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September Special Edition Newsletter, Issue #59

Issue # 59: September 20, 2023

Update from the President

Frankie Cocanour


The college shared non-binding “supposals” that they asked us if they could present. The “supposals” that they offered didn’t give us more money, it just divided the small pie up in a different way that isn’t fair to all of the members. Instead of offering an extra COLA to the lowest earners in our contracted employee group they are offering a stipend that we can bargain for them to keep receiving during fiscal reopeners. The other piece that was brought up in the meeting was layoffs. The Board needs to approve the layoffs and possible department closures. We need to make sure that the board hears how this would affect students, the college, and our families. Threatening layoffs during bargaining was not just invented by the college. We have had layoffs threatened every year that the union has bargained. Other colleges threaten layoffs when they bargain with their unions, this is not the first time or the last time we will hear it.

Our duty as the bargaining team is to bargain for the best deal that we can get. There are many things that we have to take into account. The history of what we have been paid is a big one. We are always wanting comp and class studies done because we can look up similar or the same jobs at other colleges or government employers across the state and see that our rate of pay has fallen behind our counterparts. How did we get here? If you listen to former union officers that have bargained for raises it’s because they always have a budget crisis’ when it is time to bargain raises with the Classified Professionals. We are the employee group that gets stuck shouldering the weight of a bad budget and no money left in the coffers to support them giving us a real raise. This is always a hot topic with the bargaining team, we deal with the what if’s. What if we ask and receive a raise that will cause a lay-off? What if we ask for a raise that with inflation it will prevent someone from being able to pay rent, provide the same meals to their families? We don’t have the crystal ball to figure out the magical number that will prevent a lay-off and will also somehow not be the same rate as inflation, but still somehow cover the cost of inflation. This causes a lot of stress on the team members. Aside from wages and benefits we are also trying to find ways to make everyone’s work better. We hear from people across the campus and we know that there are so many issues. The number one issue is workload. With the college not filling positions as people retire or find work with other employers we have many people doing the work of at least 3 people instead of the usual 2 people. We say to do a reclass, but sometimes the work you are doing fits in your class, but it’s that you previously had 2 or more people doing the work instead of just you doing all the work. There are many issues with the old contract, not because it wasn’t written well, but because times and technology has changed. So you will see us sending proposals on articles that have nothing to do with wages, benefits, or comp and class. We won’t be able to fix the whole entire contract, but honestly in 5-10 years what we win this year will be out of date and probably need to be rewritten.

Also, if you see a member of the bargaining team reach out to them and talk to them. Everyone is really proud of the hard work they have done. The team is putting in time outside of work as a group and on their own in attempting to get us the best contract that we can get.

How can you help the bargaining team? Become a CAT Team member. The work can be as simple as designing a sign or helping to write a survey. Please reach out to Colin Vurek if you are interested in helping!

The Art of the Deal!! Supposal!

A supposal, they say! How exciting! No way!

It sounds like something that really might pay!

Is it bright, is it shiny, does it smell like fine wine-y?

Could it hold the promise of something quite fine-y?

A supposal, how grand! With the shake of a hand,

You can have a non-promise… but then where will you stand?

Are you crazy? Don’t think, say yes!

To what you say? Well, that’s anyone’s guess…

Oh you want it, you know it, just go ahead and show it!

But wait, just be careful, ‘cuz you really could blow it!

But wait here one second! What IS a supposal?

Is it like thorns on long stems without pretty pink rose-als?

Perhaps it’s something they picked right out their long nose-als?

When they say it out loud you can watch their nose grows-al!

And it smells like the jam found between all their toes-als!

Maybe it’s just a funny word? Like a bow tied round a turd?

I’d probably take a second look…Or this deal could leave you shook!

Make them open up their coffers!

Make them give you damn good offers!

But most of all, don’t falter and don’t fall

For a “deal” that’s really no deally-deal at all!

First, make sure it’s real, and you get what you feel!

Don’t fall for their spiel without true appeal!

At the end of the day you deserve something ideal!

Don’t say yes to a thingy that won’t make you squeal!

Don’t worry ‘bout being nice and genteel.

Make those suckers serve you that big fat full meal!

And THAT, my dear friends, is the TRUE art of the deal!

Board of Education:

The board would like to hear from you. The board would like to support us. Please feel free to email them. It doesn’t have to be a long email full of numbers and statistics. They just would like to hear how the cuts to benefits and the low COLA will affect you. They would also like to hear about how you feel about the contingency clause in their proposal for steps. That really puts horrible pressure on just a few employees. 

Also, please write to them and let them know what you think about department cuts and layoffs. Shane brought up possible layoffs if the board votes for them. I think it’s important that members share how it would affect the students, the college, and our families.

Austin Folnagy

Denise Diamond

Zachary Mulholland

Mike Eyster

Lisa Fragala

Kevin Alltucker

Steve Mital

IEC Appointment:

The LCCEF has an opportunity to appoint one more member to the IEC (member list). Ideally, they are looking for someone who has time to work in a subcommittee to write reports and join monthly meetings. No experience needed. The time commitment is from 2-4 hours / month depending upon their availability.

Please email me if you are interested.

General Membership Meeting:

Our next GMM is going to be tomorrow September 21st at 1:30 in building 19 room 226. We have some stuff planned and we will have snacks. We will send out the zoom link this afternoon.

Wear Red During Fall In-service Day!!! 

Please wear your red shirt to show the college that it is wrong for them to make our employee group the only one that takes the financial hit to balance the budget. We need to show them that we are strong and that we will not accept having our benefits cut and be given another small raise that won’t even cover the cuts to our benefits. 


Announcements and Reminders

Executive Officer Elections 2023

Elections will be coming up this fall and we hope you will consider running for an Executive Council position or joining our Election Committee. Here’s a look at those positions which are up for election this year:

  • Vice President of Labor Relations
  • Membership Officer
  • Communications Officer
  • Treasurer
  • Chief Labor Delegate
  • Cope Officer
  • Elections Committee Position

If you’re interested in learning more, please join us at the upcoming GMM to talk with the current Executive Council as well as Election Committee members to learn more about these roles.


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


The union bargaining team had conflicts that are impacting which days we can bargain on. As soon as we’ve found a different day, we will let you know ASAP. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. 

 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: 999 7579 3662

Dial by your location

+1 253 205 0468 US

+1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

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


RSVP for bargaining Slack chat

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)

Vice President of Organizing

Colin Vurek (2023-2024 Term)

Greetings members, 

We’ll see you all at the In-service Thursday, September 21, 2023! 

LCCEF will have a table in the hallway, please stop by to say HI! . Please stop by to say HI! Wear red, grab a sign and other union swag! 

Now for the ACTION tomorrow…

Are you willing to hold up a sign in solidarity at the In-service?

We are asking everyone to stand for a short period of time in silence holding up the new union sign. Get the details at our table or join in on CAT Bargaining Slack to stay in the loop.

*****The Contract Action Team (CAT) meets every Wednesday from 12:00pm to 1:00pm via Zoom. If you’d like to join and help out with actions, membership drives and be part of something big email me at:! If you are interested in attending see the link below:

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 978 4217 8269



Grievance Officer

Claudia Riumallo (2023-2024 Term)


Linda Reling (2022-2023 Term)

We would love to see you at our annual Membership Meeting tomorrow!

Records Officer

Tracy Weimer (2022-2024 Term)

Communications Officer

Marleena Pearson (2022-2023 Term)

See you tomorrow morning at the LCCEF table and in-service in the afternoon!

Membership Officer

Skye Nguyen (2022-2023 Term)

Hello all! You may have missed the last week or so but I wanted to make sure to get an update out and get back on track. 🙂 Bargaining has picked up quite a bit and we are getting into the details. We want to increase membership to increase our power as a union. If you or anyone you know has questions about membership please let me know! Hope to see you at the bargaining sessions and general membership meetings coming up.

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

This week we have a general plug for all of the benefits! You’d be surprised what benefits our union memberships get you. From travel, buying a house, insurance, and savings on day to day purchases there is a range of benefits to take advantage of. Get on the savings train today and check out what other benefits you are qualified for as a union member 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)

URGENT Election Issue!  


Oregon State Representative Paul Holvey is the target of a “hit campaign” to recall him.  Paul Holvey is endorsed by LCCEF and is backed by every union in Lane County represented by Labor Chapter as the consistently most labor friendly representative in the Oregon House.  Some of his recent legislative work included increasing Oregon’s minimum wage, and the paid sick leave initiative that went into law this year.  Paul Holvey was re-elected by 85% of the vote in his last campaign. 

Both LCCEF and LCCEA endorse him and back Paul Holvey. 


The issue being presented:  The UFCW (United Food and Commercial Workers), a member of the Teamsters, is a very well-funded union that, among other things, represents grocery workers and others who work in food/alcohol, etc.  In the past year or so, they have been nationally organizing from state to state for cannabis workers in states where cannabis has become legalized/decriminalized, etc.  In the last legislative session, Local 555 of the UFCW put forth a “cannabis workers” bill, similar to others UFCW nationally has run in other union-friendly states with Democratic state legislative majorities.  This bill  would have, among other things, eliminated cannabis employees’ right to strike, which Paul Holvey not only found likely to be challenged in federal courts–as it potentially violates federal labor laws–but he felt was not a good thing in general for labor.  

Paul requested a legal review prior to bringing the bill to the floor for a vote, and also suggested changes to language that the writers of the bill might use to eliminate the federal challenge he foresaw. (Paul told me this himself at a meeting of local union leaders at the Labor Chapter and at the Labor Day Picnic).  

The committee he moved the bill to was the one committee certain to remain active until the end of the legislative session, so he actually kept the bill alive.

Here is an excellent article with even more information from NW Labor Press:

Officer At Large

Katie Neall (2023-2024 Term)

If you have or will be negatively affected by the current wage and benefit bargaining, please reach out and tell me your story at: 

I want to hear from you! 

As we often hear, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. We must all come together now to speak up against the current administration’s unfair treatment of its classified workforce. If you don’t feel confident writing a letter yourself, but you want to contribute, reach out to me; I can help you. Tell me your experiences as a classified professional; together we can make our voices heard! 

Join us in person tomorrow for the GMM, 1:30 pm, Bldg19, Room 226, and wear RED. 

It’s time to make our presence known. We’re unified, and we are ready to rally.

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