When we fight, we win!

Corrections & Law Enforcement

Continuing to fortify our union at the DOC

Michelle-Woodrow.jpgBrothers and Sisters -

B‌y standing ‌together ‌in our union, we’ve accomplished some major successes at the DOC. 

We achieved a 20.3% general wage increase over four years and negotiated interest arbitration rights into our 2017-2019 contract. 

Success did not come overnight.  It took members speaking out in Olympia, testifying at hearings, and assembling a first-rate negotiating team. It also took careful, strategic planning to work toward long-term goals. 

Over the last few months, we’ve been working to develop a strategic plan for 2017-2019.  Thousands of DOC members participated in the process through our member surveys and planning meetings.  Together, we’ve identified new strategic priorities that will guide us into the future.

One such priority is to fortify our union against attacks on workers. To achieve that goal, we will launch an initiative called Family. Strength. Community. This program involves members talking with members about how we can build a stronger union in the workplace.  We’ll also be talking about the threats facing our union and how we can prepare for them.

Next year the Supreme Court will rule on a case called Janus vs AFSCME.  With the current makeup of the Supreme Court, we expect a ruling against AFSCME and against all public sector union members. This decision will result in government workers throughout the country losing their freedom to negotiate union security into their contracts.  It will also take away the freedom to have all workers pay their fair share for contract negotiations and enforcement.  

If this happens, our union members could lose resources and suffer an erosion of their hard won wages and contract provisions. That is, unless we remain determined to support each other.

The best way to protect ourselves against an anti-union ruling is to stand together and re-commit to our co-workers and our union. That’s how we achieved interest arbitration, improved assault benefits, raised wages, and won a stronger contract at the DOC. Many unions thrive, grow, and continue to improve in open shop environments, but the members must engage and organize to be strong. If every member and leader is involved and committed, we will continue to improve our jobs and our lives.

To learn more about our Family. Strength. Community. initiative please visit FamilyStrengthCommunity.org

In Solidarity,

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement

DOC Summer BBQs are getting underway soon - See schedule here

Join us for one of our DOC summer BBQs.  We will be meeting all across the state to celebrate getting our contract funded.  We will also be:

  • talking about the importance of political action
  • answering questions about our new contract
  • debriefing legislative session

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

Monday 7/24/2017 1100-1300 DOC HQ
Tuesday 7/25/2017 1100-1300 SWRBO
Wednesday 7/26/2017 1100-1330 Pharmacy
Thursday 7/27/2017 1100-1400 MICC
Friday 7/28/2017 1100-1400 CIHQ
Monday 7/31/2017 0610, 0800, 1200, 1410, 1600, 1730 CRCC
Wednesday 8/2/2017 0630, 0800, 1200, 1420, 1600, 1730    WSP
Friday 8/4/2017 0610, 0800, 1200, 1410, 1600, 1730 AHCC
Monday 8/7/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 CCCC
Tuesday 8/8/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 1530, 2100 WCCW
Friday 8/11/2017 0630, 1100, 1300, 1420, 1600 WCC
Monday 8/14/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 MCCCW
Monday 8/21/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 CBCC
Tuesday 8/22/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 OCC
Friday 8/25/2017 0620, 1100, 1300, 1420, 1600 MCC
Monday 8/28/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 LCC
Thursday 8/31/2017 1130, 1300, 1410, 2100 SCCC


Corrections, UWPD, and DES contracts funded! We did it by standing together


Early this morning, the state released its proposed operating budget for the 2017-2019 biennium.  All indications are that the legislature will vote on the agreement today and that the budget will be signed into law to avert a government shutdown and temporary layoffs of state employees.

The proposed budget fully funds the interest arbitration award for our members at the Department of Corrections. It also funds the contract for our members at the University of Washington Police Department as well as for members at the Department of Enterprise Services. This means that all of the terms and conditions of the new collective bargaining agreements for our members who are state employees are now in place.

Teamsters at the DOC will receive general wage increases of at least 10.5% over the coming biennium; at the UWPD, members will receive annual increases of 10%; DES members' wages will increase by roughly 6%.

The legislature ultimately decided to fund our contracts because all of us stood together and demanded respect for the challenging, dangerous work you perform.

So many of you have played a critical role in this success. Thank you to our incredible member leaders who worked long hours to achieve meaningful improvements to our contracts. At the DOC, we were able to achieve interest arbitration rights in our contract for the first time, which is a major accomplishment.

Many of you also took the time to contact your legislators in the last several weeks as we made the final push to stop a shutdown of state government and avoid temporary layoffs.

Finally, thanks to all of you for the incredible service you provide to our communities. Your work is challenging, dangerous, and vital to the safety of the public.

There is still more work to be done. The proposed budget does not fund an external audit of staffing levels at the DOC. We will be working to include it in the supplemental budget next January as it continues to be one of our priorities moving forward.

But if we stand together as we have done in the last several months, we can continue to strengthen our contracts, improve our working conditions, and our lives.

Tentative agreement reached on state budget


The Governor announced this morning that legislators have reached an agreement “in principle” on an operating budget for 2017-2019.

If the remaining work on the budget can be completed before the end of the day on Friday and the legislature is able to vote on the agreement, a government shutdown and temporary layoffs will be avoided.

Budget negotiators on both sides of the aisle say they are confident that they can get the work done.

At this point, no details about the budget deal are available. We expect to learn more after the four legislative caucuses are briefed on the agreement.

We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.

Call your state senator. Tell them no layoffs at DOC!


Many of you, perhaps more than 3,000 DOC Teamsters, received notice from the Department that you will be laid off if the legislature is unable to reach an agreement over an operating budget for the coming biennium. 

In the manner that it issued layoff notices, the DOC has likely already violated the terms of our collective bargaining agreement, which will trigger our contract's grievance and arbitration process. 

Rest assured, no matter what happens with respect to layoffs, we will vigorously defend your rights under the contract and under the law.

To help jumpstart the process in Olympia, we need to send an urgent message to our state Senators. Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and tell them to pass a budget immediately that invests in corrections employees who protect all of us. 

You and your co-workers put your lives on the line every day to serve and protect our communities, yet the state Senate is unwilling to do its job and pass a budget agreement that invests in the vital services you provide.

Please don't wait. Call your state Senator now!

Teamster Jessica Poston speaks out at rally for state workers


Teamster Jessica Poston, a counselor at the Washington Corrections Center for Women, joined several other state employees who spoke at a rally the Western State Hospital in Lakewood today. 

The speakers were part of the All In For Action coalition that is calling on the state Senate to come to the table to pass a budget that fully funds important programs local communities depend on as opposed to protecting tax breaks for large corporations and the wealthy.

No shutdown! No layoffs at DOC!


A government shutdown is becoming a real possibility. If the legislature does not pass a budget by June 30, thousands of corrections employees could get laid off.

Many of you are hearing that temporary layoff notices will be issued soon. If a shutdown does occur, we will vigorously defend your rights under the contract. You can read more about the DOC’s contingency plan here.

The best way to avoid a shutdown is for us to continue to pressure our state Senators to pass a responsible budget that invests in corrections employees.

So far, the Senate has been unwilling to fund one of our major priorities – an audit of staffing levels that would ultimately improve staff safety in the prisons.

Please call your state Senator now at 1-800-562-6000. Tell them that a government shutdown will put you and your co-workers in danger. Tell them to invest in the men and women who keep us safe.

We will also be participating in a statewide Day of Action at Western State Hospital in Lakewood (9601 Steilacoom Blvd SW) at 12 noon on Thursday, June 22 to prevent a shutdown of state government.

If you are able to attend, please contact your Union Representative. You can RSVP for this event here.

Meet the Mayor of Kahlotus, Dave Wooten – a Teamster



Between the Cascade Mountains to the west and the spectacular Palouse Falls to the east lies a small town of Kahlotus. With a population of only around 200, the Mayor of Kahlotus is Dave Wooten. He is a long time Teamster, an officer at the nearby Coyote Ridge correctional facility.

When I ask what stirred him to get involved in the local political scene back in March of 2016, he simply says that he wanted to help the community and make Kahlotus a better place. 

Senate inaction leads to distribution of layoff notices


We are already a week into the second special session of the legislature and no budget deal is in sight.

DOC and other state agencies have begun distributing layoff notices as they prepare for a possible government shutdown. Many of you will likely begin receiving notices as early as this week.

If the government does go into shutdown mode, it is impossible to say how many state employees could be laid off, but the numbers will likely be in the thousands.

Responsibility for the budget crisis lies squarely on the shoulders of the State Senate. So far, Senate Republicans have been unwilling to negotiate a proposal that fully funds our contract and at the same time funds an external audit of staffing levels at the DOC. The Governor and the House budgets do both.

Our Union supports the House budget because it prioritizes public safety and preserves other critical public services. The Senate wants to raise our property taxes while protecting tax loopholes for the rich.

We need to send a message to our State Senators now. Tell them that they are putting DOC jobs at risk! Their inaction on the budget could lead to massive layoffs statewide and an indefinite freeze of wage increases for DOC employees. Call your Senator at 800.562.6000 now!

Thank you Teamster nurses!


Our Teamster nurses, at the Department of Corrections and the Washington State Nurses Association, perform incredibly challenging work, and it's time to thank them.

This week is National Nurses Week as designated by the American Nurses Association.

Teamster nurses, along with 3 million registered nurses across the country, provide critical health care services to the public. They care for their patients in stressful environments, often working long hours to provide essential, compassionate and ethical services.

Let’s take a moment to pay tribute to our nurses for their dedication, patience, and professionalism.

Please thank a nurse today!