When we fight, we win!

Teamsters 117 Wire

DOC Contract Proposal Meetings - Dates, TImes, and Locations


In April, we will be holding contract proposal meetings for all DOC Teamsters to prepare for bargaining over your 2019-2121 collective bargaining agreement.

Your feedback is important! Your bargaining team will use your input from these meetings to develop proposals for negotiations. Please bring your priorities to the meeting. Thank you!

You can view days, times, and facilities below. Click on the link to your facility to RSVP.

Monday 4/2/2018 0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630 SCCC
Tuesday 4/3/2018 0630, 0900, 1130, 1430, 1630 MCC
Wednesday 4/4/2018 0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630 LCC
Wednesday 4/4/2018 0530, 0625, 0800, 1130, 1415, 1530 AHCC
Thursday 4/5/2018 0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630 CCCC
Thursday 4/5/2018 0600, 0800, 1130, 1300, 1415, 1530, 1630, 1800 CRCC
Thursday 4/5/2018 0700, 1330 CI
Friday 4/6/2018 1100, 1200 SWRBO
Friday 4/6/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 MCCCW
Monday 4/9/2018 1100, 1400, 1530, 2100, 2200 WCC
Tuesday 4/10/2018 0500, 0625, 0800, 1130, 1415, 1630 WSP
Tuesday 4/10/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 WCCW
Wednesday 4/11/2018 0830, 1000 MICC
Wednesday 4/11/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 OCC
Thursday 4/12/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 CBCC
Thursday 4/12/2018 1130 Central Pharmacy
Friday 4/13/2018 1100, 1200 DOC HQ


Local 117 ST Scearcy Recognized with Best Principal Officer Award at MLKCLC Labor Oscars

Teamsters Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy receives the "Best Principal Officer" award of an affiliate union at the MLKCLC anniversary celebration. 

It was a good day at the Oscars for Teamsters 117! Our union was recognized with three “Labor Oscar” awards, including Best Principal Officer, John Scearcy, at the Martin Luther King Central Labor Council’s 130 gala anniversary celebration.

The event, which was held last Saturday at the Museum of History and Industry, celebrated “the great work being done to improve the lives of working people” across our region.

Secretary-Treasurer Scearcy was recognized by MLKCLC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Grant for “his principled and strategic leadership of the Uber and Lyft organizing campaign, the unity in his diverse ranks, his intentional decision to hire staff from immigrant communities and communities of color, and constantly working his ass off for his members.”

In accepting the award, Scearcy said, “This recognizes the work of more than one person… our staff, our staff’s families, our members, and our members’ families – I share this with everybody.”

You can watch his entire acceptance speech on Facebook here.

The MLKCLC Labor Awards for Teamsters Local 117   

  • Best Principal Officer: John Scearcy - of Teamsters 117 for "constantly working his ass off for his members."
  • Best Organizing Campaign: Teamsters 117 for "successful organizing of paratransit, taxi cab, and app-based drivers."
  • Best Political Campaign: The Burien Fantastic Four - consisting of Pedro Olguin, member of Teamsters 117, Jimmy Matta, member of Carpenters 41, Krystal Marx, and Nancy Tosta and run by Guillermo Mogollan-Diego.

View all of the award winners on the MLKCLC’s website.

King County Total Comp Negotiations Get Rolling

Our Local 117 bargaining team for King County Total Comp negotiations.

Your union bargaining committee worked overtime last year to achieve a first-ever Master Labor Agreement with the County.

Members in all of our participating Teamster bargaining units voted overwhelmingly to ratify the MLA and their unit’s appendix agreement earlier this year. Voter turnout was historically high.

The agreement achieved a 3.25% general wage increase for 2018 along with a number of other enhancements to your rights at work.  You will receive the MLA wage increase retroactive to January 1, 2018 as soon as the contract makes its way through the Council’s transmittal process. 

Now our bargaining team is back at the table for a new round of negotiations. “Total Comp” negotiations between our Coalition of Unions and the County kicked off yesterday at our Teamsters hall in Tukwila.

While the MLA consolidated the strongest elements of union contracts across the County into one Master agreement, Total Comp deals with economics only – your wages and health care for 2019-2020.

Yesterday’s session was devoted to introductions and establishing ground rules. One of our shop stewards on the bargaining team, Lisa Huntley, who works in the County’s Solid Waste Division, expressed our union’s expectations for these negotiations.

“We can see in the area how much our property taxes have gone up and how much it costs to live here. That needs to be reflected in our wages,” she said. “We also need to maintain our health benefits and address general equity issues.”

"We can see in the area how much our property taxes have gone up and how much it costs to live here."

Our next meeting with the County is scheduled for Thursday, March 22. We expect these negotiations will run into the summer of this year. We will keep you updated as they progress.

If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or your Union Representative. 

Your Teamsters Local 117 Total Comp bargaining Team

  • Teresa Allen, WTD - Renton
  • Steven Baruso, WTD - Finance
  • Amon Billups, Jr, PT&A
  • Chris Boyle, WTD - Managers
  • Lynn Constantine, PT&A
  • Terry De Priest, DOT JUA
  • Dan Fernandez, POA
  • Mari Jane Friel, Utilities, Roads/Fall City 
  • Machelle Gatewood, DOT JUA
  • Cheryl Ann Gunderson,  CIT - KCIT 
  • George Horning, IT Mgrs/Sups
  • Steve Huang, WTD - West Point
  • Lisa Huntley, Solid Waste Division 
  • Rochelle James, RALS
  • Lisa Longdon, PT&A
  • Vicki Moore, Elections
  • Dan Nwaelele, PT&A
  • Lisa Ohlen, RALS
  • Brian Pinney, Solid Waste Division/Cedar Hills 
  • Gregory Raburn, PT&A
  • Rick Reinlasoder, PT&A
  • Robin Robinson, WTD
  • Candi Santo, PT&A
  • Robert Stalnaker, King County Sheriff’s Office
  • Debbie Valle, PAO
  • Lester Van Gelder, WTD
  • Kathleen Vanderpool, PT&A

Op-Ed: WSP member urges Teamsters to stand strong & commit to each other


Teamsters in the news! Sammi Muecke, a Local 117 member who works at the Washington State Penitentiary, has published a guest editorial piece in the Walla Walla Union Bulletin. Sammi talks about the need to stand strong and stick together in the face of the Janus court case and open shop.

Thank you, Sammi, for making your voice heard!

U.S. Supreme Court Threatens to Divide Prison Staff
By S.L Muecke

This week the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case, Janus v AFSCME, which could negatively impact public service unions across the country.

As union members employed at the Washington State Penitentiary, many of my co-workers and I are deeply concerned. If the Court rules as expected, so-called “right-to-work” would become the law of the land in all public sector workplaces.

Workers will be able to opt-out of paying their fair share in dues but will continue to reap all of the benefits of their union contract and representation without having to pay anything for it.

This threatens to divide us and weaken our union. Our ability to speak out for fair conditions at work, strong protections in our contract, and safety on the job are at stake.

My experience with the dismal working conditions in a right-to-work state is telling. In 2012, my husband and I moved to North Carolina, where I worked as a teacher in the public schools. What were the consequences of that move? I took a $7,000 annual pay cut, lost all of my health benefits and most of my paid holidays.

The state’s hiring standards were abysmally low and many teachers were underqualified. At end of the day, it was our students who paid the price for “right to work.”

Here in Washington State, my union fights for competitive wages, decent health benefits, and safe working conditions for me and my co-workers. We can hold our bosses accountable and are protected from arbitrary firing. We cannot be “let go” or forced out as we near retirement age. Our years of experience and service matter.

These protections and legitimate “rights at work” are especially important when facing the dangers that exist inside a prison. As a union, we have each other’s backs. Together, we look out for each other and make sure that our jobs are safe and secure.

In Olympia, members of Teamsters Local 117 worked together to extend critical benefits for officers and other prison staff who are assaulted on the job. This allows us to continue to support our families and care for ourselves when we have been injured in the line of duty.

The Washington State Penitentiary employs well over a thousand employees. We are officers, sergeants, counselors, nurses, dentists, psychologists, prison chaplains, clerical staff, maintenance staff, and many others. We put our lives on the line every day when we report to work.

Imagine all of us talking all at once about our own individual workplace concerns. The result would be a cacophonous mess without direction or power. Our union allows us to express our concerns with one powerful voice.

We may not be able to prevent the Court from ruling against us in the Janus case, but we can continue to stand together with one united front and speak with one voice. Apart, we are powerless, rudderless and too easily ignored. Together we are strong.

S.L. Muecke works in the mailroom at the Washington State Penitentiary. She is a member of Teamsters Local 117, which represents 5600 employees at the Department of Corrections statewide.

Fortifying our union in the face of the Janus threat


Local 117 members Robin Robinson and Joy Yarrington who work at King County proudly wearing their solidarity stickers.

Today the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in a case (Janus v AFSCME) that is attacking our ability as union members to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.

If the Court rules as expected, public service workers, including thousands of members of Teamsters 117, will lose their freedom to negotiate union security clauses in their contracts.

Members will be able to “opt-out” of paying their fair share in dues but will be able to continue to reap all of the benefits of their union contract and union representation. Our ability to stand together and bargain strong contracts, provide quality representation, and protect each other’s rights at work is at stake.

"I want us to continue having a strong union," said Robin Robinson, a Teamster who works at King County. "We need to make sure everyone is aware of what's happening so we can keep our communities strong."

"We need to make sure everyone is aware of what's happening so we can keep our communities strong."

Wealthy special interests like the “Freedom” Foundation that are backing the Janus case are banking on a ruling against unions. They may call, email or even visit you at home to mislead you into abandoning your union sisters and brothers.

Make no mistake — their goal is to cut or privatize public services, drain unions of resources, and outsource public sector jobs. The Freedom Foundation fought against funding our Department of Corrections contract. They have sponsored numerous initiatives to undermine the ability of workers to organize for higher wages, strong benefits, and safe working conditions.

To draw attention to the threat presented by Janus and the Freedom Foundation, Teamsters 117 members and public service workers across the country have called for a day of action.

Local 117 members who work at the Department of Corrections, King County, and in the South Sound are wearing solidarity stickers today to spread awareness about the case and the importance of committing to each other so that we can continue to have a strong union.


By sticking together, we can stand up to the Freedom Foundation’s anti-worker agenda and continue to improve our workplaces and our lives.

Public Sector Teamsters: Wear your solidarity stickers on Monday!


On Monday, February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing a case (Janus v AFSCME) that will likely harm our ability as union members to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.

Public service workers across the country have called for a Day of Action on Feb. 26.

On Monday, Teamsters 117 members will be wearing solidarity stickers to spread awareness about the case and the importance of committing to each other so that we can continue to have a strong union.

Your union rep or member leader will be distributing stickers to you on Monday. Please wear your sticker and talk to your co-workers about why it's important to show solidarity in the face of this impending threat. 

For more information about the Janus case, visit www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.

Thank you for your service and for all that you do to make our union strong.

DOC Teamsters: Act now to protect your right to privacy

The State Senate took an important first step toward protecting your personal information by passing SB 6079 earlier this month. The bill ensures that individuals or entities cannot access your birth date through public disclosure requests.

But to have a chance at becoming law, the bill also needs to pass the State House, and time is running out. We need to contact our Representatives in the House immediately and tell them to protect our privacy. 

As DOC employees, we know the dangers of our personal information falling into the wrong hands. 

TAKE ACTION! Call the Legislative Hotline in Olympia at 1-800-562-6000 now! Tell your House Representatives that you work at the DOC and have a right to privacy. Tell them to protect your personal information by passing SB 6079 immediately.

Thank you for speaking out to protect your privacy.

Teamsters 117 nominated for eight labor awards, including best overall union


Our union is up for the Oscars! Local 117 has received eight nominations for recognition by the Martin Luther King Central Labor Council, including Best Overall Union and our Secretary-Treasurer, John Scearcy, nominated for Best Principal Officer.

The MLKCLC will present the labor "Oscar" awards this Saturday at its 130th anniversary celebration.

Recognition will go to unions that are making the greatest impact on the lives of their members and of working families across the Pacific Northwest.

Teamsters 117 has been nominated for outstanding achievement in the following categories:

"We are excited and grateful to be recognized by the MLKCLC through this nomination process," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "Our member leaders and staff work incredibly hard to fight to improve conditions for workers and make a positive impact on our communities."

If you are interested in attending the MLKCLC labor Oscars event, tickets are $50 and seats are still available. Click here for more information.

DOC contract surveys due on February 23

Contract surveys for upcoming negotiations over our 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections are due on Friday, February 23. 

If you haven't done so already, please fill out your survey and deposit it in the designated dropbox at your facility. 

Dropboxes can be found at the following locations

  • AHCC/Main - Public Access
  • AHCC/MSU - C3 Entrance
  • CBCC - Public Access
  • CCCC - Control Break Room
  • CI HQ - See Nathan Glass
  • CRCC MSC Mailboxes/MSU Mailboxes
  • DOC HQ - See Rebecca Bologna desk
  • LCC - Control Break Room
  • Maple Lane Pharmacy - Lunch room
  • MCC/TRU – Next to Main Control
  • MCC/MSU, WSRU, SOU – Public Access
  • MCCCW - Public access
  • MICC - Boat dock on the Island side
  • OCC - See Pam Olekas in Records
  • SCCC - D-Building Break Room
  • SWRBO - See Andrew Guardia
  • WCC - Public Access, under union board
  • WCCW - Public access/shift office
  • WSP WC Mailboxes/EC Mailboxes

You can also give your completed survey to your Shop Steward or Union Representative.

If you did not receive a survey in the mail, please contact your Shop Steward first, and if necessary, your Union Representative.

Filling out your contract survey is important. The survey gives you an opportunity to prioritize issues and voice your concerns. Your bargaining team will be using the survey results to develop proposals based on your feedback for upcoming contract negotiations.

Be sure to make your voice heard!

Paid Sick Leave: Stay Home When You’re Sick


Arnold Hewitt works at Auburn Dairy in shipping and receiving. He’s been a Teamster for over 2 decades. Last month, like many Washingtonians during the rainy January, Arnold caught the flu and fell seriously ill. Flu and working in an environment with open dairy products don’t mix so well, so taking a sick day seemed like the obvious choice. However, it wasn’t that simple.

Scholarships available for kids of Local 117 members


Have a kid or grandkid who needs money to further their education? The General Teamsters Retiree Club is now accepting applications for its 2018 scholarship.

The scholarship is open to the sons, daughters, step-children and grandchildren of members of Teamster Locals #38, #66, #117, #174, #227, or #763. There are no restrictions placed on a course of study.

The deadline for submitting applications for this year's scholarship is July 6, 2018

Lobby Day 2018: A great day for Teamsters in Olympia


Members of Teamsters 117 gather on the steps of the state capitol in Olympia for a Lobby Day rally.

It was an impressive sight - hundreds of Teamsters and their family members gathered on the steps of the legislative building in Olympia for our 2018 lobby day.

Bright yellow scarves with horseheads draped across members’ shoulders. Many held signs that read Honor Our Public Servants and Public Service, Public Safety.

Michelle Woodrow, our union’s president addressed the crowd: “Thank you for your outstanding service and for keeping our communities safe.” View photos from the event here.

Just a short time earlier, Local 117 members had clustered outside the doors of the Senate and House chambers requesting meetings with their legislators.

With a cutoff to pass bills looming, conversations had to be short and direct.

“We just met with Senator Sheldon,” said Sergeant Larry Reeves of the Washington Corrections Center. “He said he would be more than happy to support a bipartisan effort to see if we can get our staffing model audit funded.”

“This is wonderful,” said Fran Deel, a nurse at the Airway Heights Corrections Center who brought her three grandchildren to the event. “I’m here to make sure our rights are represented and to make sure our union has the power to negotiate.”

In addition to calling for an audit of DOC staffing levels, we urged legislators to pass bills that protect the privacy of public employees and give us a better opportunity to welcome new employees into the union. 

The day’s activities culminated with a rally on the capitol steps.  Newly-elected Teamster councilmember of the City of Burien, Pedro Olguin, fired up the group with a series of chants.

"We are the union. You are the union. We need to take the bull by the horns to fight off these attacks together."

Michelle Woodrow introduced the speakers starting with Representative Roger Goodman, the chair of the House Public Safety Committee. He was followed by three members: Officers Alfredo Cruz, Debra Gordon and Gerry Pinero.

Pinero, who made the trip to Olympia with his wife Angelic, talked about Teamster pride and the need to defend our union. “I started with the Teamsters in 1974 and have always been treated well by the Teamster family fighting for better benefits, better conditions, and better pay.”

“But senior Teamster staff can’t do it alone,” he said. “We are the union. You are the union. We need to take the bull by the horns to fight off these attacks together.”

John Scearcy, our union’s secretary-treasurer, echoed Pinero’s call for unity.  “When we stand together, we’re stronger. When we talk about our core values and find out where we align, we can move an agenda. This lobby day is a perfect example of us showing that when we’re committed to each other, we are strong and our voices will be heard.”


A lifeline for our corrections & law enforcement members


Our friends at Safe Call Now have sent over information about an important service available to members of Teamsters Local 117 working in the corrections and law enforcement field. 

The Institute for Responder Wellness 877-597-1136 have dedicated their lives to the health & wellness of first responders. They provide critical services to public safety employees struggling with issues that impact their personal and professional lives.

In an email asking us to promote the service, they write:

It is estimated that 20-35% of all First Responders struggle with PTSD and other mental and behavioral health issues. After seeing many responders fall victim to these statistics, we decided we couldn’t sit back and watch on the sidelines any longer. We’re happy to say that we created a program for first responders and these problems.

The Institute for Responder Wellness has established a comprehensive trauma based program specifically tailored to first responders and their family members with behavioral and mental health issues.

"Building partnerships and connecting our members to important resources is an important priority of our union," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "I hope members will make use of this service and seek assistance when needed."

For more information, please call 877-597-1136 or visit the Institute for Responder Wellness Facebook page.

With court case looming, MCC Teamsters are committing to each other


Members at the Monroe Correctional Complex gather at a union meeting last December to discuss keeping the union strong in an open shop environment.

Changes are coming in the public sector, and Teamsters across our union are getting ready.

The U.S. Supreme Court will be ruling on a case this spring that will almost certainly eliminate the freedom of public employees to negotiate union security clauses in their contracts. 

That means people will be able to abandon their union membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits without having to pay their fair share.

Teamsters across our union are pushing back. Members are talking to members about the importance of continuing to have a strong union in an open shop environment. Thousands of members have signed cards committing to each other and their union.

As Teamsters, we refuse to allow wealthy special interests like the so-called "Freedom" Foundation to defund our union and weaken our ability to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.

At the Monroe Correctional Complex, member leaders and staff are in the midst of a three-day blitz to inform members about the the rule changes.

On Thursday, the facility was buzzing with members talking about the value of a strong union. Over 100 members signed commitment cards on a single day.

One of those members was Shaun Watson. Watson is new on staff, but had previously worked as an officer in Missouri. "I came from a place that wasn't union," he said. "I tell people that if the union goes away, they're going to miss it when it's gone."

"We need to keep unions strong, for better wages, better health care, and to keep DOC honest."

Watson described poor conditions and a place where everyone was paid the same low rate no matter how long they had worked there. "It was sad," he said. "If you put in your time, you should be rewarded."

Both Paul Moore, an RN3 at MCC, and Kim Cook, an officer at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, took the day off to help with the outreach.

At shift change, Cook and Moore handed out information about the case. "We'll be swinging by later to talk with you about open shop," Cook said, as members headed toward their posts.

Doug Trudeau, an officer in the intensive management unit at MCC, is also helping out with the blitz. "Unions are getting hit hard," he said. "We need to stay strong, for better wages, better health care, and to keep DOC honest."

To sign in support of your union, talk to your shop steward or union representative, or visit www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.

DOC contract surveys mailed out for upcoming negotiations


Contract surveys are in the mail. Be sure to turn yours in by February 23.

Today we mailed out contract surveys to the home addresses of all Teamsters at the DOC. You should be receiving your survey in the mail in the next couple of days.

Please fill out your survey and deposit it in the designated dropbox at your facility. You can also give your completed survey to your Shop Steward or Union Representative.

Your survey should be returned by no later than Friday, February 23. If you have not received a survey by February 15, please contact your Shop Steward first, and if necessary, your Union Representative.

Filling out your contract survey is important. The survey gives you an opportunity to prioritize issues and voice your concerns. Your bargaining team will be using the survey results to develop proposals based on your feedback for upcoming contract negotiations.

Be sure to make your voice heard!