The California Education Code is a collection of state laws that grants many basic rights to classified employees.
These rights, enacted over the years with the help of CSEA's lobbying efforts, are the foundation upon which CSEA has built its negotiated collective bargaining agreements, or contracts. Additional rights, though not formally negotiated, may be granted by local school district policy or, in merit system school districts, by the rules of the personnel commission. Other public employees represented by CSEA, though not covered by the California Education Code, are protected by similar rights negotiated into a binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) between CSEA and their employer and through the Meyers-Milias Brown Act (MMBA).
The basic legal rights of public employees cannot be diminished by the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, MOU, local policy or personnel commission rule - they can only be improved. In addition, it is generally easier and quicker to enforce a collective bargaining agreement or MOUs than it is to enforce the law - especially if the grievance procedure in your contract includes a clause for binding arbitration by an impartial third party.
In all of our bargaining units, CSEA members negotiate collective bargaining agreements with the school district, community college, county office of education, and other public employers. These contracts cover hours, wages, and terms and conditions of employment. The body of law that spells out the rights of public employers and public employees in the workplace is immense, and even if it's not an integral part of your contract, it is still there protecting you.
In CSEA bargaining units, there are site representatives, union stewards, grievance committees, and officers within your chapter, as well as CSEA professional staff from your field office, to assist you in the enforcement of your rights.