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August Newsletter, Issue #52

Issue # 52: August 3, 2023

Update from the President

Frankie Cocanour

HIghlights from GMM:

Where are we in the contract in terms of bargaining?

Article 1 – Not opened

Article 2 – In their court

Article 3 – In discussion

Article 4 – In discussion

Article 5 – Settled 

Article 6 – Not opened

Article 7 – Settled 

Article 8 – Not opened

Article 9 – Not opened

Article 10 – Not opened

Article 11 – Divided into 4 articles, counters
ready on New 11&13, close on New 12&14

Article 12 – In their court

Article 13 – Coming soon

Article 14 – Coming soon

Article 15 – Not opened

Article 16 – In their court

Article 17 – Coming soon

Article 18 – Coming soon

Article 19 – Not opened

Article 20 – Settled

Article 21 – Not opened

How do we win a good contract?

As Miche explained yesterday a good contract is not won at the table. A good contract is won by all of us being involved in the fight together. 

About 50% of our classified professionals are dues paying members. How does that affect us? That affects us in the way that the college knows that we don’t have enough members to have any power. So when we are at the table bargaining they know that not all of the classified professionals on this campus support the union. And if we threaten to strike, they know that the college will still be able to run without the union members. That means that the non union members would be doing all of our jobs if we had the ability to strike. Therefore they DON’T have to take us seriously and give us an equitable contract or wage increase. 

The college gave the Faculty a raise totaling $2,415,343. The college is prepared to offer Classified Professionals a total dollar amount of $517,400. Why did the Faculty get that much? Easy, they have over 90% of the Faculty employees signed up as dues paying members. That means that they can shut down almost every single class. They have power.

What can you do to help?

  • Talk about the contract to your coworkers.
  • Are your co-workers union members? We are all responsible for the health of our union.
  • Are your co-workers coming to bargaining sessions?
  • Are they here today?
  • Now is the time to start talking with one another about our needs, challenges, and strategy.
  • We do not win a good contract at the table – We win a good contract when we have high membership engagement and a credible strike threat.


Do you know how to build a frame for a large sign? We need volunteers to assist us with building large sign frames for both the front entrances of the college. We need frames built within the next few weeks. The union will cover the cost of all supplies.


Announcements and Reminders



Flex Spending Vendors

We are working through the process to find a flexible spending vendor. We have interviews of the companies scheduled in August, and we would like to know more about what you are looking for.  Email with questions or concerns you may have, that you would like us to pay extra attention to or ask when we are meeting with the vendors (these meetings are part of a College search, so we are only a part of this process).

WE HAVE NEW T-SHIRTS WE HAVE PLENTY OF EVERY SIZE. Please email me at to get yours! 

I buttons and also have window clings for you to flaunt your support for your union!

Newsletter Feedback

We want to hear from you! Please take a few minutes to give us your feedback on our Weekly Newsletter.  Newsletter Feedback Survey Goggle Form

Vice President of Labor Relations

Buck Potter (2022-2023 Term)

Good Thursday to my colleagues:

Moments in Union History

Wednesday, August 2nd, 1918 – Vancouver General Strike, Vancouver BC

Friday, August 4th, 1997 – Teamsters Strike the United Parcel Service (UPS)

Sunday, August 6th, 1919 – Actors Equity Association Month Long Strike, NYC

Not a lot to report on, other than we have some continued labor issues mainly revolving around leave requests not being responded to by Managers in Departments. 

Thank You to all who showed up and enjoyed Classified Appreciation Day, it was fun to connect and visit with a lot of you. Enjoy your College Closure Weekend, as we are winding down on them quickly.

Vice President of Organizing

Colin Vurek (2023-2024 Term)

Greetings members, 

BARGAINING CONTINUES Tuesday, August 8, 2023 AT 11:00AM! 

Members are welcomed to observe via Zoom with your microphones and cameras OFF, please. I will be running a Slack Chat to allow observers to chat with me and I can pass ideas to the team at the table. I will actually be at the table also but also in the chat and the Slack chat to answer questions you may have. Email me your private email address to: colinlccef@ so I can add you to the Slack chat. There is also a link below for anyone to RSVP on a Google form. You will find the link for the bargaining meeting below:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 961 8362 3044

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,96183623044# US (Houston)

+16694449171,,96183623044# US

Dial by your location

       +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

       +1 669 444 9171 US

       +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

Feel free to use the image below as your Zoom background. 


RSVP for bargaining Slack chat




Grievance Officer

Claudia Riumallo (2023-2024 Term)


Linda Reling (2022-2023 Term)

We had a pretty good turnout at our GMM, it was great to “see” you all!

Records Officer

Tracy Weimer (2022-2024 Term)

Communications Officer

Marleena Pearson (2022-2023 Term)

Crunching numbers and trying to find data points for bargaining. Interviewing Flex Spending companies next week, so get us any information you want to know or make sure is considered when picking a vendor. 

Everyone should have a moment or a skill that could greatly impact our union and our ability to get a fair contract. Please reach out to see if there is a project or committee you can work on for a short time, or a small task you can do on a regular basis. We need people and we have a LOT of work to do over the next couple months if we want to settle on a fair contract.

Membership Officer

Skye Nguyen (2022-2023 Term)

I am back and catching up to things I missed last week! I am excited to be in the next bargaining meeting and feel refreshed. More new members have joined and it sounded like the classified appreciation day went great!

Finally, if anyone ever wants to chat about how they can get involved with the union just tag me! 🙂

If there are any questions about membership or someone has interest in joining, they can reach out to me ( or fill out the online membership form!

Your Benefit Info of the Week

Did you know that members get some really useful benefits? This week we are highlighting discounts on computer purchases. Members can get a discount on select brands of computers. If you are needing to change your computer out, why not use a discount. More info about this discount on AFT’s website.

Find out what other benefits you are qualified for as union members by going to

Resources you may need!

Submit an Important Life Event for you or another member may have coming up.

Chief Labor Delegate

Mark Jordan (2022-2023 Term)

COPE Officer

Fiora Starchild-Wolf (2022-2023 Term)

A National Historic Moment, and Required Reading for Us All

Four Grand Jury Indictments of Former President Trump’s Actions After the 2020 Election

Hi All,

I don’t usually discuss national politics in this forum, as I prefer, as your COPE Officer, to keep things local and union focused here.

However, what has happened with the Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith’s indictment of our former President regarding his efforts to remain in power, by attempting to overturn election results, is critical and of importance to us all to understand and follow.  This isn’t about your political party preference.  It is about whether we continue to honor the peaceful transfer of power begun by George Washington when he willingly honored the US Constitution and refused a third Presidential term.  It is also about whether we honor election results–no matter who is the winner, and who we prefer.  The US Constitution is very clear on this, and established a method, in a world of kings and despots, by which our political leaders were chosen by the will of the people they govern.  

So, whether you voted for Joe Biden or for Donald Trump, or a “protest vote” for a third party candidate, or even if you didn’t vote at all, understanding what has happened and what is happening now is important.  

No matter what you read or listen to in national media,  you will be getting a “perspective” based on that outlet’s political viewpoint and integrity on giving the full story and facts, rather than opinion.  

The actual indictments are available here and are very clear and easy to read.  They were decided by a federal Grand Jury. Most witnesses were individuals who were in Donald Trump’s administration, working for him, as they had the most knowledge of what exactly was going on.  

Please read them: Four Grand Jury Indictments of Former President Trump’s Actions After the 2020 Election

Officer At Large

Katie Neall (2023-2024 Term)

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