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2022.04.15 Update – Stewards, COLA, Noise & Actions

ACE Members,

I’ve served as president for a little over 100 days. Throughout navigating unique challenges across the district, what has always brought me confidence is our contract agreement (LINK) and working alongside an amazing executive board. The first thing I do each day when I start my computer is open the agreement in a browser tab as a reference for enforcing workplace ground rules. When there’s an issue the contract doesn’t cover, I reach out to my fellow troublemakers. If you need something concrete to stand on or someone to help to resolve a workplace concern, follow my example: (1)know your contract and (2)contact a steward.

What does an ACE Steward do? (I asked one for their answer)
I would say that as a steward I provide members assistance interpreting and clarifying the contract; provide consultation over potential violations regarding wages, hours of work and other conditions of employment described in the collective bargaining agreement; represent our members in the workplace; provide assistance with the grievance process.

Section 5.3 of our Constitution goes into detail regarding the duties of a Steward (LINK)

Who are our Stewards?
@Erika Flores (Chief Steward – De Anza)
@Adriana Garcia (Steward – De Anza)
@Anthony Caceres (Chief Steward – Central Services)
@Scott Olsen (President)

ACE is looking for a Foothill Chief Steward. Contact me if you are interested in the position. I’ll send out a separate announcement with additional details soon.

Congratulations to @Andre Meggerson on obtaining a new position at De Anza 🥳 Thank you for your years of excellent service.

Cost-of-Living Adjustment for 21-22 and 22-23
Currently negotiations are underway for a salary increase, but the distance between initial proposals is big. I recognize it’s alarming to see reactions like the Faculty Association’s work to contract and ACE’s guidance to not give away your work for free, but despite us doing “compassion and care work” we are essential workers and deserve be compensated fairly for our role in paving the way for the institution to succeed in its mission.

What makes 21-22 and 22-23 negotiations different from other years is that the COLA is being negotiated for all bargaining units at the same time. We are working hand-in-hand with FA, CSEA, Teamsters and POA. During this process when there’s a call for support, we’re going to do what we can to stand in solidarity.

Noise Made / Actions Taken
At the Trustees meeting (statement included below) I highlighted that it had been a year since the classification study had been approved and all members have yet to be paid. In addition to delays, we are struggling to resolve inaccuracies like overpayments and unilateral step adjustments which reduced March paychecks for members – most likely you saw a copy of our cease-and-desist as an immediate response. Chris White would repeatedly remind members to always check your paystub and I will begin to do the same. ACE has since met with HR and is actively working to resolve both issues – affected employees will be notified separately.

Retirees, I will follow up with information once I am provided with a specific payment date for what you are due. Thank you to those who submitted public comments to the Board of Trustees.

I’m looking forward to finalizing the classification study and beginning to work on future initiatives that continue to benefit members. ACE has negotiated great things in the past and we will continue to do so in the future.

Site Meetings (Check Outlook to Join)
De Anza/Central Services
Tue, April 19th Noon – 1:00 PM

Foothill/ Central Services
Thu, April 21st  Noon – 1:00 PM

Events Basics of Savings and Investing
Thu, April 21, 2022 4:00 PM – 5 PM PDT

“A Song for Cesar” documentary followed by a panel discussion
Fri, April 29, 2022 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM PDT
Smithwick Theatre, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills, CA 94022
(Register via Eventbrite)

Take Care,

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


It’s been one year since the classification study was approved by this board and ACE members have yet to be fully compensated accurately. I include the word “accurately” after being notified on March 17th that some were allegedly overpaid. On that same day ACE issued a demand for (1)a list of the employees who’ve been allegedly overpaid, (2)the amount of overpayment and (3)the reason they were overpaid. No response was received before employees were asked to sign a document agreeing to return money. A cease-and-desist letter citing labor code and ed code violations was sent to the district by our attorney group.

Background calculations that attempt to identify the logic behind the study’s back pay for March were not provided for most recipients, unlike for February. The lack of this information creates confusion and uncertainty for employees.

On March 31st employees began to question a “pay discrepancy” when they found their current paychecks were lower than in previous months. Their base salary had been unilaterally lowered as a result of moving them to a lower step without notice. Today ACE issued a similar demand for (1)a list of the affected employees, (2)the amount of discrepancy and (3)the reason for this discrepancy and (4)to meet and confer over the impact and implementation of salary disputes. These actions are contrary to negotiated agreements, violate California Labor Code section 222 and clearly an unfair labor practice.

Mental health was the underlying topic of this morning’s flex day. While individual self-care was promoted as a solution, in a relationship the onus to resolve an issue falls on both parties. As our employer I would ask that you find the capacity to provide advance warning, communicate clearly, respond to requests, and be accurate, especially when it comes to the topic of compensation. Modifying future behavior would reduce financial anxiety and stress for my members along with demonstrating dignity and respect.

