President’s Message


Last month we talked about the million unanswered questions around budget cuts, the classification study and what Foothill-De Anza might look like moving forward.  As of today, not much has changed.  We’re still in a holding pattern. Frustrated?  Me too.

The colleges’ and district have updated their reduction plans. Foothill presented their Phase Two reduction plan at the October 5 meeting of their new College Advisory Council. De Anza seems to be struggling to finalize their plans but updates can be found under the Instructional Planning and Budget Team (IPBT) and the Student Services Planning and Budget Team (SSPBT). With no real shared governance process for Central Services, reduction plans are anyone’s guess.  Whatever is decided, it is important to remember the shared governance process merely provides a recommendation to senior management. Ultimately, management gets to decide. It has also become abundantly clear all reduction plans must include some form of reorganization. The cuts are too big to continue as usual.  Our role is to respond to those decisions.

While we wait, ACE has worked on a hiring and recruitment process with the District that keeps vacant positions open for employees affected by bumping and those who have no bumping rights at all.  See below for more.   We’re also working on getting an updated seniority list, a full list of vacant positions, the number of district-funded student employees and temporary employees on special assignments – if we’re laying off people due to lack of funds, this should be one of the first places we look to cut – as options to help reduce the number of people who would actually have to go out the door.  We continue to have conversations with the Foothill-De Anza Board of Trustees around the impact of these cuts and how the work doesn’t’ just disappear with out affecting remaining staff and students..

Don’t forget to throw in the classification study to add to the angst.  I still believe we will end up with an overall classification structure which provides more upward opportunity for employees and raises the level of our classifications but it will continue to need to be refined even after we approve the consultants final recommendations.  The classification portion will be completed enough by the end of this month that the consultants can move on to the compensation portion of the study.  How this plays out with upcoming layoffs still needs to be negotiated, and we will be asking the membership on how you want to proceed.

It also means that business doesn’t stop.  We have a strong field of new and incumbent candidates running for ACE office (more below).  Take some time this week to talk with them, and when elections open next Monday, vote.  I’ve said this before but it is worth repeating “it takes active participation and commitment from all the members of ACE to effectively protect and serve the membership as a whole.”

Of service,

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

“The fight is never about lettuce or grapes.  It is always about people”. – César Chávez

Dues Forgiveness October Paycheck

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

ACE Officer & Negotiator Candidates

Elections will be held online October 29 – November 2

Elections will be held online beginning next Monday, October 29 and running through November 2.  Watch your email for a notice from ACE Communications on how to access your ballot.  The following candidates are running for office. Unless noted otherwise, it is a single vote per office.

Central Services
Chief Steward:

Board Member:
Annette Perez, Senior Buyer, Purchasing –  My name is Annette Perez and I am running for ACE Central Services Board Member.  I have been treasurer for ACE since it’s inception and realize the importance of our role in representing our ACE members.  As the Central Services Board member, I will work to keep ACE general membership’s interest in mind at board meeting and when serving on pertinent committees and senate meetings.  I feel as a united union, our collective voice is strongly heard.  I believe in ACE and the important role it has played in better benefits, pay and direct representation for our members.  I hope you will vote for me as Central Services Board member.

Terry Rowe, Workstation & Systems Support Tech Senior

De Anza
Chief Steward:
Erika Flores, 3SP Program Coordinator II – I have been employed with De Anza since 2016 and served as Chief Steward since 2017. Previously, I worked at a non-profit, youth serving agency as a College Access Program Coordinator for 5 years. While there, I served for over two years as a steward for the agency which was represented by SEIU. I am interested in being a steward at De Anza to serve as a support for fellow members but also to continue learning more about ACE, meet new FHDA employees, learn about services and departments through meeting new people, and be more involved on campus.

Board Member, Seat 2:
Cynthia Smith, Human Resources Technician II – My name is Cynthia Smith, and I have been employed with the FHDA, since June 1989.   I work in the Administration building, as an HR Tech, and I am running for De Anza Board Seat #2, and I would like to continue in this capacity for the next two years.  I have a vast history with the College, and I have served on the classification committee, represented the union on hiring committees and continue to serve on the professional growth committee well over the years.  My knowledge, history and wisdom are here to represent the membership for the good of my co-workers, and I would like to continue in this capacity for the next two years. Thank you.

Cathleen Monsell, Division Administrative Assistant, PSME – I am very pleased to be nominated to run for the position of Negotiator for ACE. I have been on the negotiation team since March of 2015 and it has been a very interesting learning experience on how important negotiations are for our membership. Since January of 2017 I have been Chair of Negotiations and in this capacity I served on the Joint Labor Management Benefits Committee (JLMBC) and the Joint Labor Management Classification Committee (JLMCC). Having worked at De Anza College for almost 7 years and serving on the negotiating team for 3 ½ years has helped give me the training and insight needed to negotiate for your interest. Overall I have worked at public schools for 15 years as a classified employee, and understand the importance of our contributions in supporting the faculty and students and our worth. With the future economic uncertainties it is important to have a team of negotiators that will work on your behalf for a contract that not only gives you what you deserve, but also protects you.

