This message was sent via email to Foothill-De Anza district employees by Chancellor Judy Miner

 Oct. 17, 2022

Latest News on Masking

Dear Colleagues,

I want to thank Faculty Association President Tim Shively and Grievance Officer Nicole Gray for meeting with Vice Chancellor of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity Ray Quan and me this morning to resolve concerns about the change in the district’s indoor masking requirements at the start of the fall quarter.

The discussion resulted in a proposal to refer future health and safety issues that potentially involve negotiable changes to working conditions to the Joint Labor Management Benefit Council (JLMBC) or to consider forming a new bargaining unit group with this charge. The JLMBC currently negotiates health benefits plans and contributions, and its membership includes representatives from each of the bargaining units, non-represented employee associations, and retirees. Council members will be asked to consider the proposal to add to the group’s responsibilities at the next meeting on Thursday, Oct. 20.

Although there has been a suggestion that my decision to loosen mask requirements overstepped the March 17, 2020, governing board resolution declaring a public health and safety emergency, in fact, I saw my authority as stemming from board policy, specifically BP 2430 Delegation of Authority to Chancellor. Nonetheless, in light of a request from the Faculty Association and in the spirit of moving us all forward to a place of mutual trust and understanding, I will ask the Board to rescind the emergency resolution at its Nov. 7 meeting.  I feel that this action is in keeping with the Santa Clara County Public Health Office's rescission of local health orders related to COVID-19 and the expiration of many of Governor Gavin Newsom's pandemic-related executive orders." 

I would like to once again express my regret for not engaging in a consultative process to revise the masking procedure before the start of fall quarter.  While I believe that many in the district community feel that it was right to base this decision on conforming to county guidelines, I recognize that by not consulting with the different constituency groups, it caused a negative impact on morale with some of you feeling unheard and distrustful of the district’s decision-making processes. Even though it is a difficult task to make changes during the summer when not all constituencies are adequately represented, I recognize that I should have allowed time for greater input prior to the enactment of changes.  

I want to once again affirm my commitment to participatory governance principles, because, as this morning's meeting with the Faculty Association shows, much can be accomplished when we take the time to listen to one another. Count on me to listen to you as we move forward.


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