2022.03.21 Classification Study Retro Pay; COLA; “Campus Revitalization”

ACE Members,

Classification Study Retro Pay

At the end of the day on Friday I did not receive complete information from Human Resources regarding classification study retro pay. Total amounts to be paid were calculated for 7 of 84 employees. As the information is incomplete, I am uncertain if the schedule provided is accurate, but what I have describes that employees still waiting for their retro money will be paid in either March, April (mid-month), or April based on their CWID.

In addition to this, the district alleges that some of you were overpaid. ACE has requested a list of affected employees, the amount of overpayment and the reason they were overpaid. ACE will be involved in attempts to recover any overpayments. Contact me immediately if you are told money will be taken from you as a result of alleged overpayment. I will work with our attorneys to make sure this is handled appropriately.

COLA Negotiations

For ‘21-‘22 and ‘22-‘23 we will be bargaining jointly alongside the other unions to negotiate COLA, similar to how we negotiate for benefits as a group. This change in format is intended to speed up the process to get money in your paychecks faster(as close to July 1st as possible) when it comes to implementing both COLAs.

I’m aware of a letter circulating regarding COLA. As a reminder, it is a negotiated item and we cannot ask for more than the district can provide. Seeking a percentage beyond what’s available in the budget would necessitate cuts to ongoing district expenses.

At the Board of Trustees meeting on April 4th, which begins at 6pm, I will detail our collective disappointment with these inaccuracies and delays. The classification study results will have been approved one year ago at that time. Though nothing we say or do may impact the timeline of the current process, if you’d like to join me in expressing how this experience has affected you here are some ways to be heard:

  1. Submit a public comment in advance to
    1. Subject: “Board of Trustees 4/4 Public Comment”
  2. Show up in person to speak at the Board of Trustees meeting
  3. Show up in person wearing red or maroon

“Campus Revitalization”

The chancellor’s “Spring 2022 Update” message serves as a notice that you may have to return to the workplace more often than you were asked to during winter quarter, but that decision still remains with your manager.

To work on campus, COVID-19 booster shots are required for those who are currently eligible. Medical and religious exemptions still apply, see AP 3507 for complete details and contact me with questions/concerns.

Wearing a face mask will continue to be required in public facing areas and indoor classes through May 6th. This was decided based upon past experiences following breaks where more people traveled and due to a current increase in COVID-19 cases globally. The face mask policy will continue to change in response to local case rates.

2022.03.16 Classification Study Retro, On-Site Work, Vacation Leave

ACE Members,

President’s Message

The date March 16th serves as a milestone to recognize the number of years since the shelter in place order. It provides an opportunity to reflect upon the pandemic experience we’ve all been sharing while isolated from each other. Events that shut down the district prior to 2020 could probably be counted on one or two hands, but now it would collectively take the hands of every one of us to count these cruel and usual days over the past two years. I struggle to find words of appreciation that would come close to properly recognizing the work that you all did during a period of tremendous anxiety, but I’m grateful that you elected me into a position where I can persistently pursue actions as part of a team driven to demonstrate care.

I’m a fan of memes and last night while scrolling I saw one that said, “My favorite conspiracy theory is that everything is gonna be okay.” It’s not the most profound statement, but I do hope we can push the world further towards “okay” and I believe in the conspiracy theory that we will.

Classification Study Retro Pay

Employees in the district office continue to work long hours to properly calculate and payout agreed upon amounts members are due. Unexpected staff vacancies, leaves, and complex data are hurdles that have pushed back the anticipated timeline. There will be a number of us who will receive our retro pay in March, but I do not know the precise number at this time. I will follow up with a separate message to notify everyone once I can share information with certainty.

Those who’ve separated from service(retired/resigned) may have to wait until the end of April for physical checks to be issued.

Everyone in Human Resources has echoed the message that this process has not been easy and they are working diligently. I will advocate for improvements to Banner to avoid these delays in the future.

On-Site Work

I will speak with administrators about issuing a message regarding in-person expectations for Spring, but it would be best to discuss department level needs with your supervisor. They can require you to come back to the office.

Welcome New Members

Trizha Loren Aquino
Christian Bonner
Jeremy Peters

Accumulated Vacation Leave

Did you know there’s a cap for your vacation leave? ACE Agreement 9.2.5 is a bit of a word problem, but the table below should help provide context for understanding what your individual limit is – which is based on your vacation leave accrual rate and contact length:

Accrual Rate (hrs./mo.)12 mo. Contract (hour limit)11 mo. Contract  (hour limit)10 mo. Contract  (hour limit)

Before you pay/plan for your vacation get the leave approved in writing!

ACE Agreement 9.2.1 details your vacation leave accrual rate based on years of service:

0 – 36.66 hours per month
4 – 710 hours per month
8 – 1313.33 hours per month
14 +16 hours per month

As always the full contract can be found on our website: