The Classified Union
Submitted by Heidi Spearer
Prior to and during 1991, the classified staff of CLPCCD was
represented by The California State Employees Association (CSEA). As
representatives of the classified staff, they helped to negotiate a
Two-tiered health benefits after retirement package around
1985, which effectively sold out all classified staff health
benefits, after that negotiating year, in favor of giving the
current staff a small raise. This was a cause of much discontent
amongst staff hired after that date.
This Association was unsuccessful in dealing with the administration
when it came to staff grievances, as several employees reported
during Association meetings. Another issue was the question of
inequality in pay scale among female staff, with 1960ís mindset that
men needed to earn more money than women. Several
historically female positions had been attempting to gain closer
parity without any assistance from the Association and much
resistance from district administration including Personal Staff
(later to be renamed Human Resources).
Sometime during the 92-93 academic year, two unions were contacted
by classified staff and the debate then began as to which union we
would choose to represent classified staff in contract negotiations,
grievances, and all other issues related to employment.
The Teamsters and Service Employees International Union (SEIU),
Local 790 then entered into informal negotiations with classified
staff leaders. Eventually staff decided that SEIU, Local 790 would
represent them. The Union then trained a few individual staff
members who went on to recruit the classified staff at large to
switch from the Association to the Union. This process took, to my
best recollection, at least one academic year.
Chabot, Las Positas and District classified staff voted and chose to
go with SEIU. An officer election was then held, electing the first
SEIU President Heidi Spearer. Under Ms. Spearerís leadership, the
classified union was also instrumental in creating the classified
senate in later years.
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