Local 117 members gather on the steps of the Legislative Building in Olympia.
Teamster power was on full display at the State Capitol on Thursday. More than 150 members and their families from across Washington State converged on Olympia to speak with legislators about a range of issues and concerns facing Teamsters at the Department of Corrections.
"I always look forward to it," said Sheryl Green, a registered nurse and shop steward who made the 5-hour trip to the Capitol from the Airway Heights Corrections Center near Spokane. "It’s important for our legislators to know that we’re human and for them to see us as people and not numbers on pieces of paper. When you come up here, you get to engage them and talk about things that matter to us.”
One priority for our members is to ensure that legislators fund our 2023-2025 collective bargaining agreement. Thanks to an award achieved through the interest arbitration process, the contract contains a general wage increase of 10% (*see note below) over the biennium along with additional range increases for dozens of DOC classifications.
Members also spoke with legislators about the need to expand collective bargaining for unrepresented workers inside the prisons, strengthen overtime and break protections for nurses, improve retirement security for 911 dispatchers by moving them into the PSERS retirement system, and a range of other issues. You can view our Union's full legislative agenda for 2023 here.
"It was powerful to see so many of our members lifting their voices in Olympia today," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "Teamsters at the DOC face chronic understaffing and safety concerns that make a stressful job even more challenging. Legislators need to know that our members who work in the prisons deserve fair pay, safe conditions, and appropriate staffing. This work must be recognized."
*This blog post was revised to correct a typo in the general wage increase for DOC Teamsters over the 2023-2024 biennium. The correct increase over the 2-year period is 10% with additional range increases for some classifications.
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