When we fight, we win!

Corrections & Law Enforcement

Another win! PERC orders UW to cover paid family leave premium for officers


Officer and Shop Steward Mark Hackett has worked on campus for over twelve years.

The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) has ruled in favor of our Union in an Unfair Labor Practice case with the University of Washington involving paid family leave for UW police. 

During negotiations, the employer signed off on a tentative contract agreement that included a proposal to cover the complete paid family leave premium for Teamsters at the UW Police Department (UWPD). On the day of the contract ratification vote, the employer tried to renege on the proposal.

Our Union filed an Unfair Labor Practice arguing that the employer must uphold its end of the negotiated agreement. The case went to hearing in June, and we received the PERC examiner's decision this week.

In its order, PERC ruled that the employer had breached its "good faith bargaining obligations by refusing to honor agreements reached in bargaining." 

PERC is ordering the employer to cover the paid family leave premium for UWPD union members or "make an equivalent payment to bargaining unit employees." Employees will also be made whole for any premium contributions deducted from their pay that contradict the paid family leave article.

"It really shows how important it is having Teamsters as our union."

"It was important to keep them accountable because they were trying to go back on their word," said Officer Mike Miskell, in reacting to the PERC ruling. "Everybody at the UWPD really appreciates the hard work. Also with getting interest arbitration, it really shows how important it is having Teamsters as our union."

"Our members at the UWPD and across our union honor the terms and conditions of their contracts, and we expect employers to do the same," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "When an employer makes a commitment in negotiations, we will hold them accountable. This is an important victory for all Teamsters, and a testament to the outstanding work of our Union's legal team."

You can read the PERC examiner's complete ruling and order here.

DOC custody staff vote to expand uniform options


The results of the recent vote are in regarding Article 36 – Uniforms, Tool, and Equipment for DOC custody staff who are members of Teamsters 117. The vote involved whether to modify Article 36 to grant custody members the ability to wear polo shirts as a DOC uniform option. 

The vote results are as follows:

  • 1280 - Yes (I Accept)
  • 73 - No (I Reject)

With this vote, custody members will now be able to wear polo shirts as a uniform option. As with other uniform options, polo shirts will be provided by the Department at no cost to custody staff. Under the agreement, members will retain the option to wear BDU-style shirts.

This concludes a long process of negotiations over the issue with the Department. Thank you to all of the members and staff on our DOC Uniform Committee who helped negotiated the agreement.

If you have questions, please contact your Union Representative or one of the members on the Uniform Committee:

  • Elizabeth Beaber, WCCW
  • Stephen Bolinger, CRCC
  • Lloyd Bookter, CBCC
  • Reginald Braswell, CCCC
  • Edwin Gonzalez, MCC
  • Angela Henneman, SCCC
  • Corey Schmidt, WSP
  • Gordon Sprague, MCCCW
  • Jami Todd, CRCC
  • Douglas Vincent, WCC

DOC Holiday Meetings 2019


Join us for our 2019 Holiday Membership Meetings to discuss and sign up for Teamsters Lobby Day in February.

View the days, times, and facilities for our union holiday meetings below. To RSVP, click on your facility below.

AHCC Thursday November 21 0600, 0700, 1100, 1230, 1330, 1600
CBCC Thursday November 21 0530, 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100
CCCC Wednesday November 13 1100, 1300, 1420, 2100
CI HQ Friday December 13 0700, 1400
CRCC Tuesday November 19 0530, 0630, 0715, 1100, 1230, 1330, 1600
DOC HQ Wednesday December 11 0900-1300
LCC Thursday November 14 1100, 1300, 1420, 2100
Maple Lane Pharmacy Wednesday December 9 1100, 1200
MCC Tuesday December 17 0630, 0915, 1130, 1430, 1630
MCCCW Monday December 9 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100
MICC Wednesday November 20 1030
OCC Wednesday November 20 1130, 1300, 1410, 2200
SCCC Monday December 16 1130, 1300, 1415, 1630, 2100
SWRBO Wednesday December 18 1200
WCC Monday December 16 1100, 1300, 1420, 2100
WCCW Tuesday December 10 0620, 1130, 1300,1410, 1500
WSP Wednesday November 13 0530, 0630, 0715, 1130, 1300, 1430, 1630


DOC Custody Staff: Vote to expand DOC uniform options!



After long, challenging negotiations, our union's uniform committee, consisting of union staff and rank-and-file members from DOC facilities across the state, has bargained a tentative agreement to expand available options with respect to your DOC uniforms.

If approved by Teamsters 117 members who are custody staff, the negotiated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) would grant those members the ability to wear polo shirts as a DOC uniform option. Polo shirts, as with other uniform options, would be provided by the Department at no cost to custody staff. Under the agreement, members would retain the option to wear BDU-style shirts.


Since this would constitute a change to Article 36, Uniforms, Tools, and Equipment, of our 2019-2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement, custody members who are required to wear uniforms at work will have an opportunity to vote on the agreement.

You must be a member of Teamsters 117 in order to vote. If you are not a member and would like to vote on this change, please complete the online membership application here and submit it by September 30.

Voting will take place online and by telephone from September 30, 2019 at 8 a.m. through Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 5 p.m. View voting documents and instructions below:

Thank you to the members below who worked incredibly hard to achieve expanded uniform options for custody staff at the DOC. If you have any questions, be sure to reach out to one of the members on the committee or your Union Representative.

  • Elizabeth Beaber, WCCW
  • Stephen Bolinger, CRCC
  • Lloyd Bookter, CBCC
  • Reginald Braswell, CCCC
  • Edwin Gonzalez, MCC
  • Angela Henneman, SCCC
  • Corey Schmidt, WSP
  • Gordon Sprague, MCCCW
  • Jami Todd, CRCC
  • Douglas Vincent, WCC

Thank you for your service. Please stay safe.

Postings going up for DOC Shop Stewards - check your union boards


At the end of September, we will be posting for new Shop Stewards on union bulletin boards at all Department of Corrections facilities across the state.

Our Shop Stewards play an essential role in ensuring that our union is strong and effective.

The position involves engaging your co-workers in the union, advocating for them in the workplace, enforcing the contract, maintaining direct communication with the Union Representative, and participating in grievance meetings, among many other duties.

The next two-year term for newly-elected Shop Stewards begins on January 1, 2020 and ends on December 31, 2021.

If you are interested in the position, please watch your union bulletin board for the posting and sign up. If multiple people are interested in a single position at your facility, an advisory vote will be conducted with the membership. If you have questions, please talk to your Union Representative.

The dates that postings will go up and elections will be held, if necessary, are as follows:

AHCC Sept. 30 Oct. 17
CBCC Sept. 30 Oct. 18
CCCC Sept. 30 Oct. 22
CI HQ Sept. 30 Oct. 30
CRCC Sept. 30 Oct. 15
DOC HQ Sept. 30 Oct. 28
LCC Sept. 30 Oct. 25
Maple Lane Pharmacy Sept. 30 Oct. 22
MCC Sept. 30 Oct. 22
MCCCW Sept. 30 Oct. 25
MICC Sept. 30 Oct. 29
OCC Sept. 30 Oct. 17
SCCC Oct. 1 Oct. 21
SWRBO Sept. 30 Oct. 24
WCC Sept. 30 Oct. 21
WCCW Sept. 30 Oct. 21
WSP Sept. 30 Oct. 17


Guardian Newsletter: Teamster Heroes


The fall issue of our DOC Guardian newsletter is hot off the press!

In this issue, you'll find a story about a true Teamster hero, William Flores, who apprehended a runaway inmate from the Olympic Corrections Center near Forks. 

You'll also find articles about the work of our DOC Retirement Committee and news about the independent audit report that identified severe staffing shortages in WA State prisons.

Guardian newsletter - Click Here

Print copies will be distributed at your facility over the next few weeks.

DOC Teamsters: Take the retirement committee survey!

During our last DOC Retirement Committee meeting, members of the committee developed a survey to solicit your feedback about retirement. 

The survey takes just a few minutes to complete and will help the committee make policy recommendations, which is the first step toward improving benefits.

Take the survey now!

Once the results are in, the committee will research what is fiscally and politically feasible and what will have the greatest impact on the membership as a whole.

As this process unfolds, we will continue to keep you updated on the work of the committee.

We are asking that you complete the survey by no later than September 16, 2019. Thank you!

DOC staffing level audit calls for additional positions in WA prisons


You may recall that DOC Teamsters, working in concert with our union's Legislative Affairs Department, successfully lobbied the legislature to secure funding in 2018 for a comprehensive staffing level audit at the DOC. 

At the time, the DOC had been operating under a staffing model that had not been reviewed in 30 years. An external audit was the first step in addressing insufficient staffing levels in our State's prisons. 

That external review of the Department, conducted by CGL Companies, is now complete and the company has published a report with a number of important findings.

As suspected, the audit revealed that the Department is significantly understaffed in several areas. The report concluded, for example, that an additional 250 custody staff are required above levels funded and that there are severe shortages in a number of non-custody areas as well.

You can review the entire DOC Prison Staffing Model Report here.

This week a group of rank-and-file members and union staff met with the State at our Union Hall in Tukwila to hear DOC's assessment of the audit. The Department indicated that they are developing a plan to request additional positions from the legislature.

Our union's Political Department is also in the process of developing a strategy for working with the legislature, in coordination with the Department, to begin securing funding for additional positions to meet current demand as recommended by the audit.

Needless to say, we'll need your help and an excellent turnout at next year's Lobby Day to make sure our legislators understand that DOC is severely understaffed and how that impacts staff safety.

Officers at the UWPD Celebrate the Passage of Interest Arbitration Bill, Support the Union 100%


Mark Hackett has worked on campus for over twelve years.

When you are a police officer at UWPD, you never know in the morning what your day will bring. It could range from responding to a car prowl case to something more serious, such as a gun threat, or you might be fishing unruly students out of the quite deep and polluted Drumheller fountain again. With the beginning of the academic year, thousands of new freshmen students are expected at the UW, and police officers will be going to student orientations to do safety trainings and talk to parents and students who might be out on their own for the first time.

" I want to thank past members, past Teamster Reps, and all who made this bill a reality."

Officer Mark Hackett has done this job for over twelve years and knows that patience and diplomacy are his assets when resolving incidents involving students in a college environment.

“We’re here as a resource for the students, and we want them to succeed. We want to keep them safe,” he shared.

Officer Hackett appreciates the necessity of a union for performing his best at a job laced with daily uncertainty and danger. His coworkers formed a guild when he first came to the UWPD, but around 2010 things began to change. A new police chief moved in from a right-to-work state and contract violations began to compound. Hackett and his team realized they needed more power to face the injustices creeping up in their workplace and decided to join Teamsters 117.

“The University of Washington is a very powerful entity and a very large employer, so we needed the backing of a powerful union,” mentioned Hackett.

After joining the Teamsters, officers had their contract respected again and gained invaluable representational support and help with legal matters.

“At the end of the day, I need to get home to my wife and daughter. Having a good contract means having good equipment and increased safety,” Hackett said.

One of the biggest issues for officers at the UWPD was that they were not interest arbitration eligible. They were hopeful that joining Teamsters 117 would help them make progress toward that goal, and they were not disappointed. After almost a decade of Teamsters fighting for interest arbitration, the Governor has signed the bill and 6000 members, including UWPD officers, were granted access to a neutral arbitrator for resolution of negotiations that have reached impasse.

Michelle Woodrow with UWPD officers

Along with Teamsters 117 President, Michelle Woodrow, Hackett and his co-workers are celebrating the passage of  an interest arbitration bill.

Here Hackett puts it in his own words:

“After facing many difficult challenges the Campus Police Officers at the University of Washington joined Teamsters 117 in 2011. The transition was not easy. We faced a difficult and unknown future as we worked to achieve our first Teamsters collective bargaining agreement. Our UWPD members had a clear conversation about future goals and had high expectations of our Union.  Our Teamster’s Business Reps, Attorneys, and the President of our local, had a very direct response. We needed to change the law. We needed to have the same rights as other police officers in our state. We needed interest arbitration!

Approximately 8 years later, Governor Inslee will put pen to paper and Senate Bill 5022, granting interest arbitration to Campus Police Officers throughout the State of Washington. I want to thank past members, past Teamster Reps, and all who made this bill a reality. Our members, our Union, our work, make a difference!”

Today, Hackett is celebrating this monumental achievement with his co-workers as smoke rises from the grill, and Teamsters enjoy a BBQ outside their station. If you are ever at the UW campus, know that officers there are 100% behind their union.

Hero Teamster Apprehends Runaway Inmate near Olympic National Forest


Joel Bruch and William Flores after assisting in apprehending a runaway inmate at Olympic Correctional Center. Photo credit: OCC

It was early Tuesday morning, and Correctional Officer William Flores was scouting along the creeks of Clearwater River two miles south of the Olympic Correctional Center searching for an inmate who had escaped the correctional facility three days ago. Inmate recovery units from Olympic, Stafford Creek, Clallam Bay and Cedar Creek Corrections Centers were deployed combing through the Olympic National forest and giving heads up to the loggers in the area.

Flores was searching for tracks in the mud near the riverbank when he saw a logger, Joel Bruch, whom he had spoken to only a few minutes earlier driving back hastily. It turned out that Bruch had just spotted an older man who matched the fugitive’s description, and Flores responded immediately.

They drove back to the spot, and soon Flores spotted their guy with a backpack across his shoulder. The inmate, Mark Vannausdle, who was serving his final years of a 20-year sentence for assault and armed robbery, stood at the bottom of a hill. He was known to be a good runner and on the day of his escape he had bolted out of a bus as he was transported to the dining hall and disappeared in the forest.

Now, Flores looked at this familiar yellow jacket and called out to the inmate identifying himself and giving him directions to stop. Instead, Vannausdle chose to sprint up the hill. Flores ran after him but when he reached the top of the hill, the inmate was already out of sight. It wasn’t long before Flores found the fugitive hiding in the nearby bushes. This time, Vannausdle listened to Flores’s instructions. Flores waited for the rest of the search team, who arrived in less than 10 minutes, and at 7:37 a.m., Mark Vannausdle was apprehended without any injuries and in good condition.

“We didn’t want anyone to get hurt, that’s our main objective,” reflected Flores.

For William Flores, who has worked at Olympics Correctional Center for almost eight years and received the Officer of the Year award two years ago, it was his first inmate recovery deployment. He is proud and content that he was able to assist in returning the inmate to the custody of the Department of Corrections.

“We are a minimum security facility, and I enjoy working there. We are working on putting people on a path to be integrated with their communities rather than being just an incarceration facility,"said Flores. Today, he is taking a well-deserved rest knowing that residents of the nearby communities will sleep free from anxiety tonight.