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December Newsletter, Issue #70

Issue # 70: Dec 14, 2023

Update from the President

Frankie Cocanour

Strike History:

The first documented strike in North America was in 1619. It took place in Jamestown, Virginia, where Polish craftsmen went on strike. The Virginia Company sent the craftsmen to Jamestown to produce tar, pitch, and turpentine for shipbuilding.

John Smith first encountered and was impressed with the talents of Polish craftsmen when he traveled through Poland in 1602, fleeing the Turks who had enslaved him. The Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth was then the largest kingdom of Europe, covering the present territory of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Russia.

Early in Jamestown’s history, Smith and the Virginia Company began recruiting workers from mainland Europe to come to their new colony. The first of these foreign workers came with the second group of settlers who arrived in the colony in 1608; two of these workers would later save Smith’s life in an attack by Native Americans as noted in Smith’s writings.Contemporary historical accounts refer to this first group of foreign craftsmen as Dutchmen and Poles.

The foreign craftsmen began producing glassware, pitch, and potash soon after their arrival in 1608. These goods were used in the colony, but were also important as they were the first goods exported from the colony to Europe. Later more skilled workers arrived and continued to produce tar, resin, and turpentine, and clapboard and frankincense as well.

When the first elections in the colony were held in 1619, the colony did not allow any continental settlers to vote, including approximately 50 Polish craftsmen and their families. They were denied the right to vote on the grounds that they were not of English descent. The craftsmen in response, refused to work unless they were given the right to vote. On July 21, 1619, the Virginia Company met to discuss a negotiated settlement to the strike.  Under labor pressure, the Virginia Company’s Council reversed the decision to disenfranchise the craftsmen, and simultaneously struck an agreement with the craftsmen to apprentice young men from the colony. The company leaders feared not only the loss of income and labor, but that the colony might gain a reputation for not being welcoming to further settlers not of English descent, especially skilled craftsmen.

This shows that when something means so much to you, your family, and coworkers,  strikes work! 


Our first day of mediation will be on January 31st. It will be an all day bargaining session. Many of you might be asking what happens now. There is a lot of work that needs to be done between now and January 31st. We will be organizing during this time. Please contact Colin Vurek our VP of Organizing to see if there is something that you can help with. Please watch for updates from the CAT team for ways that you can help.

Happy Holidays!!!!

Holidays And Family

Poet: Catherine Pulsifer

The holidays come around each year,

A time when families gather near.

It’s a special time to bond and be,

Enjoying peace and harmony.

Holidays are full of joy and cheer,

As we look forward to them every year.

We take time away from our routines

A time to think of how much family means.

I would like to wish everyone Happy Holidays! We have so many people that celebrate different holidays this season and some that don’t celebrate holidays. I hope that the next few weeks bring everyone joy and happiness. And I hope that everyone is able to enjoy the New Year safely and to the fullest. 


I will be in Omaha Nebraska December 15th until a few days into the new year hanging out with my granddaughter. If you have anything emergent happening please reach out, there are officers here to assist. They all will be taking time off themselves, but  know that if there is something emergent happening we have a large team and we will be able to have someone come assist you. Claudia Riumallo is our Grievance Officer, Buck Potter is our VP of Labor until the New Year, then it will be Tami Hill, and we have Colin Vurek our VP of Organizing. Please include all of us in an email, so that we can be sure that you get assistance.

Announcements and Reminders


Contract Action Team

CAT meets every Wednesday at 12:00pm to 1:00pm. If you’d like to join and help out with actions, membership drives and be part of something big email me at:!

Are you a 1039/Part-time Classified Professional? We’d really like to hear from you as we enter mediation. Please scroll down to the Officer at Large update and fill out the very short survey that Chair Katie Neall created. The Officer at Large in the only 1039 on the LCCEF Executive Council. 

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 Google Form

Our newletter will be on break until January, so look for specific notices and announcements as needed until then. Have a great break and happy holidays.


The team is taking some time over the winter break to recharge and dig into some of the data. We are planning meetings and events for January, so look for updates. 

We will be returning to the Bargaining table for mediation on January 31st.

Subscribe to the LCCEF Calendar

Vice President of Labor Relations

Buck Potter (2022-2023 Term)

Vice President of Organizing

Colin Vurek (2023-2024 Term)

Our first day of mediation will be on January 31st. It will be an all day session. Mediation is closed to all non-bargaining team members. However, I will be giving periodic updates on the “general-members-observers”, so if you want to know how it’s going or what is really going on, tune in. If you aren’t on that channel email me at: Leave me your personal email and I’ll add you to the channel. Once I do that you will receive an email notifying you that you are in the group! Invite your co-workers and friends!   



Grievance Officer

Claudia Riumallo (2023-2024 Term)


Linda Reling (2022-2023 Term)

Records Officer

Tracy Weimer (2022-2024 Term)

Communications Officer

Marleena Pearson (2022-2023 Term)

Bargaining This is my final newsletter as Communications Officer, Claire will be stepping in for 2024 and will do an amazing job!

I will still be an active union member, on the Bargaining Team, CAT, and representation where I can… so I hope to still provide some updates or information via the newsletter in the future. 

I look forward to seeing everyone organizing in January!

Membership Officer

Skye Nguyen (2022-2023 Term)

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 Home and Auto Insurance! Things happen in life and you should be prepared. As an AFT member you have access to discounts on Farmers Home and Auto Insurance. See if you can save money by reviewing the details and see if you can start saving some extra money! 

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)

Officer At Large

Katie Neall (2023-2024 Term)

Greetings and Happy Holidays!

And thus we wrap up another term and head into the winter holidays with our union still hard at work actively bargaining for classified employees. Now is the time to double down as we move into mediation. Stand up for a fair contract NOW and show your support. Write the Board of Education a letter and tell them how you feel. Speak at the next Board of Education meeting, Thursday, January 4th, 2024. Attend a bargaining session. Bring a friend. Join a committee! Let’s roll into the New Year, united and strong in our efforts! 

Calling all C3s!

Hey Fellow C3s! Take a Quick Survey: Keeping in Touch 

Thank you for your hard work. See you all next year!

Stay connected to LCCEF


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