Our Union's Legislative Affairs Department has worked with members to identify our top legislative priorities for 2024 to protect and expand the rights of working families.
This year, we will be holding two lobby day events for members of Teamsters 117.
We will be partnering with the Washington State Labor Council for a WSLC Lobby Day on February 1, 2024 to lift the voices of Teamsters working in the private sector. Our Department of Corrections Lobby Day will be held on February 7-8, 2024 in Olympia.
OUR LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR 2024
Because striking workers lack access to unemployment insurance assistance, employers can use the threat of evictions, repossessions, and other economic hardships to suppress wages and working conditions. By approving SB 5777/HB 1893, Washington can join New York, New Jersey and Maine in allowing workers to access unemployment insurance after more than two weeks on strike. This will help level the playing field, discourage economic hardship as a bargaining strategy, and promote good-faith contract negotiations.
Workers in Washington have a legal right to form a union free of interference from their employer. But employers regularly violate this law by holding forced meetings where they coercively imply to workers that voting for a union may lead to layoffs, loss of benefits, or closure. SB 5778/HB 1940, the Employee Free Choice Act, would level the playing field for workers by making these meetings voluntary and prescribing civil penalties for violations.
Interest Arbitration Rights for 911 Telecommunicators (SB 5808)
Teamsters 117 represents hundreds of 911 personnel. These essential first responders serve as a critical first contact when the public seeks relief in the event of an emergency. They interface with community members in distress and support our police officers and firefighters by monitoring their activities and providing them with vital information. SB 5808 would provide our 911 telecommunicators with interest arbitration rights - the same rights currently enjoyed by police, firefighters, and corrections employees. Interest arbitration levels the playing field in contract negotiations and will give these workers the respect they deserve.
Autonomous Vehicles (SB 5872)
Although technology is evolving quickly in this space recent experiences in other states clearly show that this technology is not ready for widespread commercial use. This bill will require a human safety operator in all commercial vehicles.
OTHER BILLS WE ARE TRACKING/SUPPORTING
Workers Compensation Fairness (SB 5991)
Third party Administrators should all be held to a “Good Faith and Fair Dealing” standard; unfortunately, only injured workers in the public sector have that protection.
Access to fertility coverage should not be reserved for the wealthy. Requiring regulated insurance plans in Washington to include fertility coverage will make this treatment more affordable for parents.
PERC Cards (SB 6060)
Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission should allow digital signatures for Union Authorization Cards.
Retired public workers are being priced out of PEBB health insurance plans. The state currently subsidizes 50% of PEBB retiree health insurance premiums, capped at $183 per month. The $183 cap, which was set in 2009, needs to be eliminated or increased to keep up with skyrocketing health care costs.
The Legislature should update the definition of “family member” in our paid sick leave law to accommodate all family compositions, including those who are not bound by blood or marriage. This would align standards for Sick and Safe leave with a recent modernization the Legislature adopted for Paid Family and Medical Leave.
Prohibiting Discrimination Against Protected Classes (HB 1905)
Washington’s current equal pay statute includes gender. The Legislature should ensure that race and other protected classes are included as well. Workers deserve to be paid fairly for their work, without discrimination on any basis.
Some people are being forced to wait weeks to get the necessary paperwork to apply for the program from their providers, and in some cases being forced to schedule an extra appointment just to come get the paperwork. Workers shouldn’t be forced to wait even longer to get their benefits because healthcare systems are delaying getting them a simple form. This would require providers give a person their PFML form in a timely manner.
Do you like this page?