Our Coalition of Unions bargaining team was back at the table with King County on May 25 for total compensation contract negotiations.
Much of the day’s discussion, both in our Union caucus and across the table from the employer, focused on the County’s proposal for a “Joint Labor Agreement.” With its proposal, the County is looking to find common terms among the myriad of County contracts.
Initially, our team resisted this concept. We were concerned that streamlining contract language could compromise the unique provisions that individual unions have developed in County contracts over the years through the collective bargaining process.
This summer, we will be having our Every Voice Counts Union gatherings for members at locations across King County.
This is your opportunity to share ideas and tell us what matters most to you. Get an update on current negotiations at King County and enjoy some some tasty food and refreshments!
Click on the corresponding link to RSVP. These are drop-in interviews, so choose the time and location that is most convenient for you. For more information, contact Karen Estevenin at 206-441-4860 ext. 1244.
|Cedar Hills Landfill|
|Black Diamond Rds|
Thank you to everyone who participated in our annual peanut butter drive.
This year, we collected over 2,000 jars from members of Local 117!
On Wednesday, we delivered our peanut butter haul to the Pierce County Central Labor Council for distribution through the Emergency Food Network and its system of local food banks and feeding programs in Pierce County.
"Thank you for your incredible generosity and for your participation in this effort to help fight hunger," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "Teamsters 117 members know how important it is to give back to the community, and this is a wonderful example of that."
Our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team was back at the table with the County on May 11 to continue total compensation contract negotiations for the 2017-2018 biennium.
Nine months into bargaining, progress has been slow, but we are still hopeful we can reach an agreement by our June deadline.
For the first hour of this session, our Union team met in caucus to finalize our economic counterproposal.
We focused on the highest priorities of the membership based on the contract survey results. These include an across-the-board wage increase in both years of the contract, adequate protection for our health and welfare benefits without premium share, and recognition for years of service to the County.
Our proposal addressed these economic issues on a coalition-wide basis while preserving an important degree of economic bargaining autonomy for each individual bargaining unit. We also established a timeframe for negotiating additional economic and non-economic items after an anticipated ratification vote this summer.
We presented our proposal to the County, and after a short discussion, both parties returned to caucus.
As your JLMIC Co-Chair, I want to give you an update on the status of your King County health and welfare benefits:
The JLMIC Protected Fund Reserve Is Strong And Continues To Grow, Ensuring Preservation Of Plan Provisions And No Premium Share In 2017-2018.
In July of last year, we anticipated that the Protected Fund Reserve (“PFR”) would reach $39 million at the end of 2016. I am pleased to report that we achieved that $39 million target a year early. As of December 31, 2015, the Protected Fund Reserve totaled $39,774,228!
The Protected Fund Reserve was established in 2013 to create a bulwark against the ever-increasing costs of medical care so as to defer any need for employee premium share towards the excellent, full-family medical, dental, vision and ancillary benefits provided through King County employment and negotiated by our Union at the JLMIC.
Shop Steward Cynthia Adams (bottom right) shares ideas with her co-workers as a part of our Every Voice Counts project.
The King Street Center was buzzing yesterday, as Teamsters at King County met to share ideas and voice their concerns about the workplace as a part of our Every Voice Counts project.
Members grabbed lunch, then sat together in small groups to exchange ideas. Many issues were brought to the table, including the need for the County to recognize longevity, provide equitable wages and benefits, and limit the number of temps.
Members also received the latest update from the ongoing total comp negotiations.
Our goal with this project is for member leaders to listen to their co-workers about how to build a better workplace and a stronger union. So far, dozens of King County Teamsters have participated in the project.
"It's important to have union representation because of the political environment we're facing," said Lisa Longdon, a Shop Steward from the King County Professional and Technical group. "There needs to be a voice for the people, which is the union."
We will be continuing to organize lunchtime events at King County for the next several months. If you would like to schedule your Every Voice Counts interview, talk to your Shop Steward, your Business Rep. Suzette Dickerson, or contact Karen Estevenin at 206-441-4860 ext. 1244.
On Monday, April 25, our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team met with the employer to continue total compensation contract negotiations for the 2017-2018 biennium.
As expected, the County presented a comprehensive economic proposal that responded to our call for across-the-board wage increases, proposed increases to the County’s contribution for health and welfare, and our proposal to address longevity and the current merit-based pay plan.
The employer also came to the table with a proposal for common language issues in what they called a “joint labor” agreement. That presentation was not received well by the Union committee. The committee felt that the employer’s proposal was seeking to erode hard-won language issues that in many cases are unique to specific bargaining units. The Union group unanimously and categorically rejected that proposal.
New Local 117 Business Rep. Julie Yust meets with members at the City of Tacoma.
We want to extend a warm welcome to two new Teamsters Local 117 Business Representatives, Julie Yust and Bryon Perreira.
Both Julie and Bryon will primarily represent members working in the public sector, with Julie taking over the South Sound region, and Bryon focusing on King County and the North Sound. Bryon will also represent several private sector shops in the region as well.
Both Bryon and Julie have a strong background in labor.
Business Rep, Evie Shannon
It's time to bid farewell to 28-year Teamster, Evie Shannon. Evie has been a Teamster Business Representative for ten years, first at Local 763, and at Local 117 since 2011. Her last day at the Local will be on April 30.
Most recently, Evie represented members in various jurisdictions in King County and the North Sound region.
Evie has always been a fierce advocate for her members and for equality and fairness in the workplace. Recently, we sat down with her to discuss her long, stellar Teamster career.
Q: How long have you been a Teamster?
E: I started driving a school bus for the Lake Washington School District in 1988. That was my first union job. I was in my 30’s and had two kids. I worked there for 18 years.
Q: How did you get involved in the union?
I saw a posting for a union meeting. I knew I had to go. I grew up in a family that was very opinionated. At the dinner table, there was always a debate. My parents always told me to have an opinion and not to be afraid to voice it.
The new issue of your Teamsters South Sound newsletter is now available!
Teamsters South Sound shares union-related stories, news, and information for Local 117 members in the public sector working in greater Pierce County.
In this issue, we highlight the important public safety work of our emergency telecommunicators as well as the bio of the new Business Rep for South Sounders, Julie Yust. The column from John Scearcy, your Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer, explores the dangers of skimming, which is common in the public sector work environment.
You can view a PDF of the newsletter here. For print copies, please contact your Business Representative.