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The Union Advance

Cerro Coso College * Bakersfield College * Porterville College

September 2016

In this issue:


Labor Day


CCA Health Benefits Meetings Start

Bakersfield College held four meetings on Aug. 30-31 on proposed changes to health benefits so faculty and faculty retirees could hear about CCA’s proposed one-year agreement, known as a Memorandum of Understanding, or MOU. If approved by union members, KCCD faculty would move from the current self-funded plan to the larger SISC pool. CCA wants to thank Lauri Phillips, SISC account manager, and Maria Ponce, Kaiser enrollment specialist, for their excellent presentations and for staying late after each meeting to answer individual questions from faculty and retired faculty members.

Similar meetings will be held at Porterville College on Wed., Sept. 7, in the Student Center Conference Room: 4-5 p.m. for faculty and 6-7 p.m. for faculty retirees.

Cerro Coso Community College will hold its meetings on Mon., Sept. 12, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 12:30-1:30 p.m. for faculty, and Fri., Sept. 16, in IWV LRC 604, KRV 5, Mam 228, and BIS 197: 10-11 a.m. for faculty retirees.

Plan comparisons and plan election forms can be found at the district’s Human Resources website at The first meeting at BC was videotaped so it could be posted to the website, too.

Most members are filling out the plan election forms now so they have everything ready if the proposal is approved by CCA members since all forms must be turned in to Judy Marty, KCCD benefits specialist, by Oct. 1. If approved, the changes will start Nov. 1.

Faculty who are CCA members as of Sept. 14, 2016 will vote on the proposed MOU on Sept. 20-21. If you are interested in joining CCA, please sign up now so you can have a say in your health benefits.

Some SISC health benefits “extras”:

SISC offers these free benefits under our current self-funded plan and these will continue under plans in the proposed MOU. These free benefits include:

Anthem Mobile App: This is an easy way to keep track of your I.D. card, medical benefits, claims, costs, and find a doctor, urgent care, or emergency room using your mobile phone. The app is available for iPhones and Android smartphones and can be downloaded at the Apple store or at Google play.

Anthem App

Grand Rounds: This is a program that allows SISC members or a dependent to receive a free second opinion on a medical condition from top physicians throughout the United States by a review of medical records. “The service also gets you into the offices of top, in-network doctors for in-person visits,” according to the 2016-17 SISC Enrollment Guide. The guide recommends SISC members use Grand Rounds for second opinions when a doctor recommends surgery or other treatment; when they have been diagnosed with a new illness or their health condition changes; when they are not getting better from an illness or condition; or when they need a specialist or primary care doctor. Members can call Grand Rounds at 1-844-252-3056 or reach it online at

Grand Rounds

MDLive: This is a program that allows SISC PPO members to call a doctor 24/7 for health-related questions, 365 days a year, for a $5 per consultation fee. The SISC 2016-17 enrollment guide describes this as a way to reach a pediatrician in the middle of the night, save a trip to an emergency room or urgent care center, and receive a needed prescription via phone, online video, or secure e-mail. MDLive also has its own app. To access this service, PPO members need to register first. Call MDLIVE at 1-888-632-2738 or access the service online at


Identity and Credit Protection: SISC offers identity protection in its health plans as of Jan. 1, 2016 through AllClear ID, an identity protection company. According to the 2016-17 SISC Enrollment Guide, SISC members receive AllClear Identity Repair automatically to help you if you become a victim of identity theft. The guide also mentions AllClear Credit and Identity Theft Monitoring, also is offered, but members must enroll for this. For more information, call 1-855-277-9830 or go online at

All Clear


Important Dates for Fall

Oct. 1 is the deadline for Retirement and Early Notice Compensation. If you plan to retire at the end of Spring 2017 or Fall 2017 and you want to collect the early notice compensation, you must provide notification by this date. Here is what the contract says:

Article Eleven-Compensation and Benefits

R. Retirement and Early Notice Compensation:

11. Early notification of retirement enhances the colleges’ ability to plan. Therefore, an employee who submits to the College President by October 1 a letter of resignation for purposes of retirement to be effective at the end of the following spring or fall term shall be compensated two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) at the time of retirement.
12. Those employees providing early notice of retirement effective for the end of the fall semester must also submit, between July 1 and August 31 of the year they will retire, a second letter confirming their intent to do so, in order to receive the compensation.
Nov. 1 is the deadline to file documents and the request for salary advancement. Here is what the contract says:
Article 11, Section F10

10.  Documentation of completed courses must be attached to the “Request for Approval of Credit for Salary Advancement” form located on the District’s portal under the “Employee Forms” tab and filed in the District Office by November 1. No contract changes to a new salary class will be made for the current year after the last Board meeting in November. Applicable course work must be completed prior to the start of the fall semester unless prior approval is obtained from the Chancellor or designee.


Measure J Endorsed by KCCD CCA

Bakersfield College kicked off the new semester on Opening Day by identifying the bond measure, Measure J. This bond will go to a vote on November 8, and if 55% of the voters support it, then BC, PC, and CC can obtain much-needed funds for renovation, repairs, improvements, and new construction. (The Measure J bond at Cerro Coso will not include Inyo or Mono Counties.)

During our August 16 retreat, the KCCD executive board voted to endorse Measure J.

In a separate meeting with administration, who would like to create a connection with supporters of the measure, information was made available about what projects are planned for the 3 campuses:

Tom Burke (KCCD CFO) and Chris Hines (KCCD General Counsel) discussed the DOs and DON’Ts of discussing Measure J. As a general rule, do not use college equipment and the college setting to promote the Bond. These types of activities and discussions should be off campus and off company time.

If you would like an electronic listing of such DOs and DON’Ts, as well as general information about the bond, please contact Isabel Stierle at with a personal email address and she will forward information to you.

Additionally, if faculty would like to learn about ways to support the bond on their own time can go to

Bakersfield College will have an Open House (not a public event) on Sept 8, 6-8 pm. Pizza will be served. It will be held at Campaign Headquarters, 1675 Chester Ave.
(Chase Bldg, 1st floor – park in back of building.)


Your Faculty Association Campus Contacts

Bakersfield College

Isabel Stierle
BC chair 395-4234, SE 43B

Nick Strobel
BC representative 395-4526, MS 101A
(physical science/astronomy and planetarium director)

Ann Tatum
BC representative 395-4362, H 32

Pam Boyles
BC representative 395-4489, H 33

Gloria Dumler
CCA secretary 395-4542, H 44

Tom Greenwood
CCA chief negotiator 395-4229, MS 102

Michael Harvath
BC grievance officer 395-4458, H 35

Kathy Freeman
CCA president 395-4458, H 35
Kern chapter

Cerro Coso Community College

Joe Slovacek
CC Chair (760) 872-5318
ESCC Bishop 160
(760) 924-1603
Mammoth 225C

Barbara Walls
CC Adjunct Representative:
(760) 375-5875

Matt Crow
CC Negotiator (760) 384-6163

Mary O’Neal
KCCD CCA Vice President: (760) 384-6275
Chief Grievance Officer IWV MB 23
CC Grievance
(Child Development)

Porterville College

Ann Marie Wagstaff
PC Chair: (559) 791-2296

Terry Crewse
PC Representative: (559) 791-2480 SM-123D

Sherie Burgess
KCCD CCA Treasurer: (559) 791-2334 SM 112C


What Does CCA Do for You?

  1. We negotiate higher salaries, including higher starting salaries for new faculty. Starting salaries are the highest we’ve ever negotiated thanks to a new salary scale that was approved in our latest contract. Both CCA and district officials wanted to boost starting salaries to attract quality teachers and remain competitive with other districts. The new salary scale eliminated salary plateaus so faculty could earn higher salaries more quickly, and it also added some pay increases for those instructors already at the top of the salary scale.

  2. We negotiate health benefits for our faculty. Despite rising healthcare costs, CCA has worked with district officials to keep faculty health care costs low. Our medical and dental benefits are among some of the best in the state.

  3. We resolve grievances. We are advocates for our faculty, working with them confidentially to resolve work-related complaints. We believe in resolving our differences at the lowest possible level, which means we attempt to work out equitable solutions whenever possible. If the problem persists, a grievance may be filed, and we represent faculty as their advocates in the grievance process.

  4. We represent all faculty. CCA represents all full-time and part-time faculty at three colleges and satellite sites in the Kern Community College District. CCA officials attend numerous district and college committee meetings, including District Consultation Council and Board of Trustee meetings. We also work closely with the Academic Senate at each campus.

  5. We have strength in numbers. CCA is the sole bargaining agent for faculty. As part of the California Teachers Association and the National Education Association, our leaders work hard to negotiate good salaries, benefits, and better working conditions so we can continue to attract excellent faculty to our colleges.

  6. We communicate with you. CCA discusses faculty issues at monthly meetings, via e-mail, our website, and through an online newsletter, The Union Advance. We want you to know what is going on at your campus and at the district.

  7. We support CSEA. We work closely with the California School Employees Association, which represents classified employees, because we know that classified staff, faculty, and administrators must work together to encourage student success.


Know Your Benefits!

by Terry Crewse

Know your benefits. Visit and to learn about your membership benefits.

Do your loved ones know?

picture of family

According to Shirley Avila of the CTA’s Members Benefits Department, death benefits sometimes go unclaimed because intended beneficiaries are unaware that they exist. Make sure that your loved ones are aware of the CTA Death & Dismemberment Plan. This plan is provides a no-cost life insurance benefit for eligible members to assist their surviving loved ones in the event the unthinkable happens. Visit for more information. Also visit to learn about NEA’s Complementary Life Insurance which eligible CTA Members automatically receive. (Automatic benefit!)

Divorced and remarried?


Be sure to update your intended beneficiary information. If the information is not updated your ex (and not your current spouse) will be entitled to the CTA D&D Plan benefits.

Legal Trouble?

law books

Visit to learn about CTA/NEA Educator Employment Liability (EEL). (Automatic benefit!)

Did you know . . .

There is also a Vision Discount Program for retirement. (Visit .)

There’s an app for that! Search "cta member benefits" from your smart phone or tablet for this free app.

There are also numerous voluntary benefits through CTA-Endorsed Services including additional life insurance coverage, house and auto insurance, a Well-Baby Program, Financial Services through Provident Credit Union and Logix Federal Credit Union, a Bank of America Credit Card Program, Travel, Entertainment and Purchasing Discounts, and Car Rental through Enterprise (Account Number NACA068 - Company Name: CTA).

The same goes for the many NEA benefits but we are already too close to your computer’s memory limitations for them all to be listed here.


picture of woman reading magazine

You can also get two free magazine subscriptions. Visit to take advantage of this free offer.
(Automatic benefit!)


Know Your Weingarten Rights

Faculty Representation

One of our important rights as faculty is to have union representation when dealing with management. The 1975 U.S. Supreme Court decision in NLRB v. Weingarten, Inc. upheld the right to union representation. Article 14.B.3 of our collective bargaining agreement codifies our Weingarten Rights: All faculty have the right to CCA representation in meetings with College or District administration where faculty reasonably believe that such meetings may lead to disciplinary action. In order to invoke Weingarten Rights, the faculty must request them. If you are in a meeting with management and want representation, make sure you say something along the line of the following:

"If this discussion could in any way lead to my being disciplined or terminated, or affect my personal working conditions, I respectfully request that my union representative, officer, or steward be present at this meeting. Until my representative arrives, I choose not to participate in this discussion."

Below is a summary of Weingarten Rights from the CCA website:

Weingarten Rights

“If an employee has a reasonable belief that discipline or other adverse consequences may result from what he or she says, the employee has the right to request union representation. When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present management has three options:

  1. It can stop questioning until the representation arrives.
  2. It can call off the interview, or
  3. It can tell the employee that it will call off the interview unless the employee voluntarily gives up his/her rights to union representation (an option the employee should always refuse).

Your dean calls you into her office, shuts the door and asks you to sit down. She questions you about the way you handled a certain situation and begins to make accusations. You start to feel anxious and begin to wonder whether you could face disciplinary action.

Should you invoke your Weingarten Rights? The answer is "Yes, absolutely."

Based on the 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling of National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) vs. Weingarten, union employees are entitled to have union representation at meetings with supervisors that are investigatory or that could lead to disciplinary action. These rights have become known as the Weingarten Rights.

To invoke Weingarten Rights, a union member should say something like this: “If my response to your questions could lead to my being disciplined, I request union representation at this meeting, and that the meeting be postponed until my union representative arrives.” When the employee makes the request for a union representative to be present, management has two options:

  1. It can stop questioning until the representative arrives.
  2. It can call off the interview and proceed with the investigation without the
    benefit of the employee’s input.

Employers will often assert that the only role of a union representative in an investigatory interview is to observe the discussion. The Supreme Court, however, clearly acknowledges a representative’s right to assist and counsel workers during the interview. The Supreme Court has also ruled that before an investigatory interview, management must inform the union representative of the subject of the interrogation. The representative must also be allowed to speak privately with the employee before the interview and at any time during the interview. During the questioning, the representative can interrupt to clarify a question or to object to confusing or intimidating tactics. While the interview is in progress the representative cannot tell the employee what to say—but he or she may advise them on how to answer a question. At the end of the interview the union representative can add information to support the employee’s case.

Employees must demand their right to be represented in these investigatory interviews.

(Retrieved October 12, 2012, from CCA For Me,



Thank A Union This Labor Day

With The Middle Class At Risk, We Need Unions Now More Than Ever

Celebrating Labor Day is about more than just a three-day weekend. It’s a chance to reflect on the importance of unions and remember that we need them now more than ever.

Unions have been at the center of some of America’s most important fights for fair labor standards. Unions helped end child labor: the very first American Federation of Labor (AFL) national convention passed a resolution calling on states to “ban children under 14 from all gainful employment.” Labor unions negotiated for and won employer-provided health insurance coverage, one of the first great expansions of health care to all Americans. And unions didn’t just give us this Labor Day long weekend – they fought for labor standards that gave us ALL weekends.

Unions are central in providing good jobs and middle-class security to America workers. As unions go, so goes the middle class. The chart below spells that out pretty clearly: as union membership has declined, the middle-class share of income has also dropped:


These days, union membership is under attack from many who are either ignoring history and economic data, or only have the wealthiest Americans’ interests in mind. Anti-union policy groups and lawmakers in states across the country are attacking an already weakened labor movement by advancing so-called “right-to-work” laws, which inhibit workers from collectively bargaining for better wages, benefits and protections, under the guise of “choice.” These laws allow some workers to get the advantages of a union contract—such as higher wages, benefits, and protection against arbitrary discipline—without paying any fee associated with negotiating on these matters. This doesn’t result in more freedom, it results in lower incomes.

Wisconsin became the latest state to adopt a “right-to-work” law and take its working families in the wrong direction. Estimates by Marquette University economist Abdur Chowdhury suggest that Wisconsin workers and families will lose between $3.89 and $4.82 billion in direct income annually due to effects of the law. Recently, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) vetoed a bill passed by the Missouri legislature to enact a similar policy there.

The numbers are clear. The typical worker in a “right-to-work” state makes about $1,560 less per year than she would in a state without such a law. According to new research, women in union jobs earn $212 per week, or 30.9%, more than women in non-union jobs; men in union jobs earn $173 more per week than their non-union counterparts. Union women also face a smaller gender wage gap: They earn 88.7 cents for every dollar a man makes, compared to 78 cents across all workers.

BOTTOM LINE: If you care about a strong middle class in America, you should care about unions. The organizers that have been at the heart of many important labor reforms in the past have a vital role to play for America’s economy now and in the future, too. It’s on us to take every opportunity we can to remind people that unions work. So have a great long weekend, and make sure you remind your friends and loved ones: Enjoying your labor day weekend? Thank a union.

--Adapted from "With The Middle Class At Risk, We Need Unions Now More Than Ever," published Sept. 4, 2015 on