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2023.01.17 Update – Storms, Cycling Lessons, TEAs, Comp Time, Building Projects

ACE Members,

I could not have forecasted January 2023 to begin the way it has. Recent weather has closed the district for two days and a power outage led to an additional campus closure at Foothill. Many roadways around California remain in need of repair. People around the state have experienced significant losses due to flooding, landslides, and storm damage. Reach out to a steward if you are having workplace difficulties because of recent storms.

Before you hear it from someone else, for the past few years I have been a bicycle commuter. It’s an activity that helps reduce stress and keep me in shape, but it also has qualities related to union work:

  • Groups accomplish more – Riding in a paceline where riders switch off taking turns at the front is incredibly efficient. Dividing up the work amongst our executive board, negotiating team, and membership allows ACE to get further that we otherwise would on our own. In 2022 I did my first two 100-mile rides. Each one was more bearable among an organized group to split time drafting, sheltering from the wind.
  • Preparation matters – Becoming more experienced, trained, and ready leads to success. Our agreement is a document we have refined over time to better prepare us for the mountains we have to climb in the future. The efforts that leave us sore are the ones we continue to negotiate, like remote work, career ladders, and pay increases.
  • No one gets left behind – There are numerous unwritten rules to cycling, but many are kindhearted. “No drop rides” are ones where no person is left behind or alone. If you are new to the sport, fatigued, or have a mechanical issue someone will be there with you. Interacting amongst ACE members when you have an issue is a great way to collect tools that may patch it up. Consider bringing up problems you have at a site meeting or in a discussion with another member or steward.

Temporary Employees

We need your help understanding how widespread the misuse of temporary employees is. TEAs are only allowable in two situations:

  1. as a “substitute employee,” while an employee is temporarily absent from duty or there is a vacancy due to hiring.
  2. as a “short-term employee,” to work on a project not needed on a continuing basis.

Contact if a temporary employee does not fit either of the descriptions above. Workers who perform work that is ongoing and regular have the right to health, retirement and leave benefits, negotiated salary levels and union representation.

13.2.3 Compensatory Time Off

Do you have comp time that is more than 12 months old? Now that we are in a new tax year and both negotiated salary increases have been implemented, this would be a good time look at 13.2.3, which says:

Any overtime worked shall be reimbursed in compensatory time off within 12 calendar months following the month in which it was reported on the time report. If at the end of the 12 calendar month period the worker has not taken the time off, he/she shall receive overtime pay at the rate that was effective for the worker when the overtime was worked. Compensatory time off may not be carried over beyond these 12 calendar months. The worker has the option of receiving either compensation or compensatory time off for overtime work.

Contact if you would like to receive the time as compensation. Work with your supervisor if you would prefer to take time off. Remember that the choice is yours – you cannot be forced to take time off.

De Anza’s Megaproject

December’s FHDA Board of Trustees meeting was well attended by the Creative Arts community and supporters. In response to concerns raised there has been a commitment on behalf of college administration to create ample opportunities for shared governance and broader input. At January’s meeting $19,400 was approved to explore alternative designs for how Creative Arts, Student Services, and an event center will be configured. How bond money is allocated between the three areas is the issue.

Sunnyvale’s HVAC

Currently a heating and ventilation retrofit has been planned as a temporary solution. Unfortunately, completion of a permanent fix remains 2-3 years away. ACE responded to air quality and temperature issues but there are no Cal/OSHA standards which are being violated.

Union household celebrating the holidays. Thankful for better working conditions, decent wages, old age pensions, and shorter hours.

I hope you were all able to relax and enjoy time away from work during the end of December break. Daylight hours are now getting longer, today the sun is shining, and I’m looking forward to working with you all this year.

In Solidarity, 

Scott Olsen (he/him) | ACE President |
650-949-7789 | M-F 8:00am-5:00pm

2022.12.06 Update – President’s Message, Creative Arts, Member Information, Legal Actions, New Members, Gatherings

ACE Members,

President’s Message
Looking back at 2022 the impact ACE has had on our livelihoods has been tremendous. Negotiated items from previous years all were paid out: the remote work stipend, classification & compensation study, 5.07% FY21-22 COLA and 5.56% FY22-23 COLA. All provide relief from recent inflation and help us make ends meet in a region with a notoriously high cost of living. Competitive wages acknowledge our valued contribution toward achieving the mission of the district. Thank you to our negotiations teams throughout the years who have worked toward securing these advances 👏 Koff & Associates has also completed reviewing the last remaining classification appeals and affected members have been provided with the final reports.

ACE’s continued effort to maintain access to quality affordable healthcare options is something that has benefited my own family immeasurably throughout my 15 year career with the district. At this time last year I was preparing to have my first outpatient surgery. It went successfully and I recovered without paying outrageous out of pocket costs. In prior years my wife experienced a long emergency hospital stay, where personal necessity leave and sick leave agreement sections allowed me to be by her side. She recovered, later had surgery, and recovered again. To this day my father continues to have access to district health care plans following the passing of my mother, who was a division administrative assistant. Our union contract includes language that allowed him the choice to retain medical coverage.

At a summer workplace event someone asked me, “do you ever stop talking about union stuff?” I can’t recall exactly how I had answered, but honestly the trajectory of my entire life and that of my family would be completely different without our union, so I have a deep appreciation for negotiations, the agreement, and the people who’ve contributed toward crafting all of the protections and benefits we enjoy. When responding to member employment issues, I do so with the awareness that decisions impact entire households and beyond. As president, ACE is always on my mind and its importance is paramount.

De Anza Creative Arts
The college community sent a strong message at yesterday’s collegewide Measure G forum by stressing that future plans should identify a permanent space for Creative Arts that does not diminish its ability to serve students. Recordings of the session are not available. Slides presented can be downloaded from the Measure G De Anza site (LINK) – the “Mega Project” begins to be described on page ten.

No final decision has been made on where A Quad will be relocated once it and the Flint Center are demolished. It’s been tentatively proposed to spend bond dollars to renovate L Quad as a temporary swing space but it would leave Creative Arts floating there without funding for a permanent home.

Student needs remain at the forefront of planning, but more can be done to stress the importance of a quality space for arts programs and services. Please consider attending the upcoming Board of Trustees meeting in person at 6:00 pm on Monday, December 12th:

Foothill-De Anza Community College District – Board of Trustees Meeting
12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
District Office Building (D700), Board Room (101)

Voicing a concern during the time allotted for “public comment” is extremely impactful on decision making. As a colleague put it, “we are losing campus buildings while at the same time building ‘event centers’ that do not support students and potentially granting space to outside health services buildings.” If you also don’t feel this is right, join us on Monday night to speak up.

Member Information & New Hire Orientations
ACE has received updated and accurate member information that meets all of the criteria described in California Government Code § 3558 (LINK.) Human Resources staff has also been regularly providing contact information for new hires and including an ACE representative at new hire orientations. As such we will be dropping our complaint with the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB.)

For our organization to operate effectively it is important that we know who is eligible to become a member and be able to communicate the benefits of supporting ACE. Thank you to the staff involved with assembling these reports. If you have a minute, please update your own personal information within MyPortal, under “My Profile.”

In addition we will also be dropping our grievance and unfair labor practice after the district met with us to discuss the impact of the masking policy change at the beginning of the quarter.

TEA Lawsuit & Student Workers
One of the remaining legal actions we still have outstanding is our lawsuit against the district for violating education Code § 88003 (LINK), which covers the situations when hiring temporary employees is appropriate:

  1. as a “substitute employee,” while an employee is temporarily absent from duty or there is a vacancy due to hiring.
  2. as a “short-term employee,” to work on a project not needed on a continuing basis.

We have been unable to get information from human resources which demonstrates temporary employees are being used appropriately.

Why is this important?
If ACE didn’t take action, what would stop entire departments from being staffed with temporary employees who aren’t covered by our agreement, receive lower wages, and lack health benefits?

