When we fight, we win!

Corrections & Law Enforcement


DOC negotiations team pushes back hard as State comes after our vacation leave

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Our union negotiations team for DOC reacted with anger and disbelief at the State's proposal on vacation leave.


DOC contract negotiations erupted this week when the State presented a proposal seeking to punish members for taking time off from work to spend with their families.

The proposal involves the vacation leave article (Article 21) of our DOC contract. Currently, members have the ability to request accrued vacation in excess of ten consecutive days in three segments per year with the exception of the summer months. This gives members the flexibility to schedule longer stretches of vacation to help mitigate the stress of working inside the prisons.

The State’s proposal would restrict the number of vacation days per segment for the entire year as opposed to the limited restriction between June and August, which exists currently. The employer also wants the ability to discipline members by defining certain vacation requests as unscheduled leave.

“How can they punish us for using vacation time that we’ve accrued? It’s outrageous,” said Teresa Bennett, a pharmacy tech on our union’s negotiations team.

"How can they punish us for using vacation time that we’ve accrued? It’s outrageous."

The State also presented a blatantly anti-union proposal, trying to modify Article 2 to restrict new members access to their union.

The time with new members is critical because it allows shop stewards and union reps to convey the hard-fought victories we have achieved through our union membership, like interest arbitration in our contract, extending assault benefits, and the across-the-board wage increases of 20.3% over the last four years.

At the negotiations table, our union team spoke forcefully about the need to preserve our existing rights under both Article 21 and Article 2. We also pushed the employer to take greater responsibility for reducing scheduling errors that can lead to excessive mandatory overtime.

It’s important to remember that without a union the State could unilaterally implement policy changes that would undermine your rights at work, such as their outrageous proposal to discipline you for using vacation leave.

If you haven’t done so already, please sign a commitment card so that we can preserve our rights as union members to stand together for a strong contract. By signing you are sending a clear message to the State that we are committed to each other and we are united. You can sign online at: www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org/sign.

Our next negotiations session will be held on June 20 and June 21 at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions, talk to your negotiations committee member or union rep.

You can view a short video update from members on the negotiations committee below:

 


DOC Bargaining Committee Issues Joint Statement Condemning “Freedom” Foundation

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Negotiations between our union team and the State continued this week over our 2019-2021 DOC contract. The meetings took place at our Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila on Wednesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 24.

In our last sessions earlier this month, we established ground rules for negotiations and presented our union’s initial proposals.

In this week’s sessions, the State presented a few initial proposals on Wednesday morning, then requested a break to continue developing additional proposals. Much of Thursday’s discussion revolved around overtime and shared leave.

In our union caucus, we continued to refine our language proposals. We also focused on alerting members to attempts by the “Freedom” Foundation to divide our union at this critical time.

Our committee signed a joint statement condemning the “Freedom” Foundation and urging members to stay united and sign a commitment card so that we can protect our rights at work.

You can read the committee's joint statement here. DOC members will be receiving the statement in the mail in the coming days.

“The Freedom Foundation is trying to split our union,” said Teresa Bennett, a pharmacy tech and shop steward on the negotiations committee. “Don’t fall for their mailings – they are confusing and false. We need to stand together and not be divided."

"We need to stand together and not be divided."

Our next negotiations session will take place on June 5 and 6 at the Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or union representative.

Thank you for your service to our communities. Please stay safe.


We decide how strong our union will be

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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

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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.

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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.


2018 Corrections Pride Month Calendar

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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

CCCC- BBQ

MCCCW- Nachos

SECTION 2- Event

WCC- BBQ

WSP- Ceremony

FRI 25

MCC- Frisbee Golf

CRCC- Gift Cards

MCC- Trivia

SCCC- Puzzles

SCCC- Popcorn

SAT 26

SUN 27

MON 28

MEMORIAL DAY

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

SCCC- BBQ

 

THU 31

SCCC- Guess the Nose

AHCC- BBQ

HQ- Root Beer Floats

MCC- BBQ

SCCC- Ceremony

 


Teamster corrections employees serve all of us

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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.


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

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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

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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.


Gearing up for DOC contract negotiations starting this week

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Brothers and Sisters -

As your union's Secretary-Treasurer, I've had the privilege over the last several weeks to attend many of the contract proposal meetings across the state as we prepare for upcoming negotiations over our 2019-2021 Department of Corrections contract.

At those meetings, I spoke with many of you about the challenges you face in the workplace and improvements you would like to see in our contract.

I want to thank you personally for talking openly about your concerns. The input that so many of you provided, both at our meetings and in contract surveys, has been invaluable in helping our union bargaining team develop meaningful proposals for these negotiations. 

Negotiations with the State officially get underway next week. On Tuesday, May 1, our union team, which consists of 21 member leaders from facilities across the state, will meet independently to finalize our proposals. We will be across the table from the State for the first time on May 2. 


Meet the Member Leaders on your DOC Bargaining Committee

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As contract proposal meetings for Local 117 members who work at the Department of Corrections have come to a close, please welcome the rank-and-file members of your DOC Bargaining Committee.

They are volunteer Shop Stewards from across the state representing a comprehensive range of DOC positions. Together with union staff, they will be sitting across the table from the State over the next several months to negotiate over our 2019-2021 DOC collective bargaining agreement.

Negotiations will begin on May 1-2. All negotiations will take place at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila. Here is the schedule for negotiations:

  • May 1-2
  • May 23-24
  • June 5-6
  • June 20-21
  • July 10-11
  • July 17-18
  • July 23-27 (Mediation, if necessary)
  • August 22-31 (Interest Arbitration hearing, if necessary)