Sierra College administrators may join Teamsters Union |

Sierra College administrators may join Teamsters Union

A group of administrators and supervisors in the Sierra Joint Community College District, apparently upset over the forced retirement of college President Kevin Ramirez, are seeking to join the Teamsters Union.

Teamsters Local 228 in Sacramento said it has filed a petition with the state Public Employee Relations Board to be recognized as the bargaining agent for administrative and supervisory personnel in the district.

“Recent changes and actions by some of the board of trustees are hostile to the management of the college,” the union said in a press release. “Therefore, it is very clear that the time has come to seek strong and professional representation.”

Vic Shader, secretary-treasurer of Local 228, did not respond to several messages seeking comment by The Union. The Teamsters union has a policy of not speaking to the press, according to an employee of the local who wouldn’t give her name.

Ron Martinez, dean of human resources for the college district, also didn’t respond to messages seeking comment.

Ramirez recently negotiated an early retirement after serving 12 years as president of Sierra College after Trustee Aaron Klein accused him of improperly shifting as much as $100,000 from the nonprofit Sierra College Foundation to the campaign for a bond issue.

Ramirez, the college, and the foundation’s former president denied the charge.

The Teamsters’ petition covers administrators and supervisors at the Rocklin, Nevada County, Roseville and Truckee campuses who don’t have formal contracts with the district. A spokeswoman said that description covers about 40 to 45 employees.

Les Chisholm, regional director of the state board in Sacramento, said Tuesday the petition triggers a process that can last from one month to several months before the representation issue is settled.

District officials will have to post a notice of the filing of the petition where it can be seen by affected employees for 15 working days.

Once the district provides a list of employees affected by the petition, the board will review documentation submitted by the union to determine if a majority of the employees support the effort.

If no other union petitions to represent the workers during the posting period and the Teamsters have the support of the majority of the workers, the district can challenge the makeup of the bargaining unit, Chisholm said.

Once the makeup of the bargaining unit is resolved, the district will have to grant recognition, he said.

Teachers and classified employees in the district are currently represented by unions, according to district spokeswoman Sue Michaels.

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