The DOC has unilaterally made the decision to impose 7 temporary layoff days for a broad number of classifications. We expect the Department to implement temporary layoffs soon. You can view the list of affected classifications that DOC provided us with here.
If you don't already have one, you can set up an account to apply for unemployment benefits at the Washington State Employment Security Department.
The Department’s decision to temporarily lay off DOC Teamsters is extremely shortsighted and was vigorously opposed by our Union’s Negotiation Committee.
Our Union Committee was able to reduce the impact of the temporary layoffs on the membership by 33% (from $4.8 million down to $3.2 million), but we cannot prevent the DOC from exercising its right to impose layoffs.
In negotiations, we informed the Department that their decision is reckless and is liable to have an adverse impact on staff safety. We also made it clear that the DOC is required to implement any temporary layoff plan in a manner that is consistent with the terms and conditions of our collective bargaining agreement.
As temporary layoffs begin at DOC, we must all be vigilant in monitoring management to ensure that our contractual rights are protected. If you observe or are subjected to any of the following potential violations, please report it to your Shop Steward or Union Representative immediately:
- Skimming bargaining unit work: when management or outside consultants perform work ordinarily performed by a member of Teamsters 117;
- Working out of class: when you are asked to perform work outside the normal duties and responsibilities of your specific job classification;
- Anything compromising staff safety: when you are asked to perform work that is unsafe.
Because the Department does not have a sound plan for temporary layoffs, we should assume there will be violations. Again, please be sure you are contacting the Union to report any suspected violation so we can utilize the grievance and arbitration provisions in our contract to protect your rights.
The temporary layoffs are yet another example of DOC mismanaging the economic crisis. Although the State is facing a massive budget shortfall, the Department should have been more judicious in approving the voluntary furloughs many of you applied for and were inexplicably denied. Sensible DOC management of the voluntary furlough agreement that our Union negotiated earlier this year would have gone a long way toward mitigating the impact of the crisis.
Our Union’s legal team will be closely monitoring DOC’s implementation of the temporary layoffs to ensure that your rights are protected. If you witness or suspect a violation of our collective bargaining agreement, please let your Shop Steward or Union Representative know.
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