Our DOC bargaining team after Tuesday's negotiations session in Olympia. Our team met with the State on June 20 and June 21.
At the end of our negotiations session with the State over our DOC contract in Olympia on June 21, members of our bargaining team were disappointed and frustrated.
The State had just presented a punitive sick leave proposal that would effectively penalize members for calling in sick. They left a major, controversial issue for the final hour of the last day of our two-day session.
“I’ve been with the Department for 32 years, and it’s shameful what they proposed,” said Sergeant Michael Delgado of the Washington Corrections Center for Women.
Sgt. Delgado was our group’s designated spokesperson to address the State on this issue. With more seniority and experience than anyone at the bargaining table, including management, Sgt. Delgado made sure to let the State know what we thought of their proposal.
“I expected something more reasonable, more intelligent,” he said. “What was provided didn’t meet any of those definitions, not even close.”
Officer Scott Nettles, a 16-year member at the Washington State Penitentiary, concurred: “The State gave us their proposal on sick leave and I can honestly say I’ve never been more disappointed or annoyed by anything that they’ve proposed,” he said.
The State’s call for significant erosions to our sick leave protections, together with their proposal for a watered down version of our Correctional Employees Bill of Rights, left a sour taste.
“We attempted to be reasonable with them. We gave them several different versions of our Bill of Rights, and what they gave back isn’t even close. I think they need to pay attention to what we want, what we’re asking for, and what we need,” Nettles said.
In the next bargaining sessions, scheduled for July 7-8 at our Teamsters Headquarters in Tukwila, we anticipate continuing negotiations over language issues. We also plan to begin discussions with the State on economic issues.
The schedule for negotiations is as follows: July 7-8 (Teamster Headquarters) and July 20 and 21. If needed, mediation is scheduled for August 2, and we have tentatively scheduled an interest arbitration hearing for August 29-Sept. 2.
If you have questions, talk to your bargaining committee members or your Business Representative. You can also view short video statements from Sgt. Delgado and Officer Nettles on our Facebook page. Thank you for your service – please stay safe.