When we fight, we win!

Corrections & Law Enforcement

The Power of Teamsters 117


Last year, on our Teamsters Lobby Day, members at the Department of Corrections were joined by dozens of Teamsters from other industries, including 40 Teamster taxi drivers and several Local 117 members, who at the time were on strike at United Natural Foods, Inc.

DOC members had come to Olympia that day to lobby for interest arbitration rights, which we ultimately won by way of an MOU signed by the Governor last year. But they also voiced their support of their fellow Teamsters in the taxi industry and on issues such as workers’ comp, FMLA, and paid sick days. Similarly, taxi drivers spoke about the need to pass their own taxi bill, but they lobbied their representatives on interest arbitration as well.

Guardian Newsletter: Preparing for Contract Negotiations

1.17.14_Guardian.jpgCheck out the new issue of the Guardian newsletter for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections.  This issue focuses on upcoming contract negotiations that are scheduled to start in April as well as our priorities for the current legislative session in Olympia. 

In addition, you will find articles on:

WCC Officer Reinstated after Arbitration Win

harlan-finch.jpgTo be declared unfit for duty as a corrections officer is devastating.  It shatters your confidence, destroys your career, and implies a broken trust.

But when it is unjustified, as in the case of Officer Harlan Finch of WCC, you need the courage to challenge the DOC, and you need to have faith in your union.  Officer Finch has both.

In 2011, Officer Finch was unexpectedly placed on administrative leave.  He was an experienced officer, with 26 years at the Department.  Yet despite his tenure, the Department was determined to undermine his career.  

Advocating for Corrections in the Supplemental Budget

On December 17, Governor Inslee released his supplemental budget proposal, which includes $5.1 million for the opening of the 256-bed medium security unit at WSP to meet the demands of a rising male offender caseload and to reduce overcrowding. 

In the supplemental capital budget, Inslee proposes $1.8 million to complete redesign studies on capacity issues for male and female prison populations.  

Both levels of appropriation are necessary in order to ensure the safety, security, and well being of our state's correctional employees.

DOC Contract Surveys & Demands Meetings

We are in the process of preparing for collective bargaining over your successor labor agreement and for the first time we will have interest arbitration available to resolve any issues in negotiations that we cannot reach agreement on with the State/DOC.  Our negotiations with the State begin in April and we have scheduled the arbitration for the last two weeks of August, 2014.  We anticipate that we will need to present evidence to the arbitrator regarding the extent to which State compensation is deficient to comparable jurisdictions. 

As we prepare for the hearing, we will be compiling data from other jurisdictions and developing evidence regarding the impact that the deficient pay scale has on recruitment, retention and promotion. 

Your participation in the bargaining process is critical to achieving a strong contract that is acceptable to you.

DOC Facility News - December 2013

For a sample of the representational work on behalf of Teamsters at the DOC for the month of December, check out the DOC facility news section of the website.

There has been a lot going at at the DOC in December.  We held our annual holiday membership meetings at all of the facilties across the State, and we held trainings for all DOC Shop Stewards.  You can view a more detailed look at our work by facility

Keep in mind that the work described in the facility news section is not comprehensive.  The section will be updated on a bi-monthly basis 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!

WSP Unit Opening Included in Governor's Budget Proposal

Today Governor Inslee released his supplemental budget proposal for 2014.  In his proposal, the Governor appropriated $5.1 million in funding for “new prison capacity”, which will fund the opening of the remaining 256-bed unit at WSP to meet the demands of rising offender case loads and to reduce crowding at existing facilities.  

Correctional Officers in PA Vote Teamsters

MontCoCorrections.jpgYou work in Corrections, serving your community and keeping us safe, yet your shift is so understaffed that there's no time to go to the bathroom.  Your wages have been shrinking for years as have your benefits.  What do you do?  

You join the Teamsters, that's what!  

DOC Lobby Day on January 28 - Sign Up Here!


Join us as we fight to protect and expand the rights of State Correctional Employees!  We will be meeting on January 28 at 9 A.M. on the Capitol Campus.  Contact Political Coordinator Dustin Lambro at 1-888-872-3489 for details.

Personal Holidays Outcome Preserves DOC Members' Rights

Last year, Teamsters at the DOC successfully won an arbitration award that prohibits the Department from denying personal holiday requests under the pretext that “relief is unavailable.”

The arbitrator’s award put a stop to the DOC’s practice of denying personal holiday requests in most cases.  Unfortunately, it didn’t stop the Department from violating your contract altogether. DOC continued to deny personal holiday requests when the day requested fell on an actual holiday.