Our DOC bargaining committee met with the State on May 2 to begin negotiations over our 2019-2021 contract.

Our outstanding bargaining team of 21 rank-and-file DOC Teamsters gathered yesterday at the union hall in Tukwila to finalize our proposals for upcoming contract negotiations.

“We looked over the contract and determined what articles we would open based on the wishes of the members,” said Becky HaneyNixon, a classification counselor at the Washington State Penitentiary.

“I think we’re going to have really good representation,” added Lynn Kunkle, a registered nurse at the Monroe Correctional Complex. “We’re not here for one, we’re here for all.”   

Sergeants, officers, nurses, counselors, cooks, a mechanic, a pharmacy technician, and a ferry operator will join union representatives and our union’s legal counsel to negotiate with the State over your 2019-2021 DOC contract.

Negotiations officially kicked off today in Tukwila and are expected to run through the summer.  In today’s session, we made opening statements, established ground rules, and began the process of exchanging proposals. The session was led by Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy.

Kunkle and HaneyNixon laid out the primary challenge we’re facing in these negotiations. “The State assumes that Janus is going to come down and give them a whole lot more power. I think they’re going to try to utilize that,” HaneyNixon said.

"We need to stick together, stand our ground, and be supportive of each other."

“We need to stick together, stand our ground, and be supportive of each other,” Kunkle said.

Both Kunkle and HaneyNixon have been instrumental in encouraging members to sign commitment cards to show the State that we are united and won’t let Janus or wealthy special interest groups like the Freedom Foundation weaken our union.

To strengthen our position in bargaining and stand with your co-workers, please take a minute to sign our online commitment card at

The next DOC negotiations are scheduled for May 23-24. You can view all of the dates for negotiations as well as dates for mediation and interest arbitration on our union's website. All negotiation sessions will take place at our Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila.

You can view a short video update from today’s bargaining from Shop Steward Shawn Piliponos below: