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2023.09.19 Update – Opening Day, 7.22% COLA Voting, Teleworking/COVID MOU, Open Enrollment, 403b+457 Plans, Bilingual Pay

ACE Members,

President’s Message Opening Day
The work we all do is a crucial in achieving our district/college mission and creating the best opportunity for the success of students. Year after year I continue to be impressed by the ingenuity of classified staff when accomplishing the ever-growing tasks before us. The ACE organization is a product of that same ingenuity. Thank you to members for supporting our continued success as we move into a new academic year.

Open Enrollment
CalPERS’ 2024 Health Benefit Summary is an informative document for comparing plans we have access to (LINK) but take the opportunity to connect with our Benefits department on opening day or schedule an appointment to discuss options. If you need assistance with health benefits enrollment, please email ; or call 650-949-6224.

See the Benefits website for more information (LINK.)

403b/457b Retirement Vendors
Vendors who show up on opening day are not vetted by the district nor ACE. You may also receive email messages from outside companies to manage your retirement. Be cautious – scrutinize these vendors.

The most popular companies with employees have consistently been Fidelity, Vanguard, and CalSTRS Pension2. For details on how to sign up, see the Payroll website (LINK.)

In the past we have worked with to provide member education. They have a podcast series “Learn by Being Burned” along with self-paced education topics on their website (LINK.) Their next Q&A “Office Hours” event is October 5th from 4-5pm PST (LINK.) While it is very K-12 focused, much of it is applicable to FHDA. They have their own vendor rating here (LINK) which aligns with our most popular vendors.

7.22% COLA Ratification Voting Begins @ 2pm Today
If you do not receive an email from ElectionRunner with voter information by 3:30pm, contact our recorder @Shawna Santiago with your CWID number. Voting closes 5pm on Thursday.

Results will be shared with the membership by the end of this Friday. Notice will be sent on Friday to the district in time for the item to appear on the board of trustees agenda.

Reminder – Teleworking/COVID Return to Work MOU
In late 2022 ACE signed a memorandum of understanding which established an appeal process for teleworking. (See full MOU here – LINK.)

  • If your written request to work remotely is denied you may appeal the decision to ACE and the Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources for a final decision.
  • If your teleworking agreement schedule is ending, you should be provided a minimum of 10 working days’ notice in writing.

Unfortunately COVID has not completely gone away. Lately cases have been on the rise in Santa Clara County per wastewater monitoring (LINK) as we return to pre-pandemic habits. If you are sick, stay home – use your sick leave. If you are able to work, you may make arrangements with your supervisor to work remotely (although it is not guaranteed to be approved.) If your child tests positive for covid, you may use sick leave or potentially be allowed to work from home with approval from your supervisor until the end of an isolation period or while awaiting test results after exposure.

Appropriate teleworking arrangements will be made with any affected employees who must quarantine upon request by the district. If an employee cannot telework, then they shall be placed on paid administrative leave until the end of the quarantine period. This section shall also apply to employees awaiting covid test results after an exposure.

Contact a steward if you need help.

Bilingual Pay
Thank you to our negotiations team for their work reviewing classified employee agreements with the district and at neighboring districts. They are all available on the human resources web page (LINK.) Currently we have proposed the same language that exists within the FHDA-Police Officers Association (POA) for bilingual pay – see POA Agreement 6.6 (LINK.) It provides $100 per month for employees who are requested to use their bilingual skills along with a means for validation language fluency. To date the district has responded that they are not interested in parity between ACE and POA. At the moment, the district is declining to agree to pay ACE members for the same skill that they have negotiated with another bargaining unit.

Per our attorney, unless a language is specially called for in your classification, such as American Sign Language in the Sign Language Interpreter JD, you cannot be reprimanded or considered insubordinate for refusing to communicated in anything other than English. It is up to members to decide if refusing to exercise bilingual skills is worthwhile toward receiving equal compensation.

We will provide more negotiations updates throughout the process. The latest message has been posted on our homepage.

In Solidarity,

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

2023.09.12 Negotiations Update – MOUs for COLA, Benefits, and Agreement Articles 3, 7, 9, 10, 11

ACE Members,

ACE and the District have reached an agreement on Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2023-24 and benefit costs for plan year 2024. The memorandums of understanding (MOUs) for both items are attached to this message.

ACE Negotiations Update 20230912.pdf
MOU JLMBC Benefits Plan Year 2024 Final.pdf
MOU COLA 2023-2024 Signed 20230822.pdf


  • An ongoing 7.22% increase effective July 1, 2023. 
  • Implementation requires a couple of steps:
    • Ratification by ACE membership.  This will be completed by the end of September. 
    • Board of Trustees for approval (this is performative). This will most likely be their Oct. 2 meeting.
    • See the money? When asked for a timeline on implementation, the district was unwilling to give a definitive date, but it was agreed that sooner rather than later would be beneficial for all. We’ll keep you posted on this.

Benefits for Plan Year 2024 – See Attached MOU for Plan Rates

  • Employees will pay 15% of the medical premium for plan year 2024.
  • District will pay 85% of medical plan premium plus full dental and vision premium.  See attached MOU.
  • It is important to remember that the bargaining units and the district negotiate who pays how much based on CalPERS’s plan options but neither has any say in what plans they offer, the cost of a plan including deductibles and co-pays, or what practitioners are included in those plans.
  • New rates become effective January 1, 2024.
  • Open enrollment to select plans for 2024 runs Sept. 19 through Oct. 13, 2023.
    • An Open Enrollment Benefits Fair will be part of District Opening Day (09/20/23) in the Foothill College Dining Hall from noon to 2 pm.
      • The Benefits Fair for the 2024 plan year provides information about the CalPERS health care plans and other benefits available to employees and retirees such as life insurance and supplemental retirement planning. 
      • All insurance carriers and 403(b)/457(b) vendors have been invited to attend the event to answer employees’ questions in person.

Articles in the ACE Agreement
ACE and the District have reached tentative agreements (TAs) on several items open for negotiations. Member ratification of these TAs will occur when all open items are resolved.

Article 3 – Union Security

  • Removes fair share feepayers language because of the 2018 Janus Supreme Court Decision.  Adds language defining what unit information District is required to provide to ACE and when.

Article 7 – Employment Practices  

  • 7.5.1 – Selection for Promotion – Changes when internal candidates can apply for a position before external candidates.  Why?  Cal Code Regulation 53021(c) says “shall actively recruit from both within and outside the district work force to attract qualified applicants for all vacancies” There are a few exceptions where internal recruitment/promotion can happen:
    • a reorganization that does not result in a net increase in the number of employees;
    • one or more lateral transfers are made and there is no net increase in the number of employees;
    • a position which is currently occupied by an incumbent is upgraded, reclassified, or renamed without significantly altering the duties being performed by the individual.

Article 9 – Holidays and Vacation

  • 9.1 – Formerly adds Juneteenth to the list of holidays for a total of 18 paid holidays a year.
  • 9.3 – NEW – Floating Leave (formerly called Personal Necessity Leave)
    • Maintains 40 hours of paid leave. If unused, does not roll over to new year (July 1 -June 30). If you leave the district, you do not get paid out for any unused Floating Leave.
    • May be used for planned absences which other leaves (sick, personal) aren’t appropriate.  You are NOT required to inform your supervisor of the purpose of the request.
    • Must get signed approval in advance to take the leave.
    • The description of this type of leave was changed because the Ed Code has a very specific definition of “Personal Necessity Leave” (see Article 10.10). To comply with the Ed Code and maintain our current leave structure with the extra 40 hours, we needed a new name for it.

Article 10 – Leaves

  • 10.4 – Parental Leave – Amended language to meet changes to the law.  The maximum leave is 12 weeks within a 12-month calendar (new).  If you use sick//vacation leave to keep your full salary while on parental leave, the number of weeks you use is subtracted from the 12-week total that parental leave allows. If you choose, once you’ve used all your accrued sick/vacation leave, any remaining weeks left on your 12-week parental leave will be covered at 50 percent of your salary.
  • 10.10 – Personal Necessity Leave – 7 days per year, drawn from accrued sick leave.
    • For emergency purposes and/or qualified absence under ed code 88207. Supervisor can request a reason for leave.
    • Can be used immediately upon employment.

Article 11 – Layoff

  • 11.1 – Incorporates language for new layoff process found in California Ed Code sections 88014, 88015, 88017, 88117 and 88127, which requires notice by March 15 and allows the affected worker the right to a hearing to determine if there is cause for not reemploying then employee for the ensuing year.
  • 11.3 – Notice and Consultation with Union – To determine if other opportunities are available to affected workers.
  • 11.4 – Notice of Layoff & Procedures – March 15 notice.

Articles Still Under Negotiation
Article 8 – Pay and Allowances

  • 8.4 – Longevity – asked for an increase of $10 per award.  To date, no response from District.
  • 8.7.2 – Weekend Pay – asking for parity with other bargaining units and increase weekend stipend from $75 to $100 per month. To date, no response from District.
  • NEW – Bilingual Pay – asking for parity with other bargaining units and provide $100 per month stipend for workers who are requested to use their bilingual skills, including American Sign Language. To date, no response from District.

Article 9 – Holidays and Vacation

  • 9.2.1 – Full-time Workers – asking for parity with other bargaining units and provide 16 hours vacation accrual per month.  District rejected the proposal but has not provided a counter.

Article 13 – Hours and Overtime

  • 13.2.6 – Remote Work – offered a process to evaluate a position’s suitability for remote work. To date, no response from District.

Article 16 – Disciplinary Action

  • 16.5 – Time Limit – The District wants to align our agreement with Ed Code 88013 (d) which states they can’t initiate any disciplinary action for any cause alleged to have arisen more than two years prior to the worker becoming permanent nor for any cause alleged to have arisen.  For more than a decade our agreement has stated they can’t do this if it is more than one year.  To date, the district has provided no compelling argument to change it.
    • Unlike the change to internal recruitments that says we must have an open process; this law does not prohibit shortening the time limit it just says it can’t be longer than two years.

In Solidarity,

Chris White (she/her) | Archive Coordinator
Foothill-De Anza Archives | 650.949.7721
Hours: Mon – Thur 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Please note, the physical archive is currently closed for renovation. 
Foothill-De Anza Association of Classified Employees (ACE) | Chair of Negotiations

2023.08.17 Update – Sick Leave Donation, Union Elections, CS Board Member, Tentative Agreements, Value of Membership

ACE Members,

Sick Leave Donation for Marivic Burdick
ACE Agreement Article 10.3 covers sick leave donation. A request has been approved for a fellow colleague, Marivic Burdick, who has a serious health condition.  If you have a sick leave balance of more than 480 hours please consider donating leave in 8 hour increments using this form (LINK) and return it to @Scott Olsen. Completed forms will be forwarded to human resources.

If you don’t have 480 hours of leave, you can also support Marivic’s recovery by donating to her GoFundMe (LINK).

Reach out to @Stanley Saraos, CSEA president, or @Scott Olsen if you have questions.

Upcoming Union Elections
Per our ACE Constitution Article 10 (LINK) elections will be occurring soon. Nominations will take place in October, followed by voting. Positions up for election are:

  • President
  • Vice President – De Anza
  • Vice President – Central Services
  • Board Member – De Anza (Seat 1)
  • Board Member – Foothill

Eligibility requires 1 year of continuous union membership. ACE Constitution Article 5 covers the duties of each executive board position and our website shows which committees are assigned to each position (LINK). Ask questions at upcoming site meetings, reach out to those currently serving in the positions, and look for upcoming events that provide more details.

As an independent organization we depend on those who serve in elected roles to accomplish the business of a union and represent members.

Central Services Board Member Needed
Thank you to @Stacey Carrasco for serving as the Board Member for Central Services. She has recently moved to De Anza and we now have a need to appoint a new member to serve on HRAC (Human Resources Advisory Committee) and attend Central Services Classified Senate meetings for the remainder of the term, ending in 2024.

If you are interested, please contact @Scott Olsen and/or @William Baldwin for more details.

Negotiated COLA & Benefits Tentative Agreements
Thank you to members who’ve asked questions at site meetings and via email about our upcoming tentative agreements with the district. We are awaiting documents from the district to sign and bring to the membership for a final approval vote. If you have not already reviewed previous negotiations emails regarding the 7.22% salary schedule increase and benefits rate changes, please go back and search your inboxes for past messages. Details will also be on our website soon.

Recently I’ve also received thanks from non-members regarding the COLA agreement and I remind them that this is paid for by dues paying members. Our attorneys serve as chief negotiators and provide invaluable advice that helps reach these agreements (in addition to their expertise in labor law and ed code.) Non-members are not getting these benefits for free, they are getting them because we shoulder the cost and understand the value in maintaining our independent labor organization.

New Employee Membership
Talk about our union. If you know a non-member or new employee, ask them about ACE. What have we accomplished that matters to you? As a union we collectively operate purely in our the interest of our membership to gain benefits and protections that matter in our workplace. Our strength relies on maintaining a high level of active members (currently 90%+). If there’s something we are not doing, raise the topic at a site meeting amongst members.

As a reminder, if you forward these update messages to a colleague or they are not on this email list, there’s a high probability they are not an active member. Recent negotiations with the district demonstrate that none of these benefits are given. Without ACE your salary would be lower, your benefits costs would be higher, your personal leave accrual would be less, and the time window for discipline supporting termination would be wider.

The ACE membership application and dues authorization for is available on our website (LINK) and can be returned to @Scott Olsen.

In Solidarity,

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