At King County, members of Teamsters 117 have always prioritized the smooth functioning of the County. However, in recent years this has become increasingly difficult.
Due to budget cuts and the County’s mandate not to limit the hire of new full-time employees following the recession, the use of temporary employees has become a more common practice. King County has gone beyond the scope of the initial term-limited temporary (TLT) employee program, both in numbers of TLT employees and the means in which they are used.
Last week, TLTs and full-time employees from King County met with Field Coordinator, Matthew House, and Field Representative, Suzette Dickerson, as well as Director of Research, Paul Marvy, to discuss this issue.
Ultimately, members want equal rights and protections. Ideas for changing the current practice of TLT usage might look this:
- restricting the use of TLT employees to truly backfills, therefore not creating 2nd class workers;
- creating a route for TLT workers to become career service employees, thus enabling the TLT members access to important union membership rights, such as just cause, seniority, and the right to file grievances;
- allowing full-time employees the right to competitively compete for projects of interest without sacrificing their union and career service protections.
Matthew and Suzette plan to meet with the Coalition of Unions whose members work at King County to further discuss this issue to work to garner Coalition support. If you or your fellow members have input on this issue please contact Suzette at firstname.lastname@example.org.