When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

We decide how strong our union will be


During contract negotiations, we are most effective when we are united. Our unity allows us to achieve higher wages, better working conditions, and a safer workplace for all Teamsters.

The last thing we need when we’re bargaining with the State or any other employer is for an outside group to try to divide us. But that’s exactly what the so-called “Freedom” Foundation is trying to do.

The “Freedom” Foundation is an anti-worker think tank that has used lax public disclosure laws to get ahold of the personal information of our members at the Department of Corrections. Now they’re using that information to send DOC members mailers trying to trick them into abandoning their union.

In a mailer sent this week, they claim members lose nothing by abandoning their membership. The truth is you have everything to lose – your wages, your benefits, and your power to negotiate a strong contract.

The Freedom Foundation fought AGAINST wage increases for DOC Teamsters. They want to privatize public services and outsource public sector jobs.

The best way we can protect ourselves is by standing together. Talk to your co-workers and make sure they don’t fall for the misleading information.

Show the Freedom Foundation that we are united and won’t be manipulated. If you haven't done so already, sign a commitment card to protect your freedom to have a strong contract and a strong union. 

If you have questions, please talk to your Shop Steward or Union Representative or visit www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.

Officer of the Year Award: Compassionate Policing


Under the roof of Museum of Flight at the Boeing Field, police officers who work at Sea-Tac airport gathered to celebrate the Annual Awards Ceremony in recognition of outstanding service that law enforcement officers do everyday to keep our communities safe and promote nonviolence.

"It absolutely is a rewarding job."

Representatives from Seattle Children's Hospital thanked the officers for their invaluable assistance escorting young patients and their parents flying in from areas as far away as remote Alaskan villages. Officers at the airport provide security and support for families in their most stressful moments. 

The highest award of the day, Officer of the Year, was presented to officer Matt Huston. He attended the event with his wife, three-year-old daughter and a baby they had welcomed just last year.


Despite taking the time off to care for his family and the newborn, Huston had responded to the highest number of incidents on patrol in 2017. His coworkers applauded his hard work and qualities of a proactive team player, yet what set him apart was his humanity. Huston's compassion in policing was evident when he spent over two hours by the side of a disabled motorist until his family arrived and when assuring highest level of care and protection when encountering a mentally distressed driver and her daughter fleeing domestic violence. It was also evident when he handled situations involving physically large and aggressive individuals nonviolently and without incidents.

It absolutely is a rewarding job," Huston said. "You see people sometimes at their worst, but you get to help them get a little better." This Teamster also received a "Soldier of the Mission" award for embodying Port of Seattle Police Department's mission statement. Sarena Davis, Teamsters DOC Coordinator, presented Huston with a cash gift on behalf of Teamsters in recognition of his outstanding achievement.

Teamsters Car Show 2018


Teamsters Car Show is back!

Join us on Saturday, August 25th, for Teamsters Car Show. There will be prizes, 50/50 raffle, a beer garden, and a DJ. For food we'll have hamburgers, hot dogs and street tacos. Little ones will have fun with bouncy house, face painting and balloon twisting. Bring your family and don't miss out on the fun! 

If you plan to enter a vehicle in the show, entry fee is $20 (day of the event) and $15 (pre-registration). If you are not entering a vehicle, there is no cost for this event. General public is welcome! 

Cars roll in at 10:00am, and the show begins at 10:30am. The event will take place at the Teamsters Union in Tukwila (14675 Interurban Ave. S.). Reach out to your union representative for a form to enter your car or print it out here.

2018 Corrections Pride Month Calendar


May 2018 at DOC

You can find the full calendar here.

MON 14

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

AHCC- Coffee Day

CRCC- Italian Soda Day

TEU 15

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia



WED 16

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

CCCC- Ceremony

HQ- Waffle Day

SCCC- Root Beer Floats

SECTION 6- Event

SECTION 7- Event

WCC- Ceremony

THU 17

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

CBCC- BBQ & Ceremony

LCC- BBQ/Awards

SECTION 3- Picnic

FRI 18

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SCCC- Music Trivia

AHCC- Popcorn

MCCW- Ceremony

SCCC- Root Beer Floats

SAT 19

MCC- Frisbee Golf

SUN 20

MCC- Frisbee Golf

MON 21

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

HQ BBQ Event


TUE 22

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

WSP- Meal

CBCC- Nachos

MCCCW- Root Beer Floats

SCCC- Cookies & Coffee

WED 23

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

WSP- Meal

AHCC- Chili and Cornbread

CRCC- Cermony

LCC- Breakfast Burrito Bar

SECTION 1- Recognition Event

THU 24

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles


MCCCW- Nachos

SECTION 2- Event


WSP- Ceremony

FRI 25

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

SCCC- Popcorn

SAT 26

SUN 27

MON 28


SCCC- Guess the Nose


TUE 29

SCCC- Guess the Nose

CRCC- Ice Cream Popsicle Day

LCC- Root Beer Floats

WCC- Root Beer Floats


WED 30

SCCC- Guess the Nose

CBCC- Ice Cream

MCCCW- Coffee & Donuts

OCC- Ceremony



THU 31

SCCC- Guess the Nose


HQ- Root Beer Floats


SCCC- Ceremony


For-hire drivers will continue to fight to raise standards despite court's ruling

Drivers Call on City to Take Action to Pass a Driver/Passenger Bill of Rights

Drivers in Seattle’s for-hire industry expressed frustration at today’s ruling by the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that partially reverses a lower court’s decision to uphold Seattle’s collective bargaining law.

“Drivers are deeply disappointed with today’s decision, which continues to delay our right to unionization,” said Don Creery, an Uber and Lyft driver and member of the leadership council of the App-Based Drivers Association (ABDA). “Anti-trust laws were put in place to protect the little guy from monopolistic practices from large corporations, not to shield a company like Uber – valued at over $70 billion – from negotiating with its workers over fair pay and working conditions.”

"Drivers have already waited for years for fair pay and the right to a union."

Drivers called on the City of Seattle to enact new policies to protect drivers, level the playing field in the industry, and ensure that drivers can earn a living wage. “Drivers have already waited for years for fair pay and the right to a union. Today’s court decision emphasizes the urgent need for the Seattle City Council to step in to improve pay for drivers and pass a Driver/Passenger Bill of Rights,” Creery said.

Because of their disputed status as independent contractors, for-hire drivers who work for Uber and Lyft have not been protected by traditional labor laws or state and local laws, such as Seattle's $15 an hour minimum wage law and Washington State’s new paid sick leave law. In April, the City of Seattle passed a resolution to study the industry and consider regulations that could lead to better pay and other protections for drivers.

In 2014, Uber and Lyft drivers sought assistance from Teamsters Local 117 to improve their pay and working conditions. In May 2014, drivers established ABDA to promote fairness, justice, and transparency in the for-hire industry.

“We are disappointed by the Court’s ruling that continues to block drivers from having a voice,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. “Like other working people in this country, for-hire drivers should have the same freedom to stand together in their union to improve their pay and working conditions. We will continue to stand with drivers for their right to unionize, earn a family wage, and to raise standards in the industry.”

Teamster corrections employees serve all of us


This week is National Correctional Officers Week, a time to honor Teamster correctional officers as well as all other DOC Teamsters who serve communities across Washington State.

These are the workers who staff our state’s prisons. They are officers, sergeants, nurses, counselors, psychologists, chaplains, dentists, clerical staff, maintenance staff, and many others. They perform challenging, oftentimes dangerous work to serve the public and keep all of us safe.

Corrections is vital public service, yet corrections employees often receive little recognition for the critical work they perform. Few people know what goes on behind prison walls and many have misconceptions based on negative portrayals in movies and the media.

The truth is that corrections employees are everyday heroes. They put their lives on the line every day to oversee, train, counsel, rehabilitate, and care for convicted felons.

Many are veterans who have served our country in the military and are continuing their public service back home. They are often the first to volunteer when disaster strikes as our members did during the Oso landslide disaster in 2014. They volunteer in their kids’ schools, coach little league baseball, lend a hand at local food banks, and are an active force in building strong, safe communities.  

Thank you Teamster corrections employees for your integrity, professionalism, character, and strength as you perform essential, challenging work in a dangerous environment. We are grateful for your service.

Teamsters at the City of Black Diamond are fighting for equity

Teamsters at the City of Black Diamond are speaking out for an equitable contract. On April 4, several members raised concerns in a council hearing about the City's failure to recognize members in negotiations. 

Our members have made sacrifices by taking furlough days and wage freezes during the recession and a period of political instability. Now that the City is back on stable financial footing, it's time to recognize these public servants for the critical services they provide.

Check out the Courier-Herald's reporting on the issue here:

Black Diamond staff seeks cost of living increases after stagnant decade 

While much of the county seems to have achieved some form of recovery after the 2008 recession, Black Diamond city employees say they’ve been left behind.

During a passionate citizens comment period during the April 4 meeting, many employees and their supporters gave close to an hour of testimony to the Black Diamond City Council about their financial struggles with the city, which includes dozens of furloughed work days, hour and position cuts, and few cost of living adjustments for the last 10 years.

Read more

Help homeless families at our Teamsters Volunteer Day on May 19


As Teamsters, we work hard at our jobs, but also strive to build stronger, more livable communities.

An exciting upcoming event at our Union Hall in Tukwila is designed to help us do just that. It's our Family Volunteer Day on Saturday, May 19 from 12 to 2pm.

We will be preparing 144 care packages for the homeless and making signs in solidarity with the teachers striking nationally. This is a family-friendly event and we will have plenty to do for all ages. Can you join us?

To ensure that we have enough hands on deck, we need your help. Please reach out to your co-workers and let them know about the event. Contact Taylor House at taylor.house@teamsters117.org  or (206) 441-4860 ext 1251 with the names and phone numbers of members who plan to attend by May 15.

You can also RSVP for the event on our website. 

This is a great way Teamster families can join together to give back to our community.

Thank you Teamster nurses for your outstanding service


This week we pay tribute to our incredible nurses, members of Teamsters 117 who work at the Department of Corrections and the Washington State Nurses Association.

National Nurses Week begins each year on May 6 and ends on May 12, Florence Nightingale’s birthday.  It features a host of events across the U.S. to honor nurses for the work they do and educates the public about nurses’ role in health care.

Nursing is a challenging profession that requires patience, professionalism, and compassion. Our Local 117 nurses work long hours, often with limited resources, in stressful environments to provide critical, ethical care.  

We are incredibly grateful to our nurses for the essential, exceptional services they provide. Please take a moment to thank a nurse today!

King County Council expected to approve MLA this week


Teamsters on our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team for Total Comp negotiations.

Important revelations have emerged in recent Total Comp negotiations between our King County Coalition of Unions and the County.

For one, we’ve learned that the Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which we negotiated much of last year, is expected to go before the County Council today with a recommendation for approval. According to Megan Pederson, the Director of the Office of Labor Relations, the MLA should hit Dow’s desk for his signature the week of May 21.

Once signed by the County Executive, the agreement will be fully executed and members will receive retro pay negotiated in the agreement thereafter. The MLA, which King County Teamsters voted overwhelmingly to ratify earlier this year, provides a total wage increase of 3.25% for 2018 in addition to a number of other improvements.

At Total Comp negotiations with the County last Thursday, our union bargaining team received a presentation from expert advisers at Mercer about the state of our Protected Reserve Fund (PFR).  

The PFR was established in 2013 by the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC) to help safeguard health care benefits for union members at the County. Since then, the Fund has grown from $25 million to a projected $64 million in 2018.

This is excellent news and means that there will almost certainly be no employee premium share for the foreseeable future. Teamsters Local 117 has been instrumental in successfully managing the fund to protect the excellent health care benefits you enjoy as a union member at the County. 

With this great news and negotiations underway, it’s more important than ever for us to stand together, stay united, and commit to each other. Click here to sign a commitment card and protect your freedom to stand together with your co-workers for a strong union.  Learn more at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.  

In the next Total Comp session scheduled for May 17 in Tukwila, our Coalition team will be presenting a counterproposal as we continue the process of negotiating over the high-priority compensation elements in your contract, including wage increases for 2019 and 2020.

If you have questions, please talk to a bargaining committee member or your union representative.

Welcome to Our New Negotiator, Scott Clifthorne!

Scott.jpgWe’re proud to welcome Scott Bailey Clifthorne to our staff!

Negotiating for Teamsters is not new to Scott. Since 2017, he has helped us negotiate contracts with ABM, SP+, Seattle Times (Pressman), Pierce County, and Spicers Paper. Now he is coming aboard as a full-time member of the team.

Scott grew up in South Seattle, earning his BA at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma before moving on to earn a Masters degree at the University of California, San Diego. At UCSD, Scott became active with his union, the UAW. After serving as a Steward, he went on to serve as both President and Financial Secretary of his statewide local.

Since returning to Washington, he has worked with the American Association of University Professors and the Washington Federation of State Employees (AFSCME Council 28). He currently lives in Olympia where he serves as a School Board Director (District 5).  Scott is thrilled to bring his experience as an elected official, organizer, and negotiator to Teamsters 117!

Volunteer drivers and unloaders needed for this Saturday's NALC food drive


Since 1993, the National Association of Letter Carriers has organized one of the nation's largest all-volunteer one-day food collection effort. This year's Letter Carriers' Food Drive will take place on Saturday, May 12. 

You can participate by leaving your donation of canned food on your doorstep for your letter carrier to pick up this Saturday.


The Emergency Food Network is seeking a few volunteer drivers and unloaders to assist with this Saturday's food drive.

Volunteer Driving Teams are groups of 2-4 volunteers with a personal vehicle who drive around designated neighborhoods and pick up food in the community. Times are flexible between 10am-3pm

Drivers Needed at the Following Locations:

  • South Tacoma (4 teams needed)
  • Lakewood (1 team needed)
  • Fife (1 team needed)
  • University Place (3 teams needed)
  • Proctor (1 team needed)

Volunteer Unloaders are also needed to help postal carriers unload the food from vehicles at the Post Office.

Unloaders Needed at the Following Locations

  • Sumner (1pm-5pm)
  • Lakewood (2:30pm-6:30pm)

To register, contact EFN's Coordinator of Volunteers at volunteer@efoodnet.org or (253) 584-1040.

Thanks for helping to stamp out hunger!

"Freedom" Foundation tries to divide DOC members at critical time


Last week the so-called “Freedom” Foundation sent out a mailer to all DOC Teamsters trying to stop us from signing commitment cards that strengthen our union.

The Freedom Foundation is an anti-union think tank funded by wealthy special interests. They want to convince us not to sign the cards so they can weaken our ability to stand together for better wages and benefits.

They’ve used lax public disclosure laws to get ahold of your personal information. Now they’re trying to divide DOC staff at a critical time - just as our union’s contract negotiations are getting started with the State. They’re using the expected ruling on the Janus court case to weaken our union.

Don’t be fooled!  The Freedom Foundation has fought AGAINST wage increases for DOC Teamsters. Their goal is to defund our union, privatize public services, and outsource public sector jobs.

With DOC contract negotiations and the Janus ruling coming up, it’s more important than ever for us to stand together, stay united, and commit to each other.

Show the “Freedom” Foundation that we will not be fooled and weakened by their tactics. Click here to sign a commitment card and protect your freedom to stand together with your co-workers for a strong union.  

Learn more at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.  

Bargaining team ready as DOC negotiations get underway


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.

Teamsters Political Survey 2018



In 2017, we began an intensive three-year Strategic Planning Process for Teamsters Local 117. One of the priorities identified by Teamsters 117 members and staff was to grow our political program and to become the most politically-engaged Teamsters Local in the country.


As part of that planning process, we identified four key objectives for our political program. One of those included doing a survey of our membership to identify how politically involved our members already are.

Politics in this country all too often is divisive and polarizing, making it hard for well-meaning people on either side of a given issue to have constructive conversations. Understandably, this is the reason many Local 117 members don’t want anything to do with politics. We want to change that.

Please take a few minutes to participate in this survey. If you have any questions, please call or email our Political Director Dustin Lambro at Dustin.Lambro@teamsters117.org.