Suspended Operations Explained

Over the past couple of weeks, meteorologists and psychics have been predicting blizzards, another ice age, attacks from terrifying monsters and even the end of days!

The last few may have been complete fabrications, but there have indeed been some recent weather scares leading to discussions about suspended operations.

What would this mean and how would this occur?

Regarding inclement weather and campus closure, each Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) has its own articles to reference, and all other employees should look to HR – 28, “Suspended Operations – Employee’s Leave Option.” It is certainly important to review the guidelines specific to you, but in the meantime the following summary should serve you well:

Notifications of campus closure (classes canceled, but the College is open for business) or suspended operations (campus closed to students and non-essential personnel*) will be made via the campus switchboard, website, and our Green River Safety Alert system.

– Outlined in Article 6.4 “Emergency Weather Leave,” of the United Faculty CBA.
– Faculty may take up to 2 days (emergency weather leave) per year, non-accumulative.
– Additional days shall be made up through work agreed upon by the faculty member and their administrator, or through a prorated deduction in annual base pay.

Classified Represented:
– Outlined in Article 5.7 “Suspended Operations,” of the Classified Union CBA.
– After reporting to work, such employees will be compensated for hours worked on the first day of suspended operations.
– Those not required to work may request (and may be granted) a schedule change during the workweek.
– Those who are required to work will receive time and a half for work during the suspended operations.

Classified Non-represented, Exempt and Administrative Employees:
– Those scheduled/required to work, including employees dismissed during their shift, have no loss of pay on the first day.
– For the rest of the closure, such employees have several options:

  • Compensatory time (for overtime eligible)
  • Vacation leave
  • Personal Day
  • Sick leave (up to 3 days may be used)
  • Leave without pay (for overtime eligible)
  • Working remote or schedule changes must be agreed upon with the employee’s supervisor.

– Employees will receive regular pay for work during the suspended operation.

Any further questions? Please contact the Office of Human Resources.

*Essential personnel already know who they are, so if you are thinking, “I’m essential, too!” – of course you are…just not for the purpose of shutting down the campus.


Campus Security Authorities (CSA) Training

Posted on behalf of Kirk Walker, Training Manager

Through the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or simply Clery Act, institutions of higher education that receive federal financial aid (that means us) are tasked with reporting and providing crime and safety information. This keeps students and the rest of the College community informed of dangers on campus.badge

Green River College takes safety awareness very seriously and recently invited Major Steve Rittereiser, Commander of Police at the University of Washington, to come teach our Campus Security Authorities (CSA’s) about a range of Clery Act related topics:

  • Purpose of the Clery Act – What does it mean to Green River?
  • Who are “Campus Security Authorities”? – At institutions of higher education these are officials who have responsibility for student and campus activities, security personnel and individuals/organizations who receive reports of criminal activity.
  • Identification of Campus Security Authorities
    • The Campus Security Authorities at GRC are generally the directors, managers and deans of the College. If you are a CSA, the Office of Human Resources has already informed you.
  • Reportable Geography – What area are we responsible for reporting on?
  • Crime Definitions – What constitutes a crime or security concern on campus?
  • Timely Warning Notices – What is our process for notifying campus of a threat?
  • Daily Crime Log – How do we maintain our records?

Training Green River’s leadership on the Clery Act and campus security ensures that we maintain compliance and, more importantly, that our College and community remains safe and secure.

Have questions about future CSA training? Email Kirk Walker, Training Manager.

Sexual Assault Survivors’ Bill of Rights

Posted on behalf of Chernenko Wheatley, Employee & Labor Relations Manager

pres-obamaPresident Barack Obama signed the Survivors Bill of Rights Act into law on Friday, October 7, 2016, after it was passed by Congress on Wednesday, October 5, 2016.

Amanda Nguyen, a 24 year old White House Deputy Liaison for the US State Department and survivor of sexual assault, founded the sexual assault survivor advocacy organization Rise and not only helped draft this federal bill and lobbied for it, but also helped draft a similar bill for Massachusetts.

The bill was drafted in support of providing sexual assault survivors with specific rights (specifically those who are survivors of rape) in terms of law enforcement, counseling and how rape kits are handled.

The new legislation means that survivors will have access to sexual assault counselors and more information about their rights and will be able to track when and where their rape kit is tested by law enforcement, if they choose to submit one.

Survivors can no longer be charged fees or prevented from getting a rape-kit examination, even if they have not yet decided to file a police report. The kits must be preserved, at no cost to the survivor, until the applicable statute of limitations runs out. Also, survivors will now be able to request that authorities notify them before destroying their rape kits, and if they choose to keep the evidence, it has to be preserved. Survivors will also have the right to be notified of DNA-profile matches if a hit comes up on the kit, toxicology report, or other information collected as part of a medical forensic examination (if such disclosure would not impede or compromise an ongoing investigation).

Fire Prevention Week

Posted on behalf of Chernenko Wheatley, Employee & Labor Relations Manager 

Fire safety isn’t just for houses and businesses. Colleges and universities should also take fire prevention seriously. Here are some statistics from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA):warningfire

  • From January to May 2015, there were 85 fatal fires in residence halls, fraternities and sororities, and off-campus housing, resulting in 118 fatalities.
  • Sprinkler systems were not present in any of the 85 fatal campus fires.
  • Smoking was the leading cause of fatal campus fires, accounting for 29% of them. Other leading causes included cooking, arson, unattended candles, and overloaded extension cords, power strips, and outlets.
  • Alcohol was a factor in 76% of fatal campus fires.
  • In 58% of these fires, the designated smoke alarms were either missing or inoperable, because they were disconnected or their batteries had been removed.
  • 94% of fatal college or university fires occurred off-campus.
  • 70% of the fatal fires occurred Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. 73% of the fatal fires occurred between midnight and 6:00 am.
  • 13% of fatal fires in campus housing occur in April, making it the peak month for campus fire fatalities.

****Samsung on Monday October 11, 2016 advised all customers to stop using the Galaxy Note 7 after it said it had received 92 reports of batteries in the smartphone overheating in the U.S., resulting in 26 instances of burns and 55 of property damage.


Concerning Green River College, each building has a fire alarm system with a systems panel indicating if a smoke detector is not working or if smoke is present. Campus Safety monitors the panels with a direct line to the fire department, and is ultimately responsible for system tests involving alarms and notices. Additionally, Green River’s Facilities Department performs necessary repair work, and conducts panel tests after any maintenance occurs.

The Red Flag System Explained


Situations occur on campus, which may be suspicious or potentially harmful to members of the college community or its property. Often it is unclear whether or not these situations warrant a call to the police.

The Red Flag Information Reporting System exists for these cases.

It allows faculty, staff and students to “send up a red flag” for “anything that is witnessed, observed, or participated in.”

Green River’s Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT) will receive the notice, assess the situation and take appropriate action.

Remember, this system does NOT serve as a replacement for emergency notification systems. In a true emergency, please call 9-1-1 from any phone on campus before you submit a red flag.

To submit a red flag, go the main webpage:

  1. Go to Home » About Us » Campus Safety » Red Flag Information Reporting System
  2. Click on the red flag icon: redflag-icon
  3. Fill in the details of the incident to the best of your ability. The right side of the page contains useful hints regarding the information the system is looking for.
  4. Follow the directions at the bottom in order to provide attachments, information about the parties involved, and your own contact information.
  5. You can also log back in to update a red flag that you previously submitted in the event that the situation has changed.

*Again, this system is NOT a replacement for dialing 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency. If you are unsure, feel free to contact campus safety at extension 3350 for further guidance.


Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Courtesy of US HealthWorks

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Reduce the Risk!

Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) is a painful and progressive condition of the hand and arm. It causes numbness, tingling and other symptoms as a result of a pinched nerve in the wrist. A number of factors contribute to CTS, which may include anatomy of the wrist, repetitive motion and certain underlying health problems.

If you spend a lot of time in front of a computer, you have a greater chance of getting CTS. Fortunately, there are specific hand and wrist exercises that can reduce the risk of being afflicted by this syndrome.


Do these exercises every hour. Exercising, taking breaks and stretching can minimize the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.


  • Finger Push Ups: Firmly press each fingertip to its counterpart on the other hand. Spread fingers as far apart as possible. “Steeple” the fingers by separating your palms while keeping your fingertips together.
  • Hand Bends: Hold one hand in front of you with your elbow straight and fingers extended. Use the other hand to apply pressure to your outstretched hand until the wrist and fingers are pointing down at the floor. Hold that position for 20 seconds.
  • The Shake: Shake your hands vigorously as if you are trying to dry them off. This will help to prevent cramping.

Learn More

Source: 3 Wrist Exercises to Prevent Carpal Tunnel,

Bridges: Building a Supportive Community

The Elimination of Campus Sexual Violence Act (Campus SaVE Act) — passed as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 — requires training that covers state law definitions of sexual assault, stalking, and relationship violence for faculty and staff.

GRC is using the Bridges Training program (follow the link to access the training as often as you like) to cover this information in detail as well as explain consent and explore its many complexities in sexual assault cases.

This is an ongoing campus wide coordinated effort, and we were proud to see such a strong presence from various departments throughout the training so far. (Over the three days of training, over 150 employees successfully completed the training.)

As a reminder, our Title IX coordinators are:

  • Student related concerns: Vice President of Student Affairs, Deborah Casey
  • Faculty & Staff concerns: Vice President of Human Resources and Legal Affairs, Marshall Sampson

Additionally, the following individuals are our Confidential Counselors and are all located in the Student Affairs and Success Building:

  • Liz Becker
  • Devon Klein
  • Min Lee Booth

Thank you again to everyone who made an effort to attend and complete the training! If you weren’t able to attend, please don’t worry as we will be sending out updates for new time slots in the coming months. Please keep in mind that this is mandatory training as well as an important topic.