Vice President:
Denise Perez, Academic Scheduling Coordinator –  Hello ACE members!  I currently hold the position of ACE Vice President for Foothill and would be proud to continue to serve all of you in this capacity. I believe in ACE. I believe in what ACE stands for. I believe WE have the strength and will to support you and fight for what is fair for all of us. I have a long history of supporting classified staff. I was part of Classified Senate for nearly 7 years and have served ACE since it’s conception. As Vice President I have represented staff through OPC, PaRC, the Staff Development Committee, and as chair of the Professional Growth Award committee. With the move to our new governance structure, I will continue to represent classified staff as I serve on the Revenue and Resources committee.  It is vital that we continue to have a strong voice in the larger picture of the college. I hope to continue to be a part of that.  Thank you!

Chris Chavez, Student Success Specialist – Hello Everyone, my name is Chris Chavez and I am a Student Success Specialist in the Counseling Division. I am running for the Foothill ACE Negotiator position because I am fully committed to ACE and believe wholeheartedly in the collective bargaining process. Collective bargaining is the one tool that we have as public employees to protect our collective interests from the market forces that shape the administration’s approach to managing our district, and I am fully committed to protecting our interests. Without collective bargaining, we are unable to negotiate for these interests such as affordable health care, substantial benefits, or for due process in disciplinary and layoff decisions. As we all know, tough times are ahead for all of us in this district, and I promise I will act in the best interest of all Classified Staff at the bargaining table should I be elected. Colleagues in my department often approach me with questions as they know I am committed to ACE and that I attend as many meetings as my schedule allows, and my door/cubicle will always be open to anyone with questions. As classified staff, we often do the thankless work that only gets noticed when it isn’t done, or done right (usually because we all have so much to do!), but no campus around the country would function without classified staff. So in case no one tells you, you are AWESOME and an integral part of what makes Foothill College the class of the entire California Community College system. Thank you for reading.

Mark Darrah -Facilities and Equipment Coordinator –  Hello.  My name is Mark Darrah, and I would like your vote of support for ACE Treasurer.  I have been at Foothill College since May of 2015 as the Facilities and Equipment Coordinator in the Kinesiology & Athletics Department.  One of my main duties is to track, monitor, and present the monthly Kinesiology & Athletics budget to the Athletic Director and 11 coaches.  In addition, I prepare invoices for payment, individual reimbursements, and depositing of checks.  I feel that my advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office, attention to detail, and my interpersonal and organizational skills would make me the ideal candidate. ACE has done so much for all classified staff, that it would be a great honor to give back and serve all of you as your ACE Treasurer.  If elected Treasurer I will represent ACE with utmost integrity and professionalism. Thank you very much for your support, and Go Owls!

Kathy Nguyen, Accountant, Foundation- My name is Kathy Nguyen and I am running for the ACE Treasurer. Being treasurer is not a new thing to me.  I was served as CS Treasurer for two terms, from FY1112 to FY1314. When I stepped in the position, vacant by Linda Mahi who was since retired, I helped to streamline the bank reconciliation process, made it easier and covered more information.  I made deposits and prepared treasurer report to the CS Classified meeting and answered questions if any.  One of the tasks I’d done was to ensure the new CS Classified on its spending procedure to follow District guideline to avoid any auditable items.   I am still available to help the current CS Treasurer as needed, though the questions come less and less nowadays! As my job as the Foundation accountant, I am responsible to monitor and analyze budgets for over 500 foundation funds.  I am the one to call when people have accounting questions.   I train quite a few program coordinators, deans, staff from both campuses to run, to review the department accounting reports. I work with the auditor on annually basis to prepare the Foundation Financial Statements and tax returns.  I work well with others.  I am always willing to put an extra mile when helping people. How many of us hesitate to serve because we are so busy with work?  Because things run great with or without our helps?  I used to be that person!  I am honor when Annette nominated me for the Treasurer position.  I am ready to serve. We are stronger together. Let’s participate.  Let’s vote.

Scott Olsen Workstation& Systems Support Tech II – For the past year I have served as a Central Services ACE Board Member and would like to serve again in a greater capacity as ACE Treasurer. Being a member of the ACE Executive Board has allowed me to help many staff members with a wide variety of campus related issues. As part of a continued effort to assist staff, I started a common interest group on the topic of personal finance, retirement, and investing which helps staff become informed and gives them a safe space to ask questions. As treasurer I would be able to maintain my current level of service as well as apply the financial knowledge I’ve gained.  If given the opportunity, I’ll “Excel” at maintaining the balance sheet and budget for ACE.

Negotiator at large (vote for 3):

Joseph Gilmore, Evaluation Specialist, De Anza – I have always been interested in unions and am excited for this opportunity with ACE. The coming years will be tough due to the recent Janus v. AFSCME decision and impending budget reductions and will require resilience from us as a union. As a negotiator for ACE, I will work toward protecting the interests of all ACE members from the coming classification changes to budget cuts and on.

Dana Kennedy, Division Administrative Assistant, Business Division, De Anza – I have been employed over three years now at De Anza and I have had the pleasure of being a part of the ACE negotiations team since January 2017. With that experience I know very well the importance of putting my own interests aside and negotiating on behalf of the membership as a whole. As both campuses address budget cuts and uncertain times, I would like to continue to be a part of the team that fights for your wages and working conditions, not to mention the general welfare of our membership. Please take the time to vote, and consider voting for me as Negotiator. Thank you!!

Andrea Santa Cruz, Administrative Assistant Senior, International Department, De Anza – Current negotiator.

Phuong Tran, Program Coordinator Senior, Apprenticeship, Foothill – Current negotiator.

Technically, It’s Not A Hiring Freeze

The proposed cuts each campus and Central Services choose to make must be submitted to Chancellor’s Cabinet by November 2. As part of that timeline, ACE and the District have agreed to a process for recruitment and hiring to retain as many vacancies as possible for current employees who may have bumping rights into those vacant positions or as an option for employees who do not. It would also be irresponsible, and cruel, to open positions known to be affected by layoffs, hire an external employee only to lay them off in six months. The Chancellor’s Cabinet will be reviewing all classified and administrator recruitment requests, including those already in process, to determine if they should move forward.

Effectively immediately:

  • Those ACE positions most likely to be affected by layoff or could provide an opportunity for affected classified staff, will most likely not be approved to open for external recruitment.
  • The internal hiring process remains in effect.  If a position which could be affected by layoffs is determined to be critical for operations, it may be opened for internal hiring.  If no internal candidate is selected for the position, ACE has agreed to extend the use of a TEA until the effects of bumping are fully known.
  • Positions unlikely to be affected by layoffs or provide an opportunity (most likely they require a very specific skill set), may be approved to move forward for recruit.

2019-2020 Staff Development Leave Workshops – Applications Due 12/15

Staff Development Leave (SDL) applications for the 2019-20 academic year are due December 15, 2018.
Workshops to answer application questions will be held from noon to 1 p.m. on:

  • Wednesday, November 7 at De Anza, admin 106
  • Thursday, November 8 at Foothill, room 2018

We’re In A Budget Crisis, Why Are We Approving SDLs?
Funds designated for SDL are part of our negotiated Agreement and whether we use them or not won’t change the amount of reductions the District needs to meet to balance its budget.

How Common Is Staff Development Leave for Classified Staff?
Out of the 72 community college districts in California representing 114 community colleges, very few offer staff development leave for classified staff. SDL is a negotiated benefit for FHDA classified staff, and while a few other institutions offers SDL, none are as extensive as ours.

 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
 Up to 1 yr.  7 yr. of service

SDL Quick Overview

  • 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.
  • Applications are due December 15 of the fiscal year preceding the leave.
  • 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.
  • Travel and conference funds and educational assistance are available during the leave. Courses paid through educational assistance cannot be used to qualify for a Professional Growth Award (PGA).
  • Classified hourly are not eligible for SDL.
  • Funding for a minimum of ten (10) SDL 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 shall be composed of two representatives of ACE, two representatives of CSEA, and two administrators designated by the Chancellor, one of whom will serve as chairman.For ACE, this is Denise Perez at Foothill and Chris White with ACE.
  • 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.
  • FHDA 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.

Anthony Caceres Appointed ACE Interim Vice President at De Anza

ACE is pleased to announce the appointment of Anthony Caceres as Interim ACE Vice President at De Anza while Precious Gerardo is out on leave.  His appointment began October 15 and will run through mid-March 2019.  As Interim ACE Vice President at De Anza, Anthony will be responsible for appointing ACE representatives on hiring committees and representing ACE on the College Council and the Instructional Planning and Budget Team (IPBT).

Anthony works in the Financial Aid department as a Financial Aid Outreach Assistant and has been with De Anza for over 2.5 years.  Currently pursuing his masters in Urban and Public Affairs from University of San Francisco, Anthony brings a passion for politics and the 49ers, combined with a drive to make the greatest positive impact on as many people as possible.

Of behalf of the ACE Executive Board, we look forward to having Anthony join our team.