When we fight, we win!

Public Sector

KC Coalition of Unions Bargaining Update - June 3

On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, representatives of the King County Coalition of Unions met with King County to present the Coalition’s counterproposal regarding the 2015/2016 COLA. 

South Sound Newsletter - Now Available

Check out the new issue of Teamsters South Sound, the newsletter for Local 117 members in the public sector living in greater Pierce County.  In this issue you’ll find stories on:

  • Members at the City of Tacoma restoring a historic street sprinkler
  • Paint Tacoma Beautiful – a call for volunteers
  • Recognition of our members in the public sector
  • A look at our strategic plan
  • The Car & Bike Show on June 21

You can access a PDF of Teamsters South Sound here.  For print copies, talk to your Business Representative.

Teamsters Restore Historic Street Sprinkler


Street sprinklers were invented in the 1850s as a means to suppress airborne dust on unpaved roads. Street sprinkling was necessary because the accumulation of manure and horse urine, as well as other foul and vile contributions from overflowing cesspools and the like, was considered a health hazard by physicians.

They feared tuberculosis, cholera, and even polio could be transmitted by breathing the offensive smelling dust coming off city streets. Of course, it was also a nuisance for business owners and shopkeepers as the dust settled on everything from desktops to farm fresh produce, sometimes making the latter completely worthless. Sprinkling the streets was absolutely necessary to keep the dust at bay.

Street sprinkling wagons were operated by Teamsters who filled the tanks from hydrants and traveled slowly up one side of the street and down the other, dampening the ground along the way. Some entrepreneurs operated their own wagons and contracted for the service while larger cities usually assumed responsibility for protecting public health and safety. Such was the case at the City of Tacoma. They had several sprinkling wagons operating near the turn of the century.

Recognized for their Service - 117 Members at SHA

Congratulations to the following members at the Seattle Housing Authority who are being recognized for their years of service:

25 years:
Luelle Hayes

15 years:
Lonny L. Howard
William Polk 

10 years:
Tom Burke

These members will be recognized at a luncheon event at the Edgewater hotel on Monday, May 12, as a part of Public Service Recognition Week.  In honor of our state's public employees, Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer Tracey Thompson has published a guest editorial in the Everett Herald.

Thank you to all public sector members for your service to our community!

Secretary-Treasurer's Message: Teamster Heroes

Tracey-Thompson---Teamsters-Local117_.jpgBrothers and Sisters:

When the magnitude of the Oso mudslide tragedy became apparent, a group of Washington State correctional officers, of their own volition, answered the call for volunteers to help in the disaster relief effort.

These included Teamsters like Sergeant Jimmy Fletcher and Officer Tom Gent. The disaster called into action thousands of our country’s finest – men and women who make their careers serving the public. In all, 211 agencies – local, county, federal, tribal, charitable organizations, as well as the business community - were involved in the relief effort.  

Teamsters King County Newsletter - Now Available!


Teamsters at King County - A new issue of your Local 117 newsletter is now available!  

This issue has some tips about defending your rights and staying out of trouble at work.  We've also got a brief update on COLA bargaining as well as info about a scholarship for your Teamster kids who are applying for college.

Check out your online newsletter here.


Vote YES to save Metro and our roads!

metro.jpgKing County is scrambling to stave off the possibility of huge reductions in Metro bus service and the further erosion of our public transportation infrastructure. 

If voters do not approve a funding measure on April 22, Metro stands to lose 74 bus routes, and over 100 routes would have to change.  Residents would see more crowded buses, longer wait times, less reliable service, more traffic, and longer commutes.

The measure proposes a $60/annual car tab fee and a one-tenth-of-a-cent increase in the sales tax.  King County gained the authority to take the measure to the voters when the Council unanimously approved the creation of a transportation district on Feb. 11.

VOTE YES FOR TRANSPORTATION ON APRIL 22:  We’ve already seen a 44% decrease in transportation funding since 2008.  Vote YES to save Metro, preserve the low-income fare program, and protect family-wage jobs!

King County will be mailing out ballots on April 2, so you should be receiving them in the mail by April 4 or 5.

Wastewater Teamster rescues man at treatment plant

westpoint.jpgSometimes it feels like just getting up and going to work every day is an heroic act.  Through our work, we serve our communities, pay the bills, and put food on the table for our families.  That’s about as heroic as it gets, right?

Well, for one Teamster at King County, the daily grind presented an opportunity to do a little bit more.  Randy Smith, a supervisor in the County’s Wastewater Treatment Division, and his SEIU 925 crew, helped assist in a rescue operation of a man who had fallen into a raw sewage tank in Discovery Park.

When a crew member heard the man screaming as he was making his rounds at the plant, Randy and his crew took immediate action to help save the man and called 911.  Firefighters were dispatched to the scene, and the man was taken to the Harborview Medical Center.

So let’s hear it for the quick-acting Teamster who helped save a man’s life while doing his job.  You can’t get much more heroic than that!

King County Accountant Wins Reclass Appeal

If you are performing work outside the scope of your job classification, the county needs to compensate you for it.  It’s a pretty simple equation, but the county doesn’t always get the simple things right. 

If you are getting shortchanged, Local 117 will help you with your reclassification appeal.  We’ll sit down with you, review the documents, and present your case at your appeal hearing.

We recently won a reclass case on behalf of Alisa Bui, a member in the county’s Finance, Business and Operations Division, who was performing the work of a senior accountant, but not being compensated as such.  After the county denied her reclassification request, Alisa teamed up with her Business Representative, Matt House, and the two filed an appeal, presented the case before the county’s appeal board, and won a reversal of the decision. 

The win means a lot to Alisa - a 10% increase in pay and a reminder to the County that the union won’t let it get away with underpaying its employees.   

KC Coalition Bargaining Update - February 26

At the previous meeting the County indicated a willingness to extend the existing COLA language for one year while continuing to work on other issues. Prior to today’s meeting with the County, the Coalition caucused to agree on a response to the County, for today’s meeting. During the caucus, strategies for current circumstances were discussed along with the desire for the County to not include the unrepresented in their costing data and analyses.