SB 235

California community college classified staff are an integral segment of the community college system. These forces are the first and last line of operations of a community college, the mechanism that keep our community colleges working smoothly for students, faculty, staff and the community. With years of combined experience and training, the experience of classified staff can only be utilized properly by active input in the participatory governance process. Without avenues for participation, education, and input in college governance, holes will appear in the fabric that holds our organizations together. Without the participation and input of those in the rank and file, experience and progress is lost.

For more than ten years as many as 80 California community college classified staff groups have experimented with classified senates -- professional participatory groups representing classified staff in organizational governance. Classified senates have supported the separation of governance and collective bargaining. Many classified unions have insisted that such participatory groups are not legal representative organizations and interfere with collective bargaining. This battle of philosophies has resulted in the passage of a bill introduced by a statewide classified union that set back the progress classified senates have made in participatory governance. Why was this bill introduced? The answers are numerous and riddled with disagreement and confusion: to protect classified staff, to protect classified unions, to damage classified senates, to expand the role of collective bargaining, to grant the decision-making role for classified staff to the few? Why? We will explore these answers and the difficulties of implementing a confusing bill.

This resource packet has been developed to provide information and materials pertinent to the discussion – do classified senates have the right to exist and represent classified employees in governance? And now a new question has emerged: With the passage of SB 235, do unions have the right to force community college classified staff to expand the role of the exclusive representation to include organizational governance? These issues are addressed here.


Please contact your 4CS Area Representative for additional information or specific questions.