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2024.01.31 – Bilingual Skills Guidance – STOP ✋

ACE Members,

By the end of the month, we were hoping to have made substantive progress on bilingual pay. Instead, the following guidance must be provided because of where we are currently:

If your manager/supervisor is asking you to provide services in a language other than English, you are not paid to do so or required to do so – STOP

The district has made the choice not to pay ACE members for language translation or communication (written/verbal) skills that they bring.

Complaints/Concerns can be directed to @Rocio Chavez and @Pat Hyland in Human Resources.

Note: The only classification in our bargaining unit that identifies a language other than English, is the Sign Language Interpreter (American Sign Language.)

Will this disrupt departments like Outreach, Financial Aid, International Students, English as a Second Language, EOPS, etc.?
Yes. In the last round of negotiations, the District chose to uphold the status quo and determined that our ability to communicate in another language has no additional value (even when it is requested of us.). Work stoppages are intended to be disruptive to demonstrate the skills we provide. If they are refusing to pay you for specific work, don’t do that work. Continuing to provide services for free undermines our ability to obtain compensation.

What are we specifically trying to gain?
Here is the proposed MOU language:

Bilingual Pay
The District acknowledges the contributions of those workers who possess bilingual skills. The professionalism shown by workers using these skills has enriched the educational environment for students with diverse communication needs.

  1. Each worker requested to use their bilingual skills in the regular course of business shall receive a bilingual stipend of one hundred ($100) per month.
  2. Bilingual pay will be for languages deemed appropriate by the District and may change as the needs of the District change.
  3. Those employees who, upon the recommendation of their immediate supervisor, and who successfully complete the Bilingual Performance Examination for another language including American Sign Language (ASL), will receive $100 per month in addition to their regular pay.
  4. To continue receiving bilingual pay, employees must successfully complete a short validated oral PASS or FAIL examination every three (3) years. Candidates who fail the Bilingual Performance Examination may re-test once every six months.
  5. Each worker that receives bilingual pay will only receive $100 per month no matter how many languages they are certified to speak.

This mirrors the language the District has already agreed to with the Police Officer’s Association (POA) in their Article 6.6 (Source). It is not unreasonable or impossible if they’ve already agreed to it with another unit within the district.

What do we do when a manager/supervisor is still asking us for bilingual services?
Contact a steward @Andre Meggerson, @Anthony Caceres, @Thomas Marks, or @Scott Olsen. We can inform the manager/supervisor of the current agreement with the district and clarify who their bargaining team members are if they have any questions.

If we’re successful, does that mean we can learn any language and get the additional $100?
Not necessarily. Read the proposed MOU language above. We must be requested to utilize the skill, the languages are determined by the district, we must pass a test, and we have to be re-validated every three years.

Is that proposed MOU language finalized?
No. It’s a starting point that we were hoping to engage the district with, but we haven’t received a written response in return. Which is why we are asking you to STOP to make the district understand this is important to our campus community.

My parents had the forethought to enroll me in a bilingual education (Spanish immersion) program at a young age. I certainly do not expect to benefit from bilingual pay in my Client Systems Specialist position, but I personally recognize the value of being able to understand another language and communicate in that language. In my second term as president, I’m confident we can organize to obtain compensation for language skills that are required of us which are beyond the scope of our classifications.

In Solidarity,

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

2024.01.29 Update – Dues Forgiveness, Dental & Vision Deduction, Floating Leave, Permanency @ Six Months

ACE Members,

President’s Update
I hope the first few weeks of the quarter have been kind to us all. Enrollment is up and I’ve seen that everyone is busy working across the District. My goal with these messages is to provide them when we have time to read them. Throughout my lifetime I’ve been an infamous Post-it note writer. I try to achieve as much as possible in a few sentences. This update message is not comprehensive of everything that we’re working on but touches upon the four important items for members. I’ll follow up with a separate update message this week to cover more updates, wages, working conditions, and benefits topics.

January Dues Forgiveness
Keen paystub observers will notice that union membership dues were not deducted in January. This was approved by our ACE Executive Board as part of our 2023-24 budget. As an independent labor organization, we determine our dues rate, when dues are charged, and when dues can be forgiven. On average dues are not deducted twice during each year. We can continue to do this because we are a cost-conscious organization with a high level of membership. 90%+ of those who are eligible to become members choose to support the wins we’re able advocate for.

Note: If you forward these email messages to another employee, it may mean that they are not yet a member. Please consider talking to them about joining ACE or have them reach out to @Shawna Santiago or @Scott Olsen to correct any technical glitches that may be causing the message not to appear in their inbox.

Dental and Vision Deductions
Another paystub detail you may have noticed is the omission of line items in your “Voluntary & Mandatory Deductions” for dental and vision. This is a result of last year’s JLMBC MOU (Joint Labor Management Benefits Council Memorandum of Understanding), which states:


The District shall contribute 85% of the CalPERS rates for each of the medical plan options. The employee shall contribute 15% of the Cal PERS rates for the medical plan they select. In addition, the District shall pay for 100% of the premiums for dental and vision for all qualified employees.

All current & past MOUs from JLMBC are available on our website (LINK). We negotiate all we can to keep the cost of benefits for members reasonable in an environment where there are constant health care price increases. Thank you to our negotiations team.

Floating Leave
Tentative Agreements reached by our Negotiations Team and voted by all of us were approved by Trustees at their December 2023 meeting (LINK), which includes a change to what we referred to as Personal Leave at the District, now Floating Leave:  

9.3 Floating Leave
Each full-time permanent worker shall be granted up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid leave per year as a floating leave. Permanent part-time workers who work fewer than 40 hours per week are entitled to that proportion of floating leave hours granted full-time workers that is equal to the percent of a full-time contract. Eligibility for floating leave begins on the first of the calendar month following six complete months of employment.

Floating leave may be used for planned absences for which other leaves (sick leave, personal necessity leave) are inappropriate, such as special family obligation (attending a family member’s graduation or marriage ceremony) or celebrating a birthday or special occasion. The worker may, but is not required to, inform the supervisor of the purpose or nature of the request.   

Floating leave is not cumulative, will not accrue from year to year, and must be utilized during the college year (July 1 – June 30) or will be lost. Floating leave has no cash-value, and any unused floating leave hours shall not be converted to other leave credits upon separation from service. Floating leave must be scheduled in advance with the supervisor, and must have the approval of the supervisor as evidenced by the supervisor’s signature on the time sheet.

Why was this change made?
Our Agreement has always included Personal Necessity Leave (defined by Ed Code) as a subset of Sick Leave, but our separate Personal Leave led to confusion for new hires in Human Resources.

What changed?
Here’s a table and explanation:

10.1 Sick Leave (10.1 Personal Necessity Leave)10.1 Sick Leave (10.10 Personal Necessity Leave)
10.10 Personal Leave9.3 Floating Leave

Per our new Agreement there are two key things to understand about Floating Leave:

  1. It is a catch-all for anything which other leaves may not be appropriate for, and;
  2. You are not required to disclose what you are using it for.

How do I request Floating Leave?
The District is working on updating Banner and LiquidOffice, but the expectation is that our existing pool Personal Leave will be renamed to Floating Leave. Until then you can request to use Floating Leave by emailing your manager/supervisor/administrator a message saying, “I would like to use floating leave on [planned day]. Please respond if you approve my request.”

What if they ask what I’m using Floating Leave for?
The suggested response would be, “I am not required to provide information regarding the purpose or nature of the request.”

Until Banner and LiquidOffice are updated, how do I show that I used Floating Leave?
For now, use the Personal Leave drop down category in LiquidOffice. Add a note where LiquidOffice allows stating that Floating Leave was approved on the days you chose Personal Leave. (Yes, it’s admittedly confusing right now but it will be corrected.)

What if I need to take Personal Necessity Leave?
Personal Necessity Leave is available to permanent and probationary workers and it is drawn from Sick Leave, so you would use the Sick Leave drop down category in LiquidOffice and add a note stating that the Sick Leave was used for circumstances (but not limited to) of personal necessity under 10.10:

10.10.1 Emergencies or obligations related to the worker’s home or family members, including medical or dental appointments for the worker’s family members when the nature of the appointment requires the worker’s presence,

10.10.2 Emergencies or obligations related to the worker, including appointments for the purpose of conducting personal legal affairs or financial transactions, receipt of a court order requiring absence from work, or observation of a major religious holiday of the worker’s faith.

10.10.3 Extending bereavement leave for the employee’s immediate family; or

10.10.4Appearance in any court or before any administrative tribunal as a litigant, party, or witness under subpoena or any order made with jurisdiction.

What if I have more questions or getting leaves approved?
Reach out to a steward @Andre Meggerson, @Anthony Caceres, @Thomas Marks, or @Scott Olsen.

Recommendation for Permanency @ Six Months
ACE and the District agreed through negotiations to include the legal change for the probationary period to be reduced from one year to six months. The Distict is working to update Banner/MyPortal for the change to be reflected. In the meantime, do not be alarmed if it is not properly reflected in the system. As members you are covered under this agreement which took effect when it was approved by Trustees.

7.1 Probationary Employment

7.1.1 Workers and classified hourly employees who are employed for the first time or are re-employed by the District in a new classification serve probation for a period of 6 months or one-hundred thirty (130) days of paid service, whichever is longer from the date of employment or re-employment as probationary workers.  At the end of the second and fifth months of employment workers will receive written evaluations of their work and their progress towards permanency. Classified hourly employees are evaluated at the end of the third month of employment.

In Solidarity,

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

2023.12.05 Update – Voting Actions: Dues Lowered, TAs Approved, New Board Members. SDL Workshop

ACE Members,

We’ve been busy with voting! Results have been emailed to members, but in summary the membership approved…

  • member dues to be lowered from .0095 to .0087 of regular pay.
  • negotiated contract tentative agreements with the District.
  • two new Executive Board members.

Paystub Updates
Thank you to Payroll staff for acting upon the dues rate change quickly and implementing the ACE Executive Board’s request for dues forgiveness in October. As a part of your October paystub, you should have seen a line item for “COLA w/R”. This is the calculated amount for the negotiated 7.22% salary schedule increase going back (retroactive) to July 1st, 2023.

Always check your paystub!
We’ve seen a few situations where a form that affects your pay (WOC, SDL, etc.) has yet to be processed which either generates an underpayment or overpayment. The quicker these oversights are caught, the easier they are to work with. Reach out to schedule a meeting with @Scott Olsen if you have questions about items on your paystub.

Agreement Updates
Notice was sent to the District that members ratified our tentative agreements. We expect the negotiated contract changes to be on the Board of Trustees agenda in December. Once they pass this final stage of approval, they will take effect. Do you have questions about the new changes? Ask during a site meeting and/or reach out to a steward.

We’ll provide more guidance on how Personal Leave has changed and how to utilize Floating Leave under the terms of the new agreement.

The District is working to assemble an updated text/pdf of our 2021-24 agreement, which will be available to everyone. I’m working on updating and restoring our union website after a plugin became unruly following a webhosting outage. Thank you to those who have pointed out areas that need attention.

Executive Board Update
Beginning Jan 1st, 2024, we’ll have two new board members. @Adriana Garcia (De Anza) and @Sharon Garcia-Vega (Foothill). On behalf of all members, thank you to @Sasha Bostick and @Yasmine Malboubi for serving well during your time as representatives. Thank you to those who stepped forward to run for positions and those who continue to serve. Our membership and organization continue to achieve success because we all continue to remain actively engaged.

Are you interested in serving as a site steward? Contact @Thomas Marks (Central Services), @Anthony Caceres (Foothill), or @Erika Flores (De Anza).

Stewarding is a great way to assist members in better understanding our agreement and support colleagues in the workplace. Having multiple stewards to contact also makes us a more capable organization.

b. Duties of the Chief Stewards and Steward(s)
1) Represent their respective jurisdiction in all membership meetings in the absence of the members.
2) Be the first line of contact with administrative or supervisory staff subject to this Constitution.
3) Be responsible for the enforcement of all applicable collective bargaining agreements in their respective jurisdictions.
4) Be responsible for holding management accountable for all applicable safety and occupational health laws, rules and regulations, and are responsible for notifying appropriate administrative or supervisory staff of unsafe working conditions.
5) Shall have copies of the Constitution and all necessary working agreements available at all times.

Stewardship requires subordination of personal interests to those interests that represent the highest good of the members. Stewards shall have no greater rights than any other member of the ACE.

Source: Constitution 5.3.b (LINK)

Staff Development Leave Workshop (Thursday 12/7)
This Thursday at Noon via Zoom we’ll go over the documents that were attached to the calendar invite. If you did not receive the documents, contact @Scott Olsen or @Claudia Guzman. For those who cannot attend, we’ll record a separate session to answer common questions.

Applications are due by December 15th for SDL beginning in 2024.

In Solidarity,

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