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California School Employees Association Area C • Region 70 • Chapter 35 Monterey County Office of Education



Spring Issue 2021

IN OTTER WORDS Spring Issue 2021

Contents Chapter Leadership Message ......................................................... 2 2021 Chapter Meeting Schedule ................................................... 2 New Chapter 35 Website ................................................................. 3 Meet Your CSEA County Office of Education Committee, Area C Representative .................................................................... 4 Meet Your Chapter Treasurer ........................................................ 4

CSEA CHAPTER 35 EXECUTIVE BOARD Juanita Martinez Chapter President Cassandra Gaboni-Ayon 1st Vice President

Congratulations to Our Newly Jacketed Union Stewards! ............. 5 Know Your Contract ..................................................................... 5 Know Your Constitution & Bylaws .............................................. 6

Everett Sivils 2nd Vice President

CSEA’s 95th Annual Conference .................................................... 6 CSEA is Fighting for Your Job at All Levels................................. 7 CSEA Education Services .............................................................. 9 CSEA Retiree Unit ......................................................................... 9 MCOE Classified Professional Growth Program ......................... 10 2021 CSEA Paraeducator Conference ......................................... 11 Meet Your Chapter Secretary ...................................................... 11 Victory Club Members ................................................................ 12 CSEA PACE Committee Report .................................................. 13 Classified School Employee Week coming up May 16 – 22 ....... 15 Fridays with Ben............................................................................ 15 CalPERS Election ........................................................................ 15 CSEA 2020 Membership Profile ................................................... 17

Connie Espinoza Chapter Secretary Erin Samples Chapter Treasurer Irenea Herrera Communications Officer David Gaboni Chief Steward Becki Hadley Immediate Past President

Our mission: To improve the lives of our members, students and community. On the cover: Mesmerizing aerial view of the Salinas Valley surrounded by vast agricultural fields from the majestic Gabilan Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Image credit: CORPORATE+ 1

Chapter Leadership Message

We appreciate you! Your work is appreciated and essential to the success of our students, families and communities. We celebrate YOU this coming Classified School Employee Week, May 16 – 22 , 2021. Look out for CSEA goodies which will be delivered to each of your school sites! We are excited to share new media which will enhance communications to our members. There is a new Chapter 35 Website to debut very soon, and also a new digital bulletin board for CSEA News which is located just outside of the newly remodeled break room. We invite you to join us at the next chapter meeting! These monthly meetings provide members the opportunity to come together as a group, learn about their union, meet the leaders and fellow members, exchange ideas and make decisions, air gripes and have input, get updated on negotiations, events, socialize, and more. We hope to see you all there, on Zoom, of course! Lastly, let’s remember to take good care of ourselves so we can continue to take care of each other! In solidarity,

Juanita Cassandra Everett Connie Erin Irenea David Becki Note from the editor: This is YOUR news magazine! We want this media to be valuable for you, so we welcome your feedback and suggestions to help us improve. Questions? Email Irenea Herrera, CCO, at Mailing address: CSEA Chapter 35, P.O. Box 10433, Salinas, CA 93912 2

By Irenea Herrera, Chapter Communications Officer (CCO)

New Chapter 35 Website Your leadership team is thrilled to announce

are accessible by members only. Your personal email information should be on file with chapter leadership. All documents are located on a private Google drive, and no MCOE email addresses will be allowed on the membership distribution list. Please let us know how we are doing in communications. Email your CCO at We hope you will enjoy exploring your new website!

that our new chapter website will be launching soon! A video preview was presented at the chapter meeting on April 27. The website was designed with the membership in mind and was created to promote accountability and transparency of the work done by your union leadership through communications. The home page can be viewed by the public, but some links

CSEA E-Store Protect yourself, your family and your community, and wear a mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are two options to choose from for the CSEA “I’m In” masks. They are only $6 each, including tax and shipping! Go to to see images and place your order online. Enjoy shopping for a limited selection of additional CSEA branded items including pens, notebooks, hand sanitizer, a kooty key tool (pictured) and more! 3

Meet Your CSEA County Office of Education Committee, Area C Representative County Offices of Education provide unique and specialized services to students and communities across the state. The CSEA County Office of Education Committee researches, educates and publicizes the issues and concerns of county office of education chapters and their members. The committee serves as a liaison between county office of education classified employees and the CSEA Board of Directors, focusing on trends, policies and legislation that impact these members and ensuring their voices are heard. David Gaboni, MCOE Maintenance Custodian, serves as the CSEA COE Committee Chair and Area C Representative.

Want to make a difference? Become a volunteer! CSEA continues to thrive as a member-run union, democratically controlled by member volunteers in their local chapter and at the state level. Questions? Email David Gaboni at Thank you for your leadership David!

Meet Your Chapter Treasurer Name: Erin Samples Job Title: Accounting Specialist at MCOE CSEA Member Since: 2015 Union Positions Held: Chapter Treasurer Family: Married with a daughter and two grandchildren Interests and Hobbies: NASCAR baby! Love camping and reading! Other organizations you're involved with: MBCLC What are your goals as a Chapter Officer? To make sure our finances will allow us to do the things we need for our members How did you first get involved with CSEA? Started attending meetings to see what our dues were being used for Why did you run for office? With my accounting background I thought it would be a good fit Is there anything else CSEA members might be interested in knowing about you? I love being a part of CSEA and helping other members! Thank you for your leadership Erin! 4

Congratulations to Our Newly Jacketed Union Stewards!

Kristin Bitler

Ruby Gonzales

Two new union stewards recently earned

laws that protect our members. Oftentimes, Union Stewards are the first line of representation for members. They educate members on their rights and work to ensure respect and fairness in the workplace. Union Steward training dates are announced by the CSEA South Bay Field Office via email to members. To become a Certified Union Steward, training must be taken in sequential order, and all three levels must be completed within two years.

their steward jackets. Kristin Bitler, Application Support Specialist, Technology & Operations, and Ruby Gonzales, Administrative Assistant II, Early Learning Program, completed the CSEA Union Steward Program which provides stewards and interested members with comprehensive training on multiple subjects. Union Stewards work closely with elected chapter leaders and CSEA staff to protect employee rights under the negotiated contract and

Thank you for your leadership Kristin and Ruby!

Know Your Contract One of the most powerful things our union does is bargain with the district over everything from wages to workload. By speaking together with a strong, collective voice we're able to maintain our standards, defend our profession, and protect the learning environment for our students. The fruits of our work together are represented in the contract for classified employees. This publication can be found on the MCOE Happeo intranet site.

WEINGARTEN RIGHTS In unionized workplaces, employees have the right under the National Labor Relations Act to the presence of a union steward during any management inquiry that the employee reasonably believes may result in discipline. 5

Know Your Constitution & Bylaws How Does Chapter 35 Operate? Definition: The Constitution of an organization contains the fundamental principles which govern its operation. The Bylaws establish the specific rules of guidance by which the group is to function. You will find information on chapter dues, election procedures, officer duties, committees and more in our chapter C&Bs. This publication can be found on the MCOE Happeo intranet site. Want to make a difference? Become a volunteer! CSEA continues to thrive as a member-run union, democratically controlled by member volunteers in their local chapter. For questions, contact

CSEA's 95th Annual Conference "Essential, United and Strong" is this year’s conference theme. The CSEA Conference Committee and your Board of Directors have decided that this year’s annual conference, scheduled for July 2529, will be held virtually again because it won’t be safe enough to gather in person by July. The great news, however, is that more people will be able to attend and tap into the wide array of workshops and opportunities! Congratulations to the elected CH35 MCOE Conference Delegates: Ruby Gonzales (Newbie), Administrative Assistant II, Early Learning Program; Cassandra Gaboni Ayon, School Secretary, Special Education; David Kong, Business Operations Technician, Business Office; and Estela Rosales, Active Member. The following CH35 members also attend conference as a CSEA Chapter, Regional, or Area Representative: Juanita Martinez, Chapter President; Rebecca Hadley, Regional Representative; David Gaboni, CSEA COE Committee Representative; and David Kong, CSEA PACE Committee Representative. All CSEA members and visitors can also register for free at This link also includes general information on the conference. 6

CSEA is Fighting for Your Job at All Levels CSEA is fighting for your job at all levels –

File for unemployment

from the district office to the state capitol. During this year’s State Budget negotiations, CSEA played a significant role advocating for classified jobs and ensuring school funding remained at current levels. The 2020-21 budget includes "legislative intent language" that states all classified staff should be retained. Additionally, the budget prohibits layoffs and releases without cause for permanent and probationary employees in three sets of classifications: nutrition, transportation and custodial.

As soon as you receive a layoff notice, you should file an Unemployment Insurance claim with the California Employment Development Department ( The longer you wait to do this, the longer you'll go without a check. Start your job search If you are looking to continue your career in California's public schools, there's no better online resource than EdJoin (

While many districts are supportive of their classified staff, some districts with poor financial management or adversarial relationships with their employees have targeted classified jobs as a means of balancing longstanding deficits, using the current pandemic to justify everything from furloughs and salary freezes to benefits cuts and hiring freezes. And despite this year’s state budget that provides the same level of education funding as last year with the legislative intent language stating the contrary, some districts have already issued layoff notices.

Keep your health coverage Losing your health benefits can pose an even greater financial risk than losing your salary, especially during this pandemic. Uninsured medical costs can be devastating. However, if you lose your job or have your hours reduced, you don't have to lose your health benefits. Learn more about healthcare options in our “Surviving Layoffs” publication available on the CSEA website. Pursue education and training

So, what should you do if you get laid off? First of all, remember that losing your job through no fault of your own can be overwhelming, both financially and emotionally. However, there are some steps you can take to help ease the pain and get yourself back to work as quickly as possible, and CSEA would like to help.

Now's the best time to sharpen your skills and create new job opportunities through education and training opportunities. Whether it means going back to school full time or attending a local workshop, consider all of your options. Learn more about CSEA’s free college program and other education resources at

Know your rights If you are laid off, the district is required by law to give you 60 days’ notice. Districts must also bargain over the effects of a layoff or the decision to reduce hours. Many chapters have successfully negotiated layoff and reemployment provisions into their contracts. When your union is involved, it gives you a voice in determining your fate.

Take care of your finances Union Plus offers credit counseling services, budgeting advice and no-fee debt management and bankruptcy counseling benefits, as well as job loss grants and other helpful programs to assist eligible union members facing hardships. More information at 7

Union Plus:

They know that you would be there for them, just as they will be there for you.

Call upon your CSEA family

Learn More Get answers to frequently asked questions ( about layoffs and classified employees.

CSEA is a family that is stronger than the district's bottom line. If you need help, talk to members of your CSEA chapter and let them know that you need help.

Surviving Layoffs

Continue Your CSEA Membership

While CSEA membership after layoff is optional, many members choose to retain their union membership. Whether by retaining active membership, switching to inactive membership or joining the Retiree Unit, there are several ways to stay involved with CSEA and maintain your union benefits.

This publication provides dozens of resources for members who are laid off from their job. Learn about options for keeping health insurance, keeping your home, dealing with creditors and understanding your retirement income. For a copy of this publication contact

Options for CSEA membership after layoff:

Take advantage of your CSEA Member Benefits! Go to and explore the Union Plus Mortgage Program, Auto and Home insurance program, supplemental insurances, legal referral program, pet insurance, no-cost college programs for you and your family members, solar program, credit union offers, flower and gift discounts, banking payroll card, and more! 8

CSEA Education Services Do you or a family member want to become a teacher? Through the CSEA No-Cost College Programs you and your family members can obtain an Ohio teacher's license and then transfer that to a California Teaching Credential at no-cost for tuition, books, and student fees. CSEA offers over $110,000 per year in scholarships and grants for you and your dependents, and two college programs for you and your family members. Learn more at CSEA Free Associate Degree Program CSEA No-Cost Bachelor’s Degree Completion CSEA Member Career Grants CSEA Member Reimbursement Subsidies

Member Student Loan Reducer Program Grants CSEA Dependent Scholarships Union Plus Scholarships

CSEA Retiree Unit The CSEA Retiree Unit is working to protect your pension and other rights you will want to enjoy as a retiree. All former classified employees are welcome to join us at retirement and receive AD&D Insurance

Legal Referral

Free College


Humanitarian Fund

Event Invitations

Retirement Assistance


Join us! Membership is only $3 per month from your CalPERS check or $36 annually.

Got questions? Call CSEA Member Benefits (866) 487-2732

Discounts and Services


Grow Your Career! CSEA Education Services offers the following benefits to you and your family: CSEA Free Associate Degree Program w CSEA No-Cost Bachelor’s Degree Completion Program w CSEA Member Career Grants w CSEA Member Reimbursement Subsidies w Member Student Loan Reducer Program Grants CSEA Dependent Scholarships w Union Plus Scholarships

Classified Professional Growth Program Classified staff at MCOE can apply for professional growth awards. Turn your coursework units into cash! Details at MCOE-CSEA Agreement, Article 21 Professional Growth With CSEA offering free degree programs, and the opportunity for classified staff to earn professional growth awards, you could be getting paid to go to school!


2021 CSEA Paraeducator Conference More

than 2,300 people attended the virtual 2021 CSEA Paraeducator Conference on March 3-5. Classified school employees are essential, especially now in the online learning environment, and CSEA offered a unique opportunity for paraeducators to gain knowledge about the latest in industry standards from the safety of theirs homes! Attendees learned new skills online and at their own pace with a mixture of on demand videos, live sessions and workshops, and networking events to keep motivated and engaged! MCOE was able to send the following eight attendees this year: Cassandra Gaboni-Ayon Everett Sivils Fabiola Mejia

Isaac Godinez Lisa Harrison-Barker Maria Valenzuela

Susana Rodriguez Yuridia Alcantar

The event provided key takeaways and information that paraeducators will be putting into action with their students, school sites and union brothers and sisters.

Meet Your Chapter Secretary CSEA CH 35 would like to recognize our amazing Chapter Secretary, Connie Espinoza, for her nearly 16 years of service to CSEA members! Our success is a reflection of your hard work, and we are so grateful for your support to our chapter. Connie is the Executive Assistant in the Special Education Department at MCOE where she has worked for 35 years. We wish you well as you move onto the next exciting stage of your journey. Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!


CSEA Chapter 35 would like to recognize their Victory Club members! Your voluntary contributions will be used to advance the political interests of classified employees, public education, working families, and the labor movement by supporting federal, state and local candidates. Thank you! Maricela Acosta Amber Albertoni Cecilia Alonso Martinez Elizabeth Andrew Martha Avilez Leticia Baltazar Soledad Barrera Kristin Bitler Esmeralda Borrego Adilene Cabrera Elisa Camacho Gloria Camacho Kayla Camarillo Denise Castaneda Cristina Cazares Alberto Chipoco Mary Contreras Josephine Covarrubias Maricela Cruz Juan Denis-Contreras Norma Esparza Norma Esparza Connie Espinoza Carlos Esquivel Daniel Esquivel Elizabeth Fausto Angelica Flores Guadalupe Flores Sosa David Gaboni Cassandra Gaboni-Ayon Otilia Gamez Angelina Garcia

David Garcia Francisco Garcia Mayela Garcia Regina Garcia Kalah Gaskins Isaac Godinez Ruby Gonzales Marlene Gonzalez Desiree Gutierrez Oscar Gutierrez Rebecca Hadley Herman Hall Karina Hernandez Irenea Herrera Stacey Hibbs Sarah Jones Thai King David Kong Ruby Llamas Joel Magallon Carmen Martinez Juanita Martinez Mayra Martinez Ruby Martinez Sarah Maschmeyer Laurel Mcdaniel Ramiro Medina Claudia Melgoza Irene Melgoza Gloria Mendoza Misty Merrill Daniel Moreno

Adriana Morga Christian Murillo Olivia Ochoa Patricia Ochoa Nanci Pearce-Garcia Ruben Perez Roy Phillips Elizabeth Pizano Berenice Polanco Sonia Quiroz Ugendra Raj Jackie Rauimy Sandra Regalado Lee Richmond Mirna Riddell Jocelynn Rios Guadalupe Rodriguez Leticia Rojas Marisa Ruiz Erin Samples Bernardo Sanchez Jonathan Schneider Nancy Segobia Everett Sivils Claribel Solis Martin Soria Gabriela Soto Martha Tejeda De Hernandez Shawnell Thompson Erika Torres Alejandra Valadez

Not a member yet? Contact David Kong at for a Victory Club application.


CSEA PACE Committee Report By David Kong, Area C Representative, CSEA PACE Committee

April was a very busy month in Sacramento with many new bills being introduced. I was part of the Annual CSEA PACE and Legislative Committee Lobby Days. In teams, we met with State Legislators and advocated for CSEA sponsored bills and CSEA State Budget Priorities. My team met with the following legislators or their staff: Assembly Member Mark Stone AD 29 Senator Anna Caballero SD 12 Assembly Member Tim Grayson AD 14 Senator Nancy Skinner SD 9 Assembly Member Alex Lee AD 25 Senator Bill Dodd SD 3 Senator Mike McGuire SD 2 Senator Scott Wiener SD 2 Senator Dave Cortese SD 15 The CSEA Sponsored Bills were: • • • • • • •

Expand Transitional Kindergarten To conform the probationary period for non-merit college classified employees to 6 months like K-12 districts and merit college classified employees Fair Merit System Elections: Ensures secret ballot and fair election communications and procedures Extend Illness and Injury Leave to five months at full pay Have penalties if Employers do not provide new member and bargaining unit lists to chapters Allow retired classified members that go over their maximum hours to be treated on a case-by-case basis by CalPERS and avoid heavy fines and penalties for accounting error or misadvise Layoff Notice Parity. Treat classified employees like teachers and administrators and have the same March 15th layoff deadline. Classified Employees can now be laid off with 60 days notice or sometimes no notice at all

The CSEA Budget Priorities were: • • • • • •

Increase Custodial Personnel (200 million) Renew Classified School Employee Summer Assistance Program (60 million) Renew Professional Development for Classified Staff (100 million) Expand Transitional Kindergarten (500 million) Universal Breakfast/Lunch for all school children Consistent COLA of 3.84% for Special Education, Transportation, Child Nutrition, and Community Colleges

My team added stories to make these CSEA priorities more personal and human to the legislators. I was invited by members of Pleasanton Chapter 155 to speak on starting a Political Action Committee. I shared with them some CSEA publications, Victory Club information and answered their questions about political action 13

at the local and state level. I hope that they continue to meet and find some activities that can benefit their chapter and CSEA. April is also Victory Club month. I am encouraging my fellow members to join the Victory Club or add to their monthly donations thru pay check deductions. We need your monthly donations to protect our rights and retirement in Sacramento at the state level, elect classified friendly school board members, and pass bond measures at the local level. If you join or add funds by May 31, you can enter the Area C drawing for a $100 gift card. I am available if you want me to attend your chapter meetings to talk about Victory Club and how to ask for political action funding for your chapter. David Kong, MCOE Business Operations Technician, serves as the Area C Representative on the CSEA PACE Committee. Want to make a difference? Become a volunteer! CSEA continues to thrive as a member-run union, democratically controlled by member volunteers in their local chapter and at the state level. Questions? Email David Kong at


Classified School Employee Week coming up May 16-22 In 1986, California established the third full week of each May as Classified School Employee Week to recognize the vital contributions of classified employees after the idea was proposed at CSEA’s Annual Conference a couple years prior. We are pleased to announce that the theme and logo has been chosen for this year: “Essential Workers: Getting it Done.” In a typical year, classified employees are recognized as integral to the success of students and public education. From transporting and feeding students to teaching them vital skills and ensuring that schools and community colleges are operating smoothly, classified employees have earned respect as educators and partners in the education community. This year especially, classified employees have stepped up to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and shown how essential they are to the success of our students and schools. For more information, visit

Fridays With Ben Since the wake of COVID-19, Association President Ben Valdepeña has shared news and information with CSEA members in a weekly video address called “Fridays with Ben.” He shares information that is critical to our members to help them feel connected to their union. Check it out on CSEA YouTube Channel link at:

Support Jose Luis Pacheco for CalPERS board: There's an election for the CalPERS board this Fall, and we need to make sure classified staff continue to have a strong voice in the management and protection of their pensions. That is why the CSEA Board of Directors has endorsed one of our own, Jose Luis Pacheco, for the Member-at-Large Position B seat on the CalPERS board. Any active or retired CalPERS member can sign. Please contact Valarie Davis, Labor Relations Representative, at to find out how to sign Jose's petition and support his campaign. 15

CalPERS 2021 Member-at-Large Position B


Jose Luis Pacheco Jose Luis Pacheco is a second-generation union member who grew up in the farmlands of Watsonville where he learned from an early age the dignity in honest work and the grace in helping others. At the age of six, a cafeteria worker at his elementary school noticed he couldn’t afford to eat and let him clean dishes before school to earn his meals. Her kindness made an impression and has served to guide Jose throughout his life decisions ever since. When his mother retired as a career CWA member, Jose saw firsthand how a defined benefit pension has the power to allow dedicated workers to retire with the security and honor they deserve. Jose is dedicated to defending the defined benefit promise we have made to California workers and improving healthcare benefits. Jose is the Sharepoint developer and administrator for the San Jose Evergreen Community College District and serves as president of CSEA Chapter 363. He holds a degree in economics and certificate in advanced accounting proficiency from Santa Clara University and a certificate in alternative investments from the Harvard School of Business. He also holds a degree in biological sciences from Cal State East Bay and attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin. As a post-baccalaureate student at Georgetown University, he earned a coveted fellowship with the Washington Center where he prepared pension and public health policy papers for U.S. Senate committees. Jose currently serves as Vice President of the Santa Clara County Federal Credit Union and serves on the board of Latinas Contra Cancer, a non-profit dedicated to address breast cancer disparities in the Latina community. CalPERS_Pacheco_CSEA_0421

P.O. Box 1336 Campbell, CA 95009

(408) 643-0506

2020 Membership Profile

K–12 School Districts

Community County College Offices of Districts Education

Retired Members

Public Sector and Other













253,385 767

Number of employees represented by CSEA


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4,781 6,335 3,167


CSEA GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS OFFICE 1127 11th Street, Suite 346, Sacramento, CA 95814 (916) 444-0598 • as of 1/1/2020




Profile for cseachapter35

CSEA CH35 IN OTTER WORDS Spring Issue 2021  

California School Employees Association Area C Region 70 Chapter 35 Monterey County Office of Education IN OTTER NEWS Spring Issue 2021

CSEA CH35 IN OTTER WORDS Spring Issue 2021  

California School Employees Association Area C Region 70 Chapter 35 Monterey County Office of Education IN OTTER NEWS Spring Issue 2021


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