Know Your Contract
By Fern Reisner, Assistant Executive Secretary Grievance, AFT Staff Guild, 1521A
Click here: [AFT 1521 A 2017-2020 Final
Article 10: Vacations
The District and AFT encourage employees to take vacations yearly to promote wellness. Knowing the contract helps to successfully plan your break. Here’s a short true-false quiz to see if you understand the process.
Q: If a supervisor has not denied a vacation request in writing within three working days of the request, the request shall be considered approved.
A: True. Article 10H states, The supervisor shall approve or deny the request for vacation within 3 working days of the receipt of the request. If in such 3-working-day period a vacation denial has not been received, in writing, the vacation shall be deemed to have been approved.
Q: Vacation requests will not be considered for specific “black-out” periods, such as the first two weeks or last two weeks of a semester.
A: False. An employee may always request vacation, and supervisors must always consider any vacation request.
Q: Without exception, an employee must request vacation at least 15 working days before the date.
A: False. According to Article 10, Nothing in this paragraph shall preclude an employee from requesting and being granted vacation at any time.
District Must Give Written Notice of Reassignments
Because of the current budget crisis, the LACCD has instituted a hiring freeze and many vacant positions are not being filled. The District has met its needs by repositioning available Unit 1 employees. Does this then mean management can arbitrarily reassign Staff Guild members to other locations at their work site? No!
Guild members rights are protected by Article 14 of our contract, which outlines the specific procedures that management must follow to properly reassign an employee.
For example, if an employee agrees to a management request to transfer from one supervisory unit to another, that is considered a voluntary reassignment. If the employee refuses, Article 14 enumerates the specific procedures that must be followed. The first step is to determine if the reassignment will be temporary or permanent.
Section C of the article defines a temporary reassignment as made for a specific period of time at the District’s discretion to meet the operational needs of the District. In that case, the employee shall be provided at least 20 working days of written notice.
According to Section D, however, if the District intends to reassign the employee for longer than six months, it must provide at least 15 working days written notice.
You Can Hold Onto Your Work Schedule
Has the District tried to change your work schedule recently? Before management can ask an employee to change their days or hours, they must first comply with the Staff Guild contract and State Education Code.
Article 12, A Workweek and Workday
The normal workweek shall consist of not more than five consecutive days, and not more than 40 hours per week.
Employees daily hours of work and shifts shall be established at the discrection of the District. Once established, an employee’s shift may not be changed on a permanent basis without the consent of the employee.
Education Code 88010.5
A classified employee employed by any community college district that decides to maintain classes on Saturday or Sunday or both, shall not, without his or her written consent be required to change his or her workweek to include Saturday, Sunday, or both.
In other words, an employee who chooses to work a traditional 8-hour day five days a week must work five days in a row. The District cannot, for example, require an employee to work Monday through Thursday, skip Friday, then work Saturday. Also, once management and an employee agree at the time of hire on the shift to be worked, the District cannot change the shift without the employee’s written consent.
Overtime by the Book
The District has never had enough support personnel. That shortage has been compounded by the compressed calendar, resulting in more and more overtime to ensure year-round staffing. The Staff Guild is concerned that hard-fought contract provisions on overtime policy are being trampled or ignored. Does your supervisor, for example, know what the contract says about overtime? Do you? Here are some of our basic contract rights:
The District shall use reasonable efforts to distribute overtime work equitably among the qualified employees of an office, operational unit, or work group with consideration given to District needs and employee availability.
Lists of employees who are available for scheduled and unscheduled overtime shall be maintained at each college location in the office in which the need for overtime exists.
Overtime shall be distributed on a rotational basis, with employees who worked overtime most recently going to the bottom of the list.
Available employees shall be assigned to the overtime list in the order of their District seniority.
If no employees in the same classification at the college or division are available for overtime, then other employees in the same classification at the college or division shall be given the opportunity to work the overtime.
Vacation Time: Use It or You Won’t Accrue It
Do you have more than 400 hours of vacation credit? Now is the time to lower those vacation balances or you won’t accrue more hours. Beginning Jan. 1, 2001, Unit I employees will not earn additional credit for pay periods with vacation balances of more than 480 hours. And, effective next June 30, Unit employees will not earn time for pay periods with balances topping 400 hours.
Article 10, I. Vacation pages 21-22.
In order to promote a wellness concept, the AFT and the District encourage Unit I employees to take their annual vacation. No request for vacation by a Unit employee shall be unreasonably denied.
It is the employee’s responsibility to request vacation to avoid going over the vacation accrual limit. If the employee’s vacation request is denied, the employee has the option to take or schedule vacation within the next thirty (30) days.
If employees do not take their full annual vacation, the amount not taken shall accumulate for use in the next year, not to exceed the vacation accrual limit.
Any employee with more than 350 hours of vacation credit will have that information printed on their pay stub. Employees continue to earn addition vacation hours at the same time they use their accumulated credit. It is important to get your balance down to around 350 hours to protect your ability to accrue future vacation time.
The Staff Guild believes any blackout periods or unreasonable vacation denials due to compressed calendars or the new district policy of a maximum of 400 hours vacation accrual undermine the intent of the contract.
Take you vacation time! You earned it and your wellness depends on it.
Perfect Attendance Pays
Would you like four extra days of vacation every year? LACCD employees with perfect attendance and no tardy reports can earn an additional three hours of vacation credit for every 160-hour pay period “ up to four days annually.
Article 19. H. 8. Illness Leave Attendance Incentive Program, top of page 62.
For each pay period an employee has perfect attendance (no tardiness and no absence for any reason other than holidays, vacations and Jury Duty, except vacation taken in lieu of a half-day of illness pay) in accordance with Article 10, Section H of this Agreement, his or her vacation balance shall be credited with 0.30 days of vacation, to an annual maximum of four additional days. For those working less than full-time, the additional vacation shall be in the same proportion that other vacation is accrued. Any unpaid days taken due to the employee’s assignment basis shall not be recorded as an absence.
Is every week of perfect attendance recorded on your time sheet? Does your time sheet have a space to record this entry? If not, ask the Chapter Chair at your work site to consult with the Vice-President of Administration and create a new time sheet that includes a box for perfect attendance. And enjoy your extra vacation days!
Article 24a “ Committees“Worksite and District-Wide Committees and Shared Governance
If a college resident, Division Head, the Chancellor or the Board of Trustees appoint a campus/worksite and/or District-wide advisory committee for accreditation, budget, planning/development, sexual harassment, AIDS education, staff development and/or affirmative action, the AFT College Staff Guild shall be entitled to at least one (1) of its members appointed to the committee, appointed by the AFT Staff Guild. At least one (1) AFT Staff Guild Unit member, appointed by the AFT, shall be appointed to each campus, District Office and District-wide Planning and Advisory Committee (PAC) and any other Shared Governance Committee not identified above, that will have an effect on Unit 1.
The AFT Staff Guild shall appoint one (1) Unit member to any selection committee for College President. This member shall be appointed from the campus at which the selection is occurring.
If the AFT Staff Guild is asked to participate in any other committee (including selection), appointment shall be made by the AFT.
Questions for Staff Guild members:
- Are you on any work site committees?
- Do you participate in shared governance?
- Did you know there is release time for classified participation?
- Is your campus/work site participating with shared governance?
Contact your Chapter Chair or the AFT at (323) 851-1521 to get involved.