Also within 88003 is item (e) “Employment of either full-time or part-time students in a college work-study program or in a work experience education program shall not result in the displacement of classified personnel or impair existing contracts for services.”

Contact @Scott Olsen if you’ve seen a temporary employee or student worker who is being used in place of offering a benefitted ACE position.

When ACE was established it was with the understanding that legal representation can be the best means to push for enforcing workplace rules. The bulk of our dues go toward our attorneys and they do a phenomenal job of representing us.

2022 New ACE Members
@Megan Agustin Office Assistant • Director (DA)
@Jessica Alarcon Coordinator, Assistive Tech • Disability Resource Center (FH)
@Trizha Loren Aquino Library Technician • Library (FH)
@Sheherazade Arasnia Admin Assistant, Senior • Language Arts Division Office (FH)
@Marybell Arebalo Child Dev Center Teacher • Child Development Center (DA)
@Christian Bonner Laboratory Tech, Ceramics • Ceramics (DA)
@Jared Camacho Ramirez Administrative Assistant I • EOPS DA (DA)
@Shahram Chaichian Client Systems Technician • FH-Technical Services (CS)
@Crystal Chen Admin Assistant, Senior • Kinesiology & Athletics Div Ofc (FH)
@Peter Chow Enrollment Svcs Specialist II • Admissions & Records (FH)
@Alex Collins Admin Assistant, Senior • Business & Social Sciences Div Ofc (FH)
@Vinh Diep Application Support Analyst I • Applications Systems (CS)
@Sharon Garcia-Vega Admin Assistant, Senior • Science (FH)
@Holly Hawkinson Financial Aid Specialist • Financial Aid (FH)
@Pablo Hernandez Lopez Coord, Instruct Supt, Disc • Student Success Center (DA)
@Shane Jones Coord, Facilities & Equipment • Kinesiology & Athletics Div Ofc (FH)
@Michelle Lapitan Coordinator, DSPS • Disability Resource Center (FH)
@Di Liu Coord, Computer Laboratory • Computer Info Sys-Genl (DA)
@Erika Martinez Meraz Nurse Practitioner • Health Services-DA (DA)
@Amanda McCumbee Administrative Assistant I • Counseling (FH)
@Bob Paredes Laboratory Asst, Auto Tech • Automotive Technology (DA)
@Joselyn Perez Student Success Specialist • FH-Adult Education Block Grant (FH)
@Jeremy Peters Library Technician • Library (FH)
@Shaila Ramos Serna Program Coordinator I • VIDA (DA)
@Vanessa Santillan-Nieto Program Coordinator I • Teaching & Learning Center (FH)
@Patrick Satana Client Systems Technician • FH-Technical Services (CS)
@Sonia Sanchez Santoyo Program Coordinator II • Student Affairs (FH)
@Jaclyn Su Administrative Assistant I • F-1 Admissions-DA (DA)
@Nita Thompson Mobility Assistant Driver • DSPS-General (DA)
@Sarah Uribe Police Dispatcher • District Police (CS)
@James Wu Application Supt Analyst, Sr • Operations & Systems (CS)
@Joey Zhou Payroll Technician • Payroll Services (CS)

Welcome to ACE 👏

Site Meetings / Holiday Gatherings
Reminder, site meetings this month will be held in person at each campus as holiday gatherings. Food will be served 🥂

Please RVSP by accepting each meeting on your calendar (check the week of the 12th – 16th)

In Solidarity,

Scott Olsen (he/him) | ACE President |
650-949-7789 | M-F 8:00am-5:00pm

2022.11.30 Update – Staff Development Leave, Vision Resource Center, Dues, Holiday Gathering

ACE Members,

Staff Development Leave
Article 10.13 of our agreement covers SDL in detail (LINK) but the due date for applications is quickly approaching. If you are planning a leave during 2023 you have until December 15th at 5 pm to submit your form (with or without required signatures.) Unsigned applications must have all required signatures collected by January 31st at 5 pm.

  • What is SDL? Leave from 1 to 10 months at 85% pay to pursue job-related education, upskilling, or retraining for a different career.
  • Who’s eligible? Those who’ve completed 7 years of service in the District before their leave is scheduled to begin or since their prior SDL.
  • Can I use Education Assistance? Yes. It can be used for courses taken during your leave, but those courses may not be used toward a Professional Growth Award.
  • What if I don’t use Education Assistance? Course hours from your leave (where you weren’t reimbursed) can be used toward PGA Section 1 hours.
  • Can I use Travel and Conference funds while on SDL? Yes.
  • You must agree in writing to render, upon return from your leave, a minimum of two months of service to the district for each month of staff development leave.
  • 10 leaves are approved by the Board of Trustees at the February Board Meeting and announced by March 1st of every year.

SDL is a tremendous benefit that ACE has negotiated for and we highly encourage you to utilize it.

Application for Classified Staff Development Leave (LINK)

If your supervisor/manager refuses to sign the application, please contact your ACE Chief Steward.

California Community Colleges Vision Resource Center
Have you logged onto the VRC lately? (LINK) You might be surprised to find you already have a balance of hours under the “Learner Home” section. Why not complete a few more trainings toward your next Professional Growth Award? Trainings are pensionable under section 1B. They do not have to be completed in a single sitting/session.

The VRC can also be found within MyPortal with Apps, titled as Employee Training.

Keep an eye out for future trainings offered by @Claudia Guzman from De Anza’s Office of Professional Development (LINK.)

Related Upcoming Workshops
California Community Colleges Vision Resource Center
Online: Thursday, December 8th, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Professional Growth Award / Education Assistance
Online: Thursday, December 1st, 1:00 – 2:00 pm

Professional Growth Award / Education Assistance
Online: Wednesday, December 7th, 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Staff Development Leave Application Support
Online: Monday, December 5th, 12:00 pm – 12:30 pm

Register via Google form (LINK)

Dues Forgiveness – December 2022
ACE member dues will not be charged as part of our December 2022 paychecks. This has been confirmed with Payroll. Thank you to those who checked their November paystubs and sent messages when they saw forgiveness was not applied in November.

  • Always check you paystub! We continue to provide representation for members who’ve received notices regarding alleged overpayments. Contact payroll via email if you feel you’ve been overpaid. Get a response in writing or summarize the conversation to document the response for future reference.
    • The district can go back up to three years to recover “a gift of public funds.”

Our overall rate of .95% or .0095 is being reviewed by a committee with representation from each site. Thank you to @Anthony Caceres, @Erika Flores, @Thomas Marks, and @Logan Murray for serving as a group which will provide a post-pandemic rate recommendation that supports our organization going forward. The last time we took a close look at our dues rate was in 2018 following the Supreme Court’s Janus decision which eliminated fair share fee payers. During that time while looking at my own paystub I learned a few things:

  • PGA Awards are not subject to union dues.
  • Longevity Awards are not subject to union dues.
  • Overtime is not subject to union dues.
  • Dues forgiveness lowers our effective dues rate to .79% with two months of forgiveness (10 out of 12 months.)

As part of a survey in 2019, 75% of the membership voted to maintain a percentage rate based formula and a flat rate proposal was found to be unfavorable by 60% of the membership. (These were two separate questions.)

Holiday Gathering @ De Anza’s Fireside Room
Please join us for hot chocolate, hot cider, oatmeal cookies and cake.
Thursday, December 15th, 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm
More details will be provided in an upcoming calendar invite.

Read the following article if you have a minute: “Every Union Contract Right Now Should Be the Best Ever” (Labor Notes) (LINK)

We could have been included in it. The 5.07% and 5.56% COLA increases along with the classification & compensation study were tremendous achievements that contribute towards making ACE the best ever. We continue to uphold the agreement, defend the contract, negotiate benefits, and create safe working conditions. Thank you for the active participation from all members, stewards, negotiators, executive board members, and our attorneys.

In Solidarity,

Scott Olsen (he/him) | ACE President |
650-949-7789 | M-F 8:00am-5:00pm