Our Union Coalition bargaining team spent most of the day in caucus on Wednesday, June 22, first reviewing the possible economic parameters including wage increases, a coalition premium, and health and welfare benefit protection.
Our Union team also reviewed language that represented possible revisions to a Joint Labor Agreement (JLA) that culled out provisions and language unacceptable to the Union Coalition.
We then had a robust and serious dialogue regarding the JLA. The JLA was not originally contemplated by the Total Compensation Agreement that led to these negotiations, and the concept of the JLA was introduced very late in the process and without a clear and reasonable explanation as to how the JLA (and agreement of common terms applicable to all coalition unions) would integrate with the multiple, mature collective bargaining agreements that have been negotiated across decades.
Professional and Technical Employees, Local 17 (which represents approximately 2,000 employees), was absolute in its rejection of the JLA under any conditions in this round of negotiations, and called the question for the Union Coalition.
The Coalition united behind this approach and at the end of the day met with the County to communicate this message and to express its disappointment that we have not yet received a formal, written proposal from the County addressing the Union Coalition’s last economic proposal.
The County committed that it would present such a proposal at our next session, which is on Wednesday, July 6, 2016.
We remain hopeful that the County will rethink its position on the JLA and engage in good faith bargaining on economic issues moving forward, as the Total Compensation Agreement originally contemplated.
Our Coalition remains steadfast and unified in our priorities for an across-the-board wage increase in each year of the contract, contributions for medical benefits that avoid any employee premium share, a separate wage table for coalition members, and improvements to career advancement.
If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or your Business Representative, Suzette Dickerson, at 206-441-4860 ext. 1232.
Thank you for your service to the residents of King County and for your membership to Teamsters Local 117.