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Editorials

LOCAL 117 EDITORIALS

  • Improve staff safety in our state's prisons

The recent assault of two officers at the Monroe Correctional Complex is yet another reminder of the sacrifice our state’s correctional employees make to keep all of us safe. In the incident, an inmate blindsided an officer, punching him in the face, and then attacked a second officer who was providing backup. (Everett Herald, 5/18/16)

With a few notable exceptions, most of us will never set foot inside a prison. Of those who do, most are perpetrators of serious crimes paying their debt to society. But there is another group of individuals, often overlooked, who spend as much time behind prison walls as the most hardened criminals. They are the brave correctional employees who risk their lives to keep all of us safe. (Walla Walla UB, 5/8/16)

As we give thanks this holiday season, we must not forget to honor the sacrifice of the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to serve and protect our communities. While most of us will be spending the holidays with our families, thousands of correctional employees, police officers, military personnel, and other first responders throughout our region will miss celebrations with their loved ones. (Everett Herald, 12/19/15)

The recent brawl that took place at the Washington State Penitentiary is another reminder of the inherent dangers of working inside a prison. The fight broke out in the West Complex gym and involved 25 to 30 inmates. The officers on duty at the time were faced with the difficult task of restoring order while at the same time protecting themselves and other inmates. (Union Bulletin, 5/5/15)

Corrections workers protect us all although the work they do is hidden from the view and consciousness of most Washingtonians. This difficult work involves many sacrifices, so many that our state’s prison system has a serious problem recruiting and retaining qualified staff. (Olympian, 2/19/15)

When the magnitude of the Oso mudslide tragedy became apparent, a group of State correctional officers, of their own volition, answered the call for volunteers to help in the disaster relief effort. (Everett Herald, 2/19/15)

Imagine starting your workweek $1,000 in the hole. Before stepping into your office every Monday, you’re indebted to regulators, insurance companies, licensing agencies, and you’re subjected to a slew of taxes, penalties and fees. (Seattle Times, 6/17/13)

The City of Auburn doesn't know a good thing when it sees it. Like other municipalities across our region, the City is strapped for cash. But when its own employees make proposals in bargaining that would save the taxpayers money, the City balks. (Auburn Reporter, 5/19/13)

With seven kids under the age of 10, Joe Taufao has a lot of hungry mouths to feed. It’s always been a struggle to put enough food on the table, but especially now, with his wife laid off, and Joe and his co-workers on strike. (Real Change, 1/23/13)

In proposing massive cuts to critical public services and the elimination of 217 jobs over the next two years, Tacoma’s new city manager is taking the wrong approach to solving the city’s longstanding budget crisis. (Tacoma News Tribune, 10/5/12)

On the night of Feb. 4, four inmates at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla turned on officers who were trying to break up the fight. (Walla Walla Union Bulletin, 2/29/12)

At a time when prison safety and public safety are in the forefront of everyone’s mind, our State Legislature is proposing to put both at risk by slashing $90 million in funding to the Department of Corrections. (Tacoma News Tribune, 4/19/11)

To suggest, as Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy does in a recent Tacoma News Tribune article that unionized workers have drained County coffers and prospered in an economic recession is simply untrue. (Tacoma News Tribune, 12/2/10)

The state's plan to eliminate critical jobs and programs at the Department of Corrections will not only endanger the lives of the brave men and women who staff the adult prison system in the state of Washington, but will impede economic recovery and threaten the safety of our communities. (The Olympian, 11/1/10)

In the last few days, some have accused the Teamsters of opposing community volunteerism within the parks system in Pierce County. This accusation couldn’t be further from the truth, and it’s time to set the record straight. (Tacoma News Tribune, 8/4/10)

In its Sept. 8 editorial, the Tri-City Herald editorial board insists that state employees, including employees at the Department of Corrections, have not paid their fair share and should agree to the governor's recent proposal for massive increases on the workers' share of health care premiums. (Tri-City Herald, 9/8/10)

Our elected officials propose to balance the state budget on the backs of state employees even though state employees did not cause this budget deficit and are already underpaid, under-appreciated and overworked. (Tacoma News Tribune, 3/1/10)

The final report recommending the closure of facilities at the Department of Corrections (DOC) is shortsighted and should not sway the Governor’s office or the Washington State Legislature. (Walla Walla Union Bulletin, 11/10/09)

In the current debate about the future of King County, there has been a lot of finger-pointing over the county's budget crunch. (Seattle Times, 8/26/09)