Michelle Woodrow, your Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement, called out Senate budget writers yesterday for refusing to fund our DOC contract and refusing to value the work of correctional employees.
Woodrow testified before the Senate Ways & Means Committee. Her testimony can be viewed below:
Good afternoon Chair Hill and committee members. My name is Michelle Woodrow and I am the Director of Corrections and Law Enforcement at Teamsters Local 117.
On behalf of the 5,700 Teamsters at DOC I must tell you we are infuriated. Our members provide a vital public safety service keeping their communities, your constituents, safe. During contract negotiations with the State it was proven that these workers were 20-45% behind their comparables and have lost 11% of their purchasing power since their last general increase in 2008. Purchasing power that negatively impacts small businesses in communities from Sequim, to Centralia, to Redmond where our members shop.
For this committee to completely ignore those facts by rejecting their contract and offering them a thousand dollars per year over the biennium is appalling. You should be ashamed of yourselves for the disrespect you’ve shown for all state workers. Workers who put their lives on the line every day to ensure we have safe communities to live in.
All state employee unions have engaged in collective bargaining with the state as established by law and this committees actions have completely undone the good faith bargaining process that these laws ensure.
Your proposed budget will cause damage to state workers, families, and services our state provides.
Thank you also to the powerful testimony of Nick Korzilius of the Washington Corrections Center before the committee as well. You can view Nick and Michelle's entire testimony here: