This month we honor our remarkable Teamster Sisters and all of the women friends, co-workers, and extended family members in our lives.
As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to recognize the extraordinary economic, cultural, and political achievements of women across the globe. Teamster women in particular have fought tirelessly on the front lines of our union's 115-year history for equality and justice.
Our predecessors marched in the suffragette movement for the right to vote; we organized on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement; and we have fought for decades for equal pay in the workplace. We can be proud of our accomplishments, which have advanced the rights of all workers and have shaped our collective history.
At Teamsters Local 117, Tracey A. Thompson became the first woman to serve as our union’s principal officer and the first woman on the Executive Board of Joint Council 28. Tracey brought fearlessness, fortitude and compassion to our union’s efforts to improve lives and lift up our communities. Both Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy and I strive to honor and carry forth that legacy as we work to build power and unity for all members of Teamsters Local 117
On our union’s Flickr page you can view just a few of the many amazing women leaders across our Local Union who have joined in the advancement of equality and workplace rights.
Please join me as we celebrate our bold Teamster sisterhood. Thank you for your service to our communities and for your membership in Teamsters 117.
Teamsters Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy receives the "Best Principal Officer" