Local 117 member leaders and staff spent the day at the Monroe Correctional Complex on Wednesday, June 22, talking with members about their concerns at work and ways to grow member engagement. We also gave an update on the ongoing DOC contract negotiations with the State.

Teams staffed tables at all parts of the facility - SOU/IMU, TRU, MSU, WSR - and met with members as they were getting on shift and on their way home.

Conversations centered around a few simple questions: What issues matter most to you at work? What concerns do you have? What can we do to build a stronger union in the workplace?

Members shared their ideas and experiences. Some of the concerns expressed include the pay differential between County Corrections and the DOC, staffing levels, the loss of location pay, recruitment and retention issues, the current retirement system, staff safety issues, and the lack of physical standard requirements at the DOC, among others.

The event marks the kickoff of our Every Voice Counts project at the Department of Corrections. The idea behind the project is to listen to members about their concerns, identify issues, build member leadership, and find collective approaches to resolving problems. The goal is to build a stronger Union in the workplace.

The project launched late last year in King County and some of our South Sound shops. Hundreds of members have participated in the interviews and many have volunteered to help run the program.

We have events planned at additional DOC facilities this summer. We hope to bring it into our private sector locations later this year.

If you have questions about Every Voice Counts or would like to set up an event at your facility, please contact our Internal Organizing Coordinator Karen Estevenin at 206-794-8471.