The new issue of the Guardian, the newsletter for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections, is now available! With legislative session wrapping up and bargaining set to get underway next month, there is a lot going on.
This issue contains news and information on the following topics:
- A full-scale performance audit at the DOC
- Bargaining set to begin on April 22
- Update from our Teamster lobby days
- Outcome from the supplemental budget
View the latest issue of the Guardian here. For print copies, talk to your Business Representative. DOC Shop Stewards will have copies for distribution after the March 21 meeting in Seattle.
On January 28, dozens of DOC Shop Stewards met with their state representatives as a part of our first lobby day of the 2014 legislative session.
Here's what they had to say about why it's important to get involved:
“I see the fiber of state employees slowly eroding away. If I don’t take action myself, how can I expect other people to? I’m doing what I can to support the DOC family. We are the ones who make the prisons go. We’re keeping the public safe.”
- Thomas Orth, AHCC Sergeant
“My most important issue is staff safety. I’m a Teamster, and I want to let legislators know that we have a vote. When we show them that our vote matters, they will lend us their ear.”
- Stevie Fonseca, WCCW Classification Counselor
“We’ve all got ideas, we’ve all got opinions, we’ve all got answers, we’ve all got solutions, but if we don’t voice them, nobody is going to hear us.”
- Chris Hallgren, MCC CO
“The more we call and visit our legislators, the more minds we can change. The people in Olympia don’t work in this environment. They need to hear about it.”
- Steven Worden, WSP CO
“Legislators need to hear from the sergeants and the officers who do the work. We are the union. Teamsters 117 is our avenue for that, but if we don’t make our voices heard, they won’t get the message.”
- James Palmer, MCC Sergeant
“Being part of the Teamsters is a good feeling. It’s very uplifting for me. I feel like together we can accomplish a lot if we get involved.”
- Teresa Bennett, WSP Pharmacy Tech
“A lot of people think that nothing’s happening. People want raises, they want better retirement. Now we’ve got interest arbitration. If we get something in this next contract, a lot of eyes will open and I think more people will get involved.”
- Kellon Cunningham, CRCC CO2
“You don’t realize the impact you make until you’ve been there. Legislators will listen to you. What you have to say does mean something to them.”
- Ronny Matsen, SCCC Sergeant
At the previous meeting the County indicated a willingness to extend the existing COLA language for one year while continuing to work on other issues. Prior to today’s meeting with the County, the Coalition caucused to agree on a response to the County, for today’s meeting. During the caucus, strategies for current circumstances were discussed along with the desire for the County to not include the unrepresented in their costing data and analyses.
For a sample of the representational work on behalf of Teamsters at the DOC for the month of March, check out the DOC facility news section of the website.
In March, we will be holding our annual DOC Shop Steward meetings to prepare for upcoming contract negotiations. You can view a more detailed look at representational work by facility here.
Keep in mind that the work described in the facility news section is not comprehensive. The section will be updated regularly and can be accessed in the member center under Department of Corrections and Law Enforcement.
Any feedback or suggestions you have would be appreciated. Thank you!
We are excited to announce the hiring of Nancy Santos, a new Local 117 Business Representative for members in the private sector.
Nancy became a Teamster in 1995 when she went to work at the Fred Meyer grocery distribution center in Puyallup. Prior to her work in the warehouse, Nancy was a union retail clerk in a Fred Meyer store in Burien.
Nancy is an expert at building Teamster solidarity on the shop floor. During a contract fight at Fred Meyer, she used her leadership, creativity, and resourcefulness to agitate, inform, and mobilize members around key issues.
“I would like to see more solidarity in the shops. I don’t think people realize how much power they have when they stick together.” - Nancy Santos
She ordered “Union Til I Die” T-shirts, not just for her co-workers at Fred Meyer, but for Local 117 members across the grocery industry. Since then, the shirt has become the top selling Teamsters apparel item at the Local.
Nancy began her job at the Local on March 1, 2014. Nancy will have a diverse jurisdiction and will represent members in a variety of industries.
Some Local 117 members have been questioning why labor and community groups are supporting a higher minimum wage. It’s a question that needs to be addressed.
$15.00 per hour buys less today than what the minimum wage bought in the late 1960’s. In fact, some economists say that for today’s minimum wage to have the same buying power as it did 50 years ago it would need to be in the $22.00 to $26.00 an hour range.
The minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. Its buying power has eroded over time to where workers are having to go out and get two and sometimes three jobs just to pay the rent and make ends meet.
Are you a member of Teamsters Local 117 and the parent of a high school-aged senior in need of money for college?
Teamsters Local 117 is now accepting applications for the 2014 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship. The Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding students whose parents are members of the Local.
The deadline for scholarship application submissions is May 9, 2014. View application materials below:
The founders of the scholarship fund, Ralph and Sue Alfieri, established the scholarship in memory of their son, Jeff Alfieri, a former Local 117 Business Representative.
If you are a Local 117 member seeking to further your own education, consider applying for your Union's Solidarity Scholarship.
It’s time to hit the streets to speak out for a higher minimum wage. We’re hearing about proposals to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016. That’s good, but not good enough. We need a $15/hr minimum wage and we need it now!
There will be several events in Seattle and Tacoma leading up to a National Day of Action on March 15. Hit the link on the event to RSVP:
Town Hall Meeting - Seattle
Wednesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.
1119 8th Ave, Seattle, WA
15Now March - Seattle
Saturday, March 15 at 1 p.m.
Judkins Park - 1119 23rd Ave S.
15Now Rally - Tacoma
Saturday, March 8th at 2:00 p.m.
Intersection of South 23rd Street and South Union Avenue
15Now Public Meeting - Tacoma
Saturday, March 15th – 4:00 p.m.
1102 Tacoma Avenue South
Let's help build the movement to raise the wage and end low pay!
There is no doubt that taxis drivers are under attack, and it's time for all organized labor – not just the Teamsters – to step up and support them.
Last night, the city council watered down a proposal to cap the number of TNCs, such as UberX and Lyft, which are currently operating unlawfully in the city and essentially driving taxis out of business.
Thanks to the amazing work of our DOC Shop Stewards across the state, we were able to achieve record returns on contract surveys for the upcoming negotiations over your 2015-2017 collective bargaining agreement.
More surveys means that more DOC Teamsters have voiced their concerns and prioritized issues that are important to all of us. The surveys also allowed members to include written comments about compensation, overtime provisions, bidding rights, seniority, and other issues.
Local 117 member, Sergeant Michael Boe of the Monroe Correctional Complex, was in Olympia on Wednesday to testify in support of Senate Bill 6566, a proposed law that affirms the authority of the clemency and pardons board to make recommendations to the governor regarding petitions for reprieve to ensure that law enforcement and others are heard.
You can view Sergeant Boe's testimony on TVW here. Sergeant Boe's testimony begins at 45.25.
This week the House and Senate released their supplemental budget proposals, and there is some good news for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections.
Both the House and Senate have joined Governor Inslee in calling for $5 million in funding for the opening of the 256-bed medium security unit at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla to reduce prison overcrowding. Overcrowding, particularly at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, has led to serious safety and security issues for correctional employees, with offenders packed into cells and in some cases having to sleep on the floor.
So the news on funding to open the new units is a welcomed relief.
The new issue of your Teamsters 117 Report from Olympia is now available! This is the third update from the 2014 legislative session.
The new report shares news and information about the following topics:
- Paid Sick Days (HB 1313);
- DOC funding in the Governor's supplemental budget;
- Our second Teamsters Lobby Day of the 2014 session;
- A blow-by-blow account of developments on policy in our Olympia News Ticker.
For print copies of the report, talk to your Business Representative.
If you live in Pierce County, your son or daughter may be eligible to apply for the Jerry Beckendorf scholarship, but you'd better hurry - the deadline to apply is February 28, 2014.
View the 2014 scholarship application and eligibility requirements here.
Since 2003, the Jerry Beckendorf Community Services Scholarship program has awarded more than $42,000 to 70 graduating seniors from Union families living in Pierce County.
Teamsters 117 -
Prayers for Athena is a fundraiser for the daughter of one our Police Officers at the University of Washington Police Department. She's gone through a lot at a young age, fighting Severe Aplastic Anemia. She has just received a life saving bone marrow transplant.
Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated as her medical bills have totaled over $1 million dollars thus far. Buy a t-shirt to support Prayers For Athena.
Thank you and please keep Athena in your thoughts and prayers.