.


  1. I’ve heard this study really is a way for management to reorganize and eliminate positions. Is that true? In a word, NO!  First, ACE requested this study. Under our current classification system, which is nearly 20 years old, internal inequities made it difficult to accurately create new positions or address reclassification. The district agreed. Second, For any position, there are three general outcomes from the classification study: (1) revise the class specification; (2) re-classify a position; or (3) change the title of position classification. Layoffs are a result of budget reduction. Third, the consolidation of multiple classification titles addressing the same type and level of work promotes a more consistent and equitable treatment of employees. If there were a layoff due to a budget reduction, this consolidation reduces arbitrary and capricious position elimination as it requires management to focus on the work needed to address student success and enrollment growth as opposed to who they do or do not like. This isn’t the case in a system comprised primarily of singular classifications.  Currently, ACE has nearly 180 classifications for a little over 400 employees.

Dues Forgiveness in June 2017 Paycheck

ACE will forgive dues in your June paycheck (June 30th).  For classified hourly employees, this will be reflected in your July 15 paycheck.

Last September, ACE permanently reduced dues by 10% and promised to monitor our budget and forgive dues for an additional month should finances allow.  We were able to do so in March, and after further review, we are also forgiving the dues for June.

Know Your Agreement: Summer Hours

To maximize human, financial and physical resources, FHDA observes modified hours of operation throughout the summer. Translation?  The ten-hour days are back, running from Friday, July 14 through Friday, Aug 25.  It also means the return of confusion on the part of staff and supervisors as to how this modified schedule is interpreted and applied.

Article 13.15 – Summer Hours
13.5.1 -Workers assigned to programs and departments where scheduling allows operations during the summer on a four day work schedule will be offered a four day work schedule for the period beginning the Monday after Independence Day and ending the Friday before the Cesar Chavez holiday. Under the summer schedule, the normal workday shall consist of ten hours starting and ending at times appropriate to the needs of the department and agreed upon by the worker and his/her supervisor.

13.5.2 – Workers who work fewer than 10 hours per day during the four-day summer workweek shall select on of the following options to cover time not worked:

  1. Use of earned vacation ( see Section 10.1 regarding the circumstances under which certain amounts of sick leave can be converted to vacation);
  2.  Use of earned compensatory time;
  3. Leave without pay;
  4. A revised work schedule and/or location in order to accommodate the employee if they feel they are unable to work a 10-hour per day four-day work schedule.

Who sets the schedule?
Employees will establish, with supervisor approval, a work schedule of four days of ten hours of work plus a half hour meal break for each day (minimum 10.5 hours total). Meal breaks may be longer upon request, and with the approval of the supervisor. The standard 10.5 hours work schedule will occur between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. to accommodate the meal break (7:00-5:30, 7:30-6:00, 7: 15-5:45, etc.

Can I stack my breaks to shorten the workday?
No. Employees may not stack break periods for later use or to combine with meal breaks, and may not use breaks to account for late arrivals or early departures, as it is a violation of labor law.

I am unable to work a 10-hour day may I set up an alternative schedule?
An employee, with supervisor approval may implement a modified schedule by requesting a different schedule, or using accrued leave or leave without pay but cannot use Personal Necessity Leave.

What guidelines does a supervisor follow to determine if a request for an alternate schedule should be approved?

  1. Buildings should remain locked on Fridays, except where the department has been approved for an exception schedule and is officially open.
  2.  Supervisors should work with employees regarding requests for alternate schedules to ensure that:
    1.  Energy resources are not used inefficiently to operate buildings that are otherwise closed.
    2.  Employees are not working alone where a safety concern might exist.
    3.  Required resources and systems support needed to complete their work are actually available for employees to use.
    4. Special considerations for child care or other extenuating circumstances are taken into consideration with an attempt to find a solution that works for both the District and the employee.
  3. Supervisor must ensure adequate coverage and appropriate supervision for the official hours of operation. It is the supervisor’s responsibility to determine when an employee’s work schedule includes Friday that a level of supervision is adequately-addressed.
  4. Supervisors and classified staff should be familiar with the provisions of the applicable bargaining unit agreements affecting employees on a 4-10 work schedule.

A few more facts.

  • FHDA has no policy regarding working from home as an option. In addition, there is nothing in our Agreement prohibiting it. Any agreement to do so is between the worker and their supervisor.
  • Safety is a legitimate concern, but again, there is no FHDA policy or anything in our Agreement that states you cannot work alone.
  • The definition for “appropriate supervision” is at your supervisor’s discretion.

Bottom line?
Please keep in mind that the goal for this summer work schedule is to save resources. If you are unable to work a 10-hour day and you do not have accrued leave and can not take time off without pay, be flexible in your request, be clear on what work you will get done and be accountable with it. Your supervisor does have the final say on your work schedule.