The 2017 legislative session kicked off in Olympia today, and with it comes serious challenges facing working families across our state.

Our top priority is to ensure that legislators invest in those who keep our communities safe.

Corrections employees put their lives on the line to serve and protect our communities, but are significantly underpaid for the important public safety work they perform.

Correctional officers, for example, are paid 37.44 percent less than those at county corrections after ten years of service. Other classifications at DOC are similarly underpaid.

It is common for DOC employees to leave state service for higher-paying positions after DOC has invested in training them. When corrections employees leave because they are underpaid it creates a safety risk for the remaining prison staff.

A neutral arbitrator has awarded our DOC members a minimum 10.5 percent wage increase over the coming biennium. The state’s Office of Financial Management has deemed the award financially feasible and the Governor has included our contract in his budget.

Now it’s up to the state legislature to ensure that our contract gets funded and corrections employees get the respect they deserve.

We’re calling on all Teamsters to support our DOC brothers and sisters in this effort. We’ll be meeting directly with legislators to urge them to fund our DOC contract on February 13 and 14.

That’s when we’re holding our DOC Legislative Reception and Lobby Day.

You can register for the event here

Throughout the legislative session, we will be tracking bills and other issues that impact all members of Teamsters Local 117.  There will be many opportunities to testify at legislative hearings and speak directly with lawmakers. We will let you know when those opportunities arise.

It's critical that Teamsters get involved down in Olympia so that we can hold our representatives accountable and ensure that our state invests in working families.

For more information or if you want to get involved, please contact our Political Coordinator Dustin Lambro at 1-888-872-3489.