When we fight, we win!

Corrections & Law Enforcement


Union demands equity on wages as DOC interest arbitration begins

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Our union team presented the case for higher compensation for DOC Teamsters today in the first day of our interest arbitration hearing with the State.

The core of our argument is that our corrections members deserve more than the State’s proposal to raise wages by 2% in year one and 2% in year two of our contract. The membership unequivocally rejected that proposal by 98.8% to 1.2% in the recent DOC contract vote.

The results of the vote triggered the interest arbitration clause in our contract. It also sent a powerful message to the arbitrator that the State’s substandard proposal does not come close to recognizing the critical work DOC Teamsters do to serve and protect our communities.

Unfortunately, the State is still not getting the message. They continued to maintain in today’s proceedings that higher wages for DOC are unnecessary and unwarranted.

Our union attorneys countered by laying out our argument for higher wages based on comparables with corrections employees in like jurisdictions. You can view the union’s opening statement here.


A Resounding NO: DOC Teamsters Vote to Reject State's Contract Propsoal

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Our message is loud and clear. By an overwhelming margin, DOC Teamsters have voted to reject the State’s contract proposal.

The final vote results are as follows:

  • 98.8% (2886) voted to REJECT the State’s offer.
  • 1.2% (34) voted to ACCEPT the State's offer

With over 50% of the DOC membership casting a ballot, this contract vote has one of the highest voter participation rates ever.

Clearly, the membership found the State’s proposal to increase wages by 2% in year one and 2% in year two insultingly low. With a strong economy and higher than expected revenues, the State needs to do more to recognize your work and the sacrifices you make every day to serve and protect our communities.

The vote to reject the proposal means that we now have the opportunity to present our argument for higher wages before a neutral, third-party arbitrator in a hearing scheduled to start this Wednesday, August 22 in Tacoma. 

The arbitrator will listen to evidence on both sides and issue a decision on general wage increases and other economic elements of our contract by the end of September.

No matter what the arbitrator decides, we will need to make sure that the award is fully funded by the State legislature during the next legislative session in Olympia, which starts in January. This will require a massive participation at our annual Lobby Day event, which will take place in February next year.

The interest arbitration hearing is scheduled to run for eight days. During the hearing, we will provide you with regular updates. We will also be calling on members of the bargaining unit to testify at the hearing as we make our case before the arbitrator. 

Thank you to everyone who made their voice heard and for following the lead of our union’s negotiations committee that unanimously recommended that you reject the State’s proposal.

Your work as Teamster corrections employees is worth more than the State’s substandard offer. You face challenges and dangers on the job that the public doesn’t understand to protect all of us. The State needs to do more to honor your service.


TAKE ACTION: Defend attacks on health care for state employees!

Hands-Off-Our-Health-Care.pngAccess to good health care is critical for State employees, but so far the State is not getting the message. In the current round of health care negotiations, their proposal would increase out-of-pocket costs for you and your family.

Our coalition of unions has proposed COST SAVINGS through a reduced premium share, but the State is pushing back. We need to flood the Governor's office with phone calls and emails now!

Tell the Governor to fund a health care agreement that values the hard work you perform to serve and protect our communities. 

During the recession, State employees made sacrifices to help the State through its financial crisis. Now that the State is back on solid financial footing, they need to prevent costly increases to your health care.

CALL AND EMAIL THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE NOW!

Call Governor Inslee's office at 360-902-4111 or send him an email now. Urge him to:

  • Support a fair health care agreement that values the hard work and sacrifices you make to serve and protect our communities.

Please call and email the Governor now!


DOC Contract Voting Is Now Closed - Voting Closed on Sunday Night at 11:59 P.M.

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DOC VOTING IS NOW CLOSED. VOTING CLOSED AT 11:59 P.M. ON SUNDAY, AUG. 19.  We will be posting the results on Monday, August 20. Stay Tuned!

Your union negotiations committee unanimously recommends that you VOTE NO!

VOTING INSTRUCTIONS

Voting is being conducted two ways: (1) by telephone or (2) through the internet. You may only vote by one (1) method. Polls open at 12:01 A.M. on Monday, August 6 and close at 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, August, 19.

COMMITTEE RECOMMENDS THAT YOU VOTE NO!

Your union's negotiations committee is unanimously recommending that you VOTE NO on your contract. A majority voting no will send the State's substandard economic proposal to an interest arbitration hearing where we will make our case for higher wages before the arbitrator.

Please review the documents listed below AND attend one of the contract update meetings at your facility to understand why we are recommending a NO vote. The cover letter, voting instructions, and contract summary documents below will also be mailed to your home address on file with the union.

DOC CONTRACT DOCUMENTS

CONTRACT UPDATE MEETINGS

Attend one of the contract update meetings at your facility to understand why we are recommending a NO vote and to inform yourself about the upcoming interest arbitration process. Be sure to check the times and locations of the meetings at your facility.

It is important that we have excellent voter turnout and a strong NO VOTE so that we can make our case for higher wages before the arbitrator!


Teamster leadership academy participant organizes BBQ for fellow members

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Cheryl Miller, her husband Mark, and AHCC member Rob Rinard setting up for the BBQ event on July 31. 


Hot dogs sizzled on the grill as DOC members grabbed a bite to eat and discussed an upcoming contract vote and the need to stay strong given a recent Supreme Court ruling that threatens our union.

The BBQ was organized by Cheryl Miller, a shop steward at the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Spokane. Cheryl is a participant in our Teamsters Leadership Academy and drew inspiration to hold the event from the 9-month course.

“Putting on an event like this was strictly by a member for a member,” she said.  “The only way that we can stay strong is to stick together and stand our ground otherwise we’re going to end up working for a lot less wages than we’re getting now.”

"The only way that we can stay strong is to stick together..."

The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Janus v AFSCME to create an “open shop” environment in the public sector, allowing members to abandon their unions. The danger of open shop is that wages, benefits, and working conditions can erode over time. Cheryl wanted to spread the word that the antidote to open shop is member unity and engagement.

Over the course of the day, hundreds of members stopped by to chat and grab a hot dog. Many expressed their appreciation and said they would make sure to vote on their contract.

An event of this scale cannot be put on without help.  Cheryl recruited her husband, Mark, a retired Teamster food service manager and fellow member Rob Rinard to pass out materials and work the grill. Teamster staff were on hand, including Michelle Woodrow, our union’s President and Director of Corrections and Law Enforcement, to talk about negotiations and answer questions.

“What an excellent way to build union solidarity,” Woodrow said. “Thank you to Cheryl Miller for organizing this event and to all of our DOC members who work so hard to keep our communities safe. They deserve a contract that recognizes their sacrifice and honors their commitment to public safety.”


DOC negotiations team unanimously recommends that you vote NO on the State’s proposal

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Our DOC negotiations team worked late into the night on Friday and early into Saturday morning after a long week in mediation with the State in an effort to resolve the elements of our 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement that we were unable to reach agreement on.

The team worked hard to craft an equitable economic proposal that values the critical public safety work you perform. Our proposal was based on well-researched comparables of corrections employees performing similar work in like jurisdictions.

In the end, the State was unwilling to come even remotely close to adequately recognizing your work. The State’s proposal as of Saturday morning is 2% in year one and 2% in year two of the contract. Their final offer ignores the dangers you face on the job and the essential role you play in keeping our communities safe.

As a result, our union’s negotiations committee is unanimously recommending that you vote to reject the State’s proposal.

Contract voting will be conducted in two ways: 1) by telephone or 2) through the internet. The telephonic and online internet polls open at 12:01 AM on Monday, August 6, 2018, and close at 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 19, 2018.

We will make available a summary document and a redline contract proposal document as well as complete voting instructions by the end of this week. You will be notified by email when the documents are available for your review on our union’s website.

We will be holding in-person meetings to review the State’s proposal and to answer your questions starting on Monday, August 6. You can view the complete schedule of contract update meetings at all locations here.

Assuming a majority of the voting DOC membership casts a no vote, we will exercise the interest arbitration rights in our contract and go to hearing with the State. At the hearing, we will present the following mandatory subjects of bargaining before a neutral arbitrator who will make an impartial ruling:

  • A general wage increase for all DOC Teamsters based on comparable data
  • Elements of Article 16 of our contract (Hours of Work)

The interest arbitration hearing will be held at the end of August with Arbitrator Joseph Duffy presiding. Our union’s legal counsel is busy preparing our case and will likely call on a number of DOC members to testify.

Again, our negotiations committee is unanimously recommending that you vote NO on the States proposal. Our unity in rejecting the State’s substandard proposal will give us the strongest possible position as we head into interest arbitration. Please be sure to vote and make your voice heard!

In closing, our deep gratitude goes out to our incredible negotiations team for their dedication, commitment, perseverance, and strength. Our team worked tirelessly to achieve the best possible contract for all Teamsters at the DOC. Be sure to thank them for their service.

You can view a short video update from negotiations here.


No agreement reached with State in DOC negotiations

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Our DOC negotiations team worked late into the night on Friday and early into Saturday morning after a long week in mediation in an effort to reach an agreement with the State over our 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement.

Unfortunately, the State was unwilling to put forth an economic proposal that adequately recognizes the critical public safety work you perform. Our negotiations team is unanimously recommending that you vote to reject the State's proposal. We will be providing a more complete update from negotiations and information about the upcoming contract vote process early next week.

Watch the video update below from Michelle Woodrow, your union's President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement:


DOC Contract Vote Dates, Times, and Locations

 

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In August, we will be holding contract vote meetings for all DOC Teamsters to vote on your 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement.

It's important that your voice is heard! Please attend one of the listed meetings at your facility and cast your vote. Thank you!

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

DAY DATE TIMES INSTITUTION
Monday 8/6/2018 0630, 0900, 1130, 1430, 1630 MCC
Tuesday 8/7/2018 0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630 CCCC
Tuesday 8/7/2018 1100, 1230, 1420, 1630, 2100, 2200 WCC
Wednesday 8/8/2018 0530, 0625, 0800, 1130, 1415, 1530 AHCC
Wednesday 8/8/2018 0900 MICC
Thursday 8/9/2018 0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630 SCCC
Friday 8/10/2018 1100, 1200 SWRBO
Friday 8/10/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 MCCCW
Monday 8/13/2018 0700, 0800, 1400 CIHQ
Monday 8/13/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 OCC
Monday 8/13/2018 0500, 0800, 1130, 1300,1415, 1530, 1630 WSP
Tuesday 8/14/2018 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 CBCC
Tuesday 8/14/2018 1100, 1200 Central Pharmacy
Wednesday 8/15/2018 0600, 0800, 1130, 1300, 1415, 1530, 1630, 1800 CRCC
Thursday 8/16/2018 1100, 1200 DOC HQ
Thursday 8/16/2018 0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630 LCC
Friday 8/17/2018 0620, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1530 WCCW

 


With Flagrant Response from the State, DOC Bargaining Heads into Mediation

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Earlier this month, our union negotiations committee passed a thoughtful economic proposal to the State as we continue the process of bargaining over your 2019-2021 contract.

Our proposal was backed by comparable data from other jurisdictions and took into account the unique and critical nature of your work and the important public service you provide in keeping our communities safe. It took into consideration the recruitment and retention problems at the Department and contemplated the amount of overtime that is frequently required and is extreme by any measure.

"I am not willing to back down. Our people need to survive, and I’ll fight for them."

In last week’s negotiations, the State came back with a response that was extremely disrespectful. Kathe Jackson, a nurse at the Washington State Penitentiary and a member of our union committee expressed her frustration. “We work every day. We place ourselves at risk of injury and death just to feed our families. For the State not to acknowledge that is offensive.”

When asked questions about how they put their proposal together, the State’s response was: “This is what we can afford.” They did not give any consideration into the dangerous work you perform or the critical services you provide. The State did not acknowledge how employees at Washington’s correctional facilities are underpaid as compared to other people doing the same type of work in similar jurisdictions.

To say that the bargaining committee was frustrated is a huge understatement. “I am not willing to back down,” said Jackson. “Our people need to survive, and I’ll fight for them.”

This week we are in mediation, and I hope to have a better report for you at the end of it. Please stay tuned and watch for the email updates. We promise to keep you apprised of what’s going on with your contract.

Thank you and as always, stay safe.

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement
Lead negotiator for DOC Collective Bargaining Agreement

 


DOC Bargaining Update: Union Economics on the Table

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Last week DOC negotiations shifted to economics as your Union presented its initial economic proposal. In making this proposal, your bargaining committee demanded that the State recognize the incredible service that correctional employees provide to protect the public.  

The proposal included salary increases for all classifications, improvement to shift differential, expansion of the Specialty Team Premium to include Honor Guard, Assignment Pay for Shift Commanders at stand-alone minimums and members working in Specialized Units, as well as cost-of-living increases for both years of the contract. We expect the State to respond when we meet this week.

In terms of our other proposals, Sally Thiessen, a Shop Steward at SCCC and a member of the bargaining team, summed it up best. “We’re waiting on just about everything we have submitted to them,” she said.

"Our leaders are constantly fighting for us."

“We are aggressively moving forward with the State, not allowing them to make the changes that can hinder our operation and negatively affect our livelihood and work-life balance. Our leaders are constantly fighting for us,” stated Doug Lambe, a Maintenance Mechanic and Shop Steward at WCCW who also sits at the negotiations table.

The bargaining committee’s frustration is mounting, as the State appears to be ill prepared every time we meet. Because of this, we expect to be in mediation the week of July 23 in hopes of reaching an agreement.

Our next negotiations session will be held on July 17 and July 18 at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions about bargaining, talk to your negotiations committee members or your Union Representative.

Thank you for your service, please stay safe.

In Solidarity,

Michelle Woodrow