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Staff Union-Related FAQs

April 22, 2019 Staff Members Election Regarding SEIU Request for Collective Bargaining Rights

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to hold an election among eligible CCA staff members. CCA and Local 1021 agreed to hold the election on Monday, April 22. Voting will be by secret ballot and the entire process is overseen by the NLRB, including the counting of votes. This election will determine whether or not eligible CCA staff will be represented exclusively by Local 1021 for purposes of collective bargaining negotiations with the College. We encourage all eligible employees to vote in this important decision. Below is some additional information.

Q. Where and when do I vote?

A. Members of the voting unit will be sent individual emails. Below is the general voting information..

DATE: Monday, April 22, 2019

TIME: 8 AM - 4 PM

SF LOCATION: Nave Alcove Presentation Center

OAK LOCATION: Martinez Hall - Mart 5

WATTIS LOCATION & TIME: 350 Kansas; 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Q. What is a union and what is the process for an election?

A. A union is an organization that acts as an intermediary between its members and the organization that employs them to negotiate working conditions and benefits through collective bargaining.

The NLRB governs relations between unions and employers and is the only unit who can certify an election to decide if there will be a union or not. 1021 is the local chapter of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and they represent governmental employees, other public sector employees, and some college employees including CCA adjunct faculty.

SEIU’s petition for an election was submitted and accepted by the NLRB. An Election Agreement was established between SEIU and the College and the election will be held on April 22. This election will determine whether or not eligible CCA staff will become represented exclusively by Local 1021 for purposes of collective bargaining negotiations with the College.

Q. Are some employees not eligible to vote and will not be represented by a union if one is elected?

A. Correct. According to federal law, the following positions are excluded from the voting unit as noted in the Election Agreement: managerial and supervisory employees, public safety staff, faculty, those who do instructional work, confidential employees, student-workers, interns, and temporary employees.

Supervisors: Those who have the authority from the College to assign and direct work of others at CCA, or to make decisions about hiring or evaluating performance, or influence those decisions by making recommendations to their leaders on these subjects.

Managers: Those may or not be supervisors of other people, but formulate and/or effectuate management policy and exercise independent judgment.

Confidential employees: Those at CCA who work for senior leadership who set personnel policies and decisions for the College.

Q. What are the cards that the union or staff supporting unions asked me to sign?

A. The union has to demonstrate a “showing of interest” that at least 30% of the employees in that unit are interested in having the union represent them. This showing of interest is satisfied by the submission of membership or authorization cards signed by individual employees indicating such interest. The authorization card is a legal document. If any union organizer or supporter offers you such a card, you should read it carefully and be sure all your questions are answered before signing.

Q. Should I vote in the April 22 election?

A. Yes! All eligible members should vote. As is the case for all NLRB elections, those who vote will determine the outcome for those who don’t vote. Whichever side (yes or no) gets the majority decides the outcome. There is no minimum number of voters and there is no ability to opt-out.

NLRB election results usually remain in effect for many years. These are important reasons why all eligible voters should do their best to cast their secret ballot vote on April 22, which is the only day voting will take place.

Q. What if I cannot make the election on April 22?

A. The NLRB does not have provisions for absentee ballots. April 22 will be the only day for eligible employees to vote on the decision to have SEIU 1021 represent them. Please try to make arrangements to work that day, so that you’re able to participate in this very important decision.

Q. If the Union is certified by the NLRB, do employees have obligations to the Union?

A. All eligible employees must allow the union to represent him/her/they. There is no option to opt-out. SEIU Local 1021 will negotiate a collective bargaining agreement with CCA that will most likely have a “union security” clause, which means that all employees in the unit will likely be required to pay union dues to Local 1021. Our adjuncts currently pay 1.7% of their pay as a post-tax deduction from their paychecks. Under a union security clause, you must pay your dues/fees in order to remain employed.

Q. Will job security change in a collective bargaining agreement?

A. Collective bargaining agreements between colleges and unions generally operate the same way that CCA already operates. Staff members who pass their probationary period undergo evaluations and keep their job unless there is an appropriate and legal reason that justifies separation. Layoffs and reorganization decisions may occur for any number of reasons and a union typically cannot interfere, as it is viewed as a management decision. At CCA, separations are reviewed by Vice Presidents and vetted through Human Resources and are only made for legitimate and lawful reasons, whether or not union representation is in place.

Q. Can my manager continue to work advocate directly for me for certain employment decisions?

A. Unions generally handle representation for the members of their unit and negotiate certain working conditions including compensation. Therefore, if a union is elected at CCA, managers of staff who are represented by the union will no longer work independently with HR on compensation requests unless the union gives its consent.

Q. What is the role of Staff Advisory Committee and if there is a union will it change?

A. Staff Advisory Committee is a group sponsored by Human Resources to support CCA staff and culture through staff appreciation, community engagement, and staff advocacy. Current membership includes approximately 22 staff members from various departments across the College. Unions generally handle representation for the members of their unit. Therefore, if a union is elected at CCA, staff who are represented by the union will most likely not be permitted to participate in CCA’s Staff Advisory Committee.

Q. Is the CCA Administration for or against unionizing with Local 1021?

A. The CCA Administration is not advocating for or against union representation for staff. The administration encourages all staff members to educate themselves on this important issue, as well as to understand what benefits the College currently provides, and to vote their conscience on April 22.

Q. How can I get additional information?

A. We encourage staff to gather as much information as they can in order to make an informed voting decision for the upcoming election. Below is key contact information on the matter.

Human Resources:

Staff Advisory Committee:

HR Anonymous Box: See the bottom of the weekly HR e-newsletters

SFOAK Unite Organizing Committee (OC):

Human Resources Benefits Overview

Health Benefits

CCA currently subsidizes between 83% - 100% of robust healthcare plans to help care for our employees and 70%-100% for their families. These benefits include:

  • Medical Benefits
  • Dental Benefits
  • Vision Benefits (VSP)
  • Flexible Spending Accounts & Health Savings Accounts
  • Commuter Benefits: Transit & Parking Accounts

The College also covers 100% of the cost for the following benefits

  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Basic Life and AD&D
  • Long Term Disability

For additional information on tuition benefits, or supplemental voluntary benefits, or other general benefits questions, please email

Compensation Study

In 2015, the administration approved a compensation study with the intent of bringing staff salaries to market. The study revealed that some positions were already in range or above market, whereas several were below. Due to the expense, the College made a multi-year commitment to bring all positions within range, which included focusing on our lowest earners first.

  • In the first phase of the project, included approximately 71 market adjustments
  • The second phase of the project included approximately 34 market adjustments
  • We are aiming to address remaining increases in 2020, so that all positions will be within market rate
  • An overview of our position structure can be found here.

Please direct any specific questions about compensation to your Vice President or email

Internal Promotions

At CCA, our staff members are critical to our mission of providing quality education to our students. When possible, we support the internal promotion of staff members as opportunities become available.

For example, in 2017-18, there were approximately 41 internal promotion requests that were approved for staff. And in 2018-19, there have been approximately 31 internal promotion opportunities approved.

When a promotion opportunity becomes available, the request generally begins with a manager to their department head and VP, and these decisions are also vetted through Human Resources and may require financial approval.