DOC GUARDIAN #V6 N2: Union Strength
Quote of the month: "Union strength comes from our participation and civic commitments to public safety." Cheryl Steele, AHCC



A message from your Director of Corrections, Michelle Woodrow

Brothers and Sisters:

Late last month the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released its report on Union membership for 2012. Sadly, the percent of workers who were members of a Union fell to 11.3 from 11.8 percent. Shockingly, Union membership fell despite the fact that union workers in 2012 earned $200 per week more in median wages than non-union workers. Read more

AHCC member recounts Day of Action! event
By Cheryl Steele, Classification Counselor 2, AHCC
Recently I attended the “Day of Action” in Olympia. This was an amazing event I wish all Teamster Local 117 DOC members would have attended.

Our Brothers and Sisters came from all over the State and joined in a rally to let our elected officials know our presence and our needs matter to the daily operations of public safety.

We lobbied individual legislators discussing our safety and the need for “Interest Arbitration”. We talked and they listened. Many voiced their support and appreciation for our work. Read more

DOC Shop Stewards meet, strategize
Over 65 DOC Shop Stewards met on Friday, March 15 in Seattle prior to the annual Local 117 Shop Stewards’ Seminar to plan for the coming year.

Members received a political update, including a report on the status of interest arbitration, which will remain in the House Rules Committee until next legislative session.

Caterina Spinaris, PhD, led the group in a discussion about the high prevalence of PTSD among corrections’ professionals and how best to address the extremely stressful nature of the job. For more information about this important topic, visit Read more

Walking Time Settlement
The Local 117 Legal Department has achieved a significant settlement with the DOC that will provide retroactive compensatory time to members who have been regularly required to walk at least nine minutes or more from master control to their posts.

The agreement also requires that the Department reduce travel time to work stations to ten minutes or less for all employees by April 1, 2013, or begin paying a premium to members if the walk to their posts takes them in excess of the 10-minute threshold. Read more

Welcome New Business Reps!
Your Union is excited to announce the hiring of Tawny Humbert, a former Administrative Assistant at WSP who spoke at Local 117’s Day of Action! event in 2010, and Gar Rodside, a former Construction Maintenance Supervisor at Mission Creek, as new Business Representatives for members at the DOC.

Tawny, who started on March 14, will represent members at AHCC. Gar started on April 15 and will provide representation to members at SCCC, MCCCW, and LCC. Both Tawny and Gar have experience as Shop Stewards; they have strong leadership skills and are committed unionists.

Tawny has rallied in Olympia for interest arbitration, attended the Teamsters’ Women’s Conference, and provided representation support to both custody and non-custody staff in her role as a Shop Steward. “I’ve been a huge advocate for speaking out for workers’ rights,” she said. “Members need to have their voices heard.”

Gar was a Local 117 Shop Steward for 10 years and has been on three contract negotiations teams. “I’ve been a part of every representational activity I can think of,” he said. “I know the value of a good strong union and I want to show the benefits of that.”

Spring 2013

June 20 - Membership Mtg.

June 22 - Car & Bike Show

Membership Meeting - June 20
Join fellow members for the general membership meeting starting at 7 p.m. at the union hall in Tukwila.

Dinner will be served before the meeting starting at 5 p.m.

Local 117 Car & Bike Show - June 22
Rods, customs, classics, and choppers all welcome for your Local Union’s first annual Car & Bike Show on Saturday, June 22, 2013.

This event is sponsored by the Local 117 caucuses to benefit your Union’s Solidarity Scholarship for continuing education.

Roll in at 9:30 a.m. Show starts at 10:30 a.m. A registration form is available online at

Scholarships Available!
Are you a member of Teamsters Local 117 and the parent of a graduating high school senior or a student who is currently enrolled in a college or technical school and is in need of money for college?

The Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding students whose parents are members of Teamsters Local 117. The deadline for the 2013 Alfieri Scholarship is May 10.

An application for the scholarship and eligibility requirements are available at




* DOC Guardian: News for the hardworking men and women of DOC *

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