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2-4-2019 Weekly Communications Update


Early Separation Incentive

The college is offering an Early Separation Incentive to all 3 employee groups again this year.  College representatives are saying this will be the last time they offer this incentive. (Have we heard that before???)   

The deadline for handing in the paperwork is 3/1/2019, which is earlier in the year than it has been in the past.  We will post the official document as soon as we have it. HR will be sending out the “official notice” via Groupwise as well.  I would expect to see that no later than mid-week this week.


Weather Alerts

It’s that time of year again.  There have been a number of announcements about weather closures, but, just in case, here you go.

Lane Alert

Lane will always use Lane Alert to announce closures by 6:30am (for day shift) and 3:00pm (for evening shift).  LaneAlert notifications are sent via text and email, depending on your settings. Texting is the fastest way to be notified of an emergency. If you aren’t receiving LaneAlert texts or emails, login to myLane and click the Lane Alert Emergency Notification link in the Personal Information menu and update your contact information.

Flash Alert is another great way to be notified.  It is a free service and also sends out email or text alerts.  Flash Alert also works with many public school districts, so, if you have children you may want to subscribe to Flash Alert for those schools as well.  I have used Flash Alert for many years and have never received questionable messages. They do not share your information.


Food Services/CML/Titan Store

The next Board of Education meeting is on February 14th (Happy V-Day!).  We don’t know yet if the Board will be asked to make a decision about outsourcing at this meeting, or if that will be pushed to a later meeting.  We don’t even know if this will be on their agenda, but our guess is that it will.

Some restructuring of the Titan Bookstore has already taken place. Two contracted staff members have been reassigned to other areas of the college moving the IT Support and Finance support to more appropriate departments.  Centralized support departments is how the private sector increases profits. With 5 months left in the fiscal year, this will help.

Other changes, such as limiting hours of operation and a possible partnership/merging of Food Services and the Titan Bookstore, have also been discussed.  It looks like we may be moving in that direction but we are a long way from saving these services.

Please show up for the February 14th Board Meeting wearing your LCCEF t-shirts and/or buttons.   Even better, speak during the public comment section and continue to share your comments and ideas here.  The more support and information we provide the harder it is to make poor decisions.


Bargaining – Economic Re-opener

The college submitted their demand to bargain to LCCEF last Friday.  This was expected, but not for another month or so. They want to start the process earlier this year with the hopes that starting early will get the process finished on time.  We are not convinced since both HR and LCCEF Leadership have very heavy workloads, but it’s worth a shot.

This is an economic re-opener and is supposed to cover the next 2 years. Wages will be the biggest part of bargaining and our insurance contract expires October 1, 2019 so we will bargain the impact of that as well.  In addition to economics we plan to bargain the impact of the Janus decision fixing the language in our contract that refers to fair share employees. If you are interested in serving on the Bargaining Team or Bargaining Committee please reach out to us via our Interest Form.


Constitution Committee Update

The Constitution and By-Laws Committee next meets from noon to 1 pm Feb. 5 in 2-214. These meetings are open to any LCCEF member.

Ballots on the proposed amendment that would allow substantial revisions of the LCCEF Constitution and Bylaws as a whole instead of bits and pieces are due on Feb. 20. The revisions will be brought to the full membership in a separate vote at a later date (after the committee’s work is done. Here is the proposed amendment.

Want to know some of the constitutional changes that the committee has recommended so far? Visit our latest update here. Please note: these recommendations are not binding and the Feb. 20 vote is not related to the committee’s recommended changes. A vote on recommended changes will be held at a later date. The Feb. 20 vote would enable members to take a single vote (at a later date) on proposed constitutional and bylaws revisions.


Union Benefits – Discounts on almost everything

AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program

This program offers four 4-year, $8,000 post-secondary scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members, as well as 10 one-time $1,000 grants to AFT members. Grants can be used for continuing education and also for implementing programs or introducing tools in the classroom, workplace and/or community.

The 2019 application is now open for submissions through March 31, 2019

Letters of recommendation and school transcripts/reports are due by April 14, 2019.

For more information about the Porter Scholars Program see the links below. Contact if you have additional questions.

LCC Foundation Scholarships deadline is also approaching.

Application deadline for the 2019/2020 academic year is March 4, 2019.  More info here.


Upcoming and Current Work.

Many hands make light work!  We could REALLY use your help! To participate in any of these opportunities, or to find out more, click here.

  • Bargaining in Spring 2019
  • The Constitution and ByLaws rewrite
  • LCCEF Contract Committee (educate members and managers)
  • Member Organizer Institute
  • Officers in Training
  • Worksite Leaders
  • Grievance council

Our union by the numbers

  • Membership: 345 full members
  • Officers: 8 officer positions filled  / 1 position vacant (COPE Chair)
  • Labor Management: 36 active cases including 5 multiple member/group issues. 61 resolved since Jan 1, 2018
  • Currently 1 grievance
  • Helped place 15 members in new positions.


Contract Information in Plain English

11.7 Requests for Reclassification Review

(For employees hired into budgeted positions of .500 FTE or greater), Appendix F and Appendix G Incorporated

There is a fairly easy to follow COPPS Procedure that covers this, but here’s the plain English version…

If you believe your job’s duties and responsibilities have changed on a permanent basis or there is reason to question the appropriateness of your current job classification, you can request a classification review. (For more information about job classifications, see Employee Class Descriptions.)

To initiate a classification review, you must complete Part I of the Classification Review Form and fill out a new Classified Job Description Questionnaire (JDQ) for your position. You are allowed to do this once every 12 months on either April 1st, or October 1st.

Once the completed packet is received in Human Resources, a team of classification specialists will review it and conduct desk audit interviews, with the employee and management supervisor. A desk audit is a meeting with the HR team and not held at your desk.

If you do not agree with the findings, you may appeal the results of the classification review to the Joint Review Committee (JRC). This written appeal (forms available in Human Resources) must be submitted to Human Resources on a Classification Appeal Form within 10 days of receipt of the findings. The JRC consists of a standing committee of 6 employees, 3 classified and 3 managers.

Salary Guidelines: If a change to a job classification with a higher maximum salary rate is approved, the employee will move to the next higher dollar amount on the new pay level, plus one step.


  • You are a Level 9 Step 16 making $21.98/hour
  • Your position is re-classed and it is found that you should be at a Level 11
  • Your new pay level will be Level 11 Step 13 making $23.35/hour
  • This is calculated by looking at the next highest wage from your current wage on the new level ($22.38) and then jumping up one full step.
    • Remember that the pay scale is broken into ½ steps so moving 1 full steps means 2 jumps up on the scale.


Fitness & Happiness

Wendy Simmons, Lane’s Wellness Program Director, has agreed to allow the LCCEF to include her Happiness messages in our weekly updates.  Thank you Wendy!

This week we will be learning ways to manage and cope with stress. Did you know that stress has been called the nation’s number one health problem? It is estimated that 75-90% of all visits to physicians are due to stress-related problems (BACCHUS Network, 2011).

Challenge #1

Try one of the following short-term techniques to help with your stress:

  1. Get away from it for a while-take a short break if you are feeling overwhelmed with the task or situation. This way you will come back relaxed, refreshed, and ready to attack the problem. Do whatever works best for you. Examples: take a short walk, listen to your favorite song, call a friend.
  2. Make a plan or list- usually when we feel overwhelmed it is because there seems to be so many things to do. So write them all down. Make a list of the tasks that have to be completed. From this list, make a realistic plan and prioritize your tasks.
  3. Ask for help- sometimes it helps to just talk to someone about feeling stressed. Remember, it is okay to ask for help and others are more than likely to want to help out.
  4. Practice relaxation techniques- slow, deep breathing will help you to relax by bringing your heart rates back to normal. You can try meditating or counting backwards or even visualize yourself accomplishing the task at hand. There’s a sample video below.
  5. Breathe deep- taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol levels, which can help reduce stress and anxiety. Studies suggest deep breathing can also cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. See below for ideas.
  6. Exercise- a post-exercise endorphin rush is one way to sharply cut stress.
  7. Choose another way that works for you and/or you can get more ideas from (5 minute video on 17 ways to relieve stress)

OR Challenge #2

Figure out your relationship between sleep and stress. How much sleep does the average person need? The answer is enough to feel rested. The true average is seven to nine hours.

Try to incorporate one of the following sleeping tips and see if it helps you manage your stress.

If possible, only use the bedroom for activities such as sleep, meditation, and sex. Avoid other activities, such as studying or eating in bed.

  1. If you tend to worry a lot, write your concerns on paper. Such a list can help prevent you from thinking about your problems again and again at night.
  2. Try waking up at roughly the same time each morning and going to bed at the same time each night. This helps your body establish a consistent sleep/wake cycle.
  3. Don’t try too hard to go to sleep! If you have been trying to sleep for 30 minutes or more and are still wide awake, do something else until you get tired. (e.g. reading a boring book)

Supplemental videos to explore:

If you would like to report in that you completed last week’s challenge, feel free to do so. I will check in at the end of the challenge so you are welcome to do it then instead. If you had any revelations or stories you would like to share, I would love to hear about those. Also know that you don’t need to share, do what works for you.

Thank you and have a low stress week,



Useful Links

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1-22-2019 Constitution Committee Meeting Notes

The Constitution Committee meets biweekly from noon to 1 p.m. on Tuesdays in Building 2, Room 214. Any LCCEF member is welcome to attend to provide input on potential revisions to the constitution and by-laws. Our next meeting is Feb. 5.

At our recent Jan. 22 meeting, the committee supported the following changes. The committee’s decisions are not binding and are recommendations for revisions to the Constitution. The current ballot measure due by Feb. 20 is not a vote for any specific changes to the Constitution, but enables a revision process. If the membership approves the current ballot measure, any changes to the Constitution will be presented in a separate vote.

Recommendations supported by committee:

  • Eliminate one of the two officer-at-large positions
    • Rationale: There are currently two officer-at-large positions for part-time employees. Both positions are unfilled. Some members have questioned why two positions are explicitly designated for part-time employees and suggested making only one for part-time employees. The at-large position is the only position with a status requirement. For example, any member, whether part- or full-time is eligible to run for the other officer positions.
  • Add a second vice president position
    • Rationale:  Two vice president positions could help better support the work of labor relations and membership relations.
  • Reduce eligibility requirement to be an officer to 90 days
    • Rationale:  The current eligibility requirement is for a candidate to be a member for a least year. This limits opportunities for involvement from new members.
  • Changing titles of officers
    • Rationale: To eliminate “secretary” and provide titles that more accurately describe role and make “officer” roles, and Executive Council roles more clear. For instance: grievance officer and COPE officer instead of grievance chair, COPE chair; records officer instead of recording secretary; communications officer instead of  corresponding secretary

Discussed but not yet approved by committee:

  • Staggering election year cycles
    • Rationale: Replacing all officers in the same election could present incontinuity for the organization. The suggestion was made to stagger officer elections to ensure that there is some institutional/organizational knowledge to provide continuity. This change would not impact the terms of the current officers.

What happens next?

The general membership will vote by Feb. 20 on an amendment that would allow substantial revisions to the Constitution as a whole instead of in bits and pieces.  The membership will then vote later to accept or deny the full changes to the Constitution and ByLaws. Here is the proposed amendment.


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Upcoming Election: Amendment of the Constitution and Bylaws

Greetings LCCEF Membership,
I am writing to you on behalf of the LCCEF Elections Committee. This is to notify the membership of an upcoming vote to amend the Constitution and Bylaws of the LCCEF. Here is a quote from the Chair of the Constitution Committee for additional information:
“The Constitution Committee proposes to amend each of the Constitution and Bylaws in order to allow for a revision process, in addition to the amendment process. We are advocating for this amendment because we’d like to
  • reduce the number of elections required to correct multiple typographic errors in the current constitution and bylaws,
  • simplify the process for modifying large sections of the constitution and bylaws,
  • allow for a single, comprehensive constitution and bylaws review

The proposed changes to both the constitution and bylaws can be found in the attached PDF.”

As in the past we are voting by Absentee Ballot. All members in Good Standing shall receive a Ballot via Lane campus mail. Ballots will be mailed on or before January 28, 2019.
To ensure delivery before the close of the election, we highly recommend that you hand deliver them to a drop box at one of the locations below. For those not on the Main Campus use of Lane mail may be necessary. We recommend you send your ballot back as soon as possible.
Ballots are due by February 20, 2019 at 1:00 PM. Ballot boxes will be available at these locations:
• IT HelpDesk, 02-100A/114
• Lobby of bldg 30
• Mary Spilde Center (DCA)
If you have questions regarding the rewrite process, please contact Kyle Schmidt, Constitution Committee Chair. You can also find information here and on the Constitution Committee page. For any questions regarding the election process, please contact Phil Powers, Election Committee.
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Constitution/By-laws Committee Update

The Constitution/By-laws Committee began meeting in August and in recent months has met bi-weekly to advance the review of the LCCEF Constitution and By-Laws.

Many of the proposed changes have been grammatical and for clarity. Some changes have been proposed to enhance the efficiency of the organization, such as the proposed creation of new officer positions.

Examples of ongoing and upcoming discussion questions:

  • Should we split the duties of the vice president into two roles: organizing/membership and labor relations
  • Should we change to length of time someone must be a member before eligible for office from one year to 90 days or shorter.
  • Should we  change to extend authority to call executive council meetings to council, rather than solely the authority of president.
  • Elimination of one of the two officer at large positions.
  • What should the LCCEF’s role be in political organizing?
  • Should the Constitution Committee be eliminated to create a parliamentarian position to empanel a committee as needed for constitution/by-laws review?
  • Should the outgoing president remain as a voting Executive Committee member for 1 year?
  • Should we stage the terms of Officers so it there will always be officers on the Executive Council that have some experience?
  • Do we need a Policy Manual?

Want to see the proposed changes and other committee questions? Log into your Lane Google account and visit:

Want to read the LCCEF Constitution and By-Laws? View them here:

Want to propose changes or ask questions? Send to:  

Want to get involved and attend the next Constitution Committee meeting? Join us Noon to 1 p.m., Jan. 22 in Building 2, Room 214

What’s next? A general membership vote is needed to make any changes to the constitution or by-laws. Look for a separate email communication from the elections committee about a proposed amendment that will facilitate the revision process.

Committee members:

Kyle Schmidt, Chair
Elizabeth Andrade
Kenny Ascheri
Alen Bahret
Rosa Maria Banuelos-Uribe
Zhasmene Bowles
Matt Danskine
Robin Geyer
Nikki Li
Casandra Rhay
Linda Schantol
Marsha Sills