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CARE Member Contributions to The Next Thirty Years

The Classified Union
Submitted by Heidi Spearer
Chabot College

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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