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Collective Bargaining FAQs & Glossary of Terms

What is SEIU?

SEIU stands for Service Employees International Union. The second-largest labor union in the country, SEIU represents nearly 2 million individuals in a variety of occupations, primarily in the health-care, public-service, and property-service sectors. SEIU is highly active in national, state, and local politics; legislation advocacy; and community affairs. The SEIU affiliate for the Bay Area is Local 1021.

How do collective bargaining negotiations work?

Under law, collective bargaining negotiations take place primarily in face-to-face meetings of negotiation teams representing the college and the union, through in-person discussion of written contract proposals. The union team initiates negotiations with a set of opening proposals. This starts the give-and-take process that will lead to a final contract. Collective bargaining agreements are written by the negotiators, with careful attention to language. Once agreed upon, this language will become a legally binding blueprint for future CCA operations.

What were the college’s goals for negotiations?

The college’s bargaining team was committed to a respectful, efficient, and productive negotiating process to reach a mutually beneficial collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that continues to provide our staff with solid benefits and salaries, and maintains the operational flexibility necessary to respond responsibly to the various and evolving challenges that confront the institution. The college was committed to negotiating in good faith with the unified, overarching goal of reaching a CBA for our staff that prioritizes serving our students and fulfilling our academic mission at the highest level.

What is the timeframe to complete negotiations?

Negotiations were completed in March 2022.

Who were the people serving on the teams negotiating the collective bargaining agreement?

The college’s team included CCA staff members Maira Lazdins (Human Resources), George Sedano (Student Affairs), Annemarie Haar (Libraries & Creative Instructional Technologies), and Dustin Smith (Academic Affairs). Legal counsel for the college, Mike Vartain, is the college’s lead negotiator.

The union’s team included CCA staff members Piper Alldredge (Studio Management), Amber Bales (Libraries), Matt Kennedy (Studio Management), Paul Navarrete (Libraries), and Brian Woods (Studio Management). Nato Green from SEIU is the union’s lead negotiator.

When does the collective bargaining agreement go into effect?

It will go into effect on June 8, 2022.

Where can I read the full collective bargaining agreement?

The full CBA will be posted here on the portal, after it has been signed.



A dispute resolution procedure involving a third party to whom the disputing parties submit their differences for a final and binding decision or award.  Arbitration is usually the last step of the contractual grievance procedure.


Articles are the various components that make up the CBA. During the negotiation process, these components were called "proposals". After the CBA is agreement upon and assigned, they become articles.

Bad Faith

Under the NLRA or state labor law, the parties have a duty to approach negotiations with a sincere resolve to reach a collective bargaining agreement, to be represented by properly authorized representatives who are prepared to discuss and negotiate on any condition of employment, to meet at reasonable times and places as frequently as may be necessary and to avoid unnecessary delays, and, in the case of the employer, to furnish upon request data necessary for negotiation.  Bad faith bargaining is the absence of these elements and in which there is no real intent of trying to reach an agreement.   It is often characterized by:  the failure to engage in the exchange of bargaining; the failure to offer counter proposals; cancellation of sessions; delays in bargaining; failure to meet at appropriate times or places; regressive or surface bargaining; or a general conduct designed to frustrate the bargaining process.


The negotiation by the employer and the employee union or association over the terms and conditions of employment for employees in represented bargaining units.

Bargaining Unit

A group of employee titles or classifications (job descriptions) in a workplace that share a community of interest for labor relations matters and that is represented by a union or association in negotiations and other labor relations matters. A unit may also be unrepresented, in which case it is simply a “unit.”

CBA - Collective Bargaining Agreement

A written agreement or contract that is the result of negotiations between an employer and a union. It sets out the conditions of employment (wages, hours, benefits, etc.) and ways to settle disputes arising during the term of the contract. Collective bargaining agreements usually run for a definite period--one, two or three years.


Written statement of alleged unfair practices. Filing a charge with the NLRB State Labor Board is the first step in an unfair labor practice proceeding.


A finding issued by the NLRB or public labor commission of “probable cause” of a violation of labor law.  Such a complaint is a step in the process following a “charge” being filed that may lead to a formal unfair labor practice hearing (trial) or a settlement of the issues in the complaint.

Counter Proposal

A proposal made by one party in negotiations as a response to a proposal made by the other party.  An essential part of the negotiation process.

Effects Bargaining

The union may request to negotiate around changes to conditions of employment or other items under the CBA, that have been specified in this article.


A complaint by an employee or a union arising out of interpretation or application of the collective bargaining agreement; covers any aspect of the employment relationship. There is a Grievance and Arbitration article that outlines the process for complaints.

Just Cause

Just cause is the standard that management must adhere to when disciplining or discharging an employee. It means that in union settings, the employer must have a sufficient reason to act in disciplining or terminating an employee and the reason must be just and fair. In non-union workplaces, the employee is an at-will worker and can be disciplined or terminated for whatever reason or no reason at all.


Action by the employer to prohibit employees from entering the workplace during a labor dispute or employee strike. A lockout is the employer counterpart of a strike and is used primarily to pressure employees to accept the employer’s terms in a new contract.

Management Rights

A contract clause that states the claimed rights of employers to control operational aspects of the workplace which are not limited by specific terms of the contract. 


The involvement by a neutral agent (often provided by the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service or state agency) to assist in negotiations by discussing the disputed issues with the parties together or separately, and assisting the parties in reaching a settlement. This is a voluntary procedure that is non-binding on the parties.

National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (NLRA)

The Federal law guaranteeing workers the right to participate in unions without management reprisals. It was modified in 1947 with the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act, and modified again in 1959 by the passage of the Landrum-Griffin Act.

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

Agency created by the National Labor Relations Act, 1935, and continued through subsequent amendment, whose functions are to define the appropriate bargaining units, to hold elections, to determine whether a majority of workers want to be represented by a specific union or no union, to certify unions to represent employees, to interpret and apply the Act's provisions prohibiting certain employer and union unfair practices, and otherwise to administer the provisions of the Act.


A vote or other action by the union or association to accept or reject a contract that has been negotiated between the union and the employer. Likewise, the action by the governing body to adopt the agreement, thus making it a binding contract.


As mentioned above, SEIU stands for Service Employees International Union. The second-largest labor union in the country, SEIU represents nearly 2 million individuals in a variety of occupations, primarily in the health-care, public-service, and property-service sectors. SEIU is highly active in national, state, and local politics; legislation advocacy; and community affairs. The SEIU affiliate for the Bay Area is Local 1021.


The length of continuous service in position(s) covered by the Agreement.

Side Letter

An agreement outside the main body of the contract similar to an addendum, but usually as binding as any other clause in the contract itself unless explicitly stated otherwise. 

Strike and Walkout

A concerted act by a group of employees, withholding their labor for the purpose of effecting a change in wages, hours or working conditions.

Economic Strike: A work stoppage by employees seeking economic benefits such as wages, hours, or other working conditions. This differs from an unfair labor practice strike.

Unfair Labor Practice Strike: A strike caused, at least in part, by an employer’s unfair labor practice. During an unfair labor practice strike, management may only hire temporary replacements, who must be terminated at the end of a strike to allow the return to work of the strikers.

TA - Tentative Agreement

Issues that are agreed to during bargaining on a labor contract and set aside as tentatively agreed subject to agreement on all outstanding issues of the contract. TAs are signed or initialed by both parties with two “originals” – one for each party. Tentative agreements have no force or effect until and unless all of the issues on the bargaining table have been resolved and are therefore not implemented until all issues have been settled and ratified.

Tentative Agreements are sometimes reflective of only one item and other times may have multiple sections/components.

Union Buster

A professional consultant or consulting firm which provides tactics and strategies for employers trying to prevent unionization or to decertify unions.

Union Steward or Union Stop Steward

Member of CCA staff who is elected by members of the union to serve in a support role for CCA staff and the union. They do not receive any additional compensation for the role but they do receive paid release time from their work duties for approved union business.

Union Field Representative

This individual is the key contact and representative for the college and SEIU. They are employed by SEIU.