Michelle-Woodrow.jpgBrothers and Sisters -

B‌y standing ‌together ‌in our union, we’ve accomplished some major successes at the DOC. 

We achieved a 20.3% general wage increase over four years and negotiated interest arbitration rights into our 2017-2019 contract. 

Success did not come overnight.  It took members speaking out in Olympia, testifying at hearings, and assembling a first-rate negotiating team. It also took careful, strategic planning to work toward long-term goals. 

Over the last few months, we’ve been working to develop a strategic plan for 2017-2019.  Thousands of DOC members participated in the process through our member surveys and planning meetings.  Together, we’ve identified new strategic priorities that will guide us into the future.

One such priority is to fortify our union against attacks on workers. To achieve that goal, we will launch an initiative called Family. Strength. Community. This program involves members talking with members about how we can build a stronger union in the workplace.  We’ll also be talking about the threats facing our union and how we can prepare for them.

Next year the Supreme Court will rule on a case called Janus vs AFSCME.  With the current makeup of the Supreme Court, we expect a ruling against AFSCME and against all public sector union members. This decision will result in government workers throughout the country losing their freedom to negotiate union security into their contracts.  It will also take away the freedom to have all workers pay their fair share for contract negotiations and enforcement.  

If this happens, our union members could lose resources and suffer an erosion of their hard won wages and contract provisions. That is, unless we remain determined to support each other.

The best way to protect ourselves against an anti-union ruling is to stand together and re-commit to our co-workers and our union. That’s how we achieved interest arbitration, improved assault benefits, raised wages, and won a stronger contract at the DOC. Many unions thrive, grow, and continue to improve in open shop environments, but the members must engage and organize to be strong. If every member and leader is involved and committed, we will continue to improve our jobs and our lives.

To learn more about our Family. Strength. Community. initiative please visit FamilyStrengthCommunity.org

In Solidarity,

Michelle Woodrow
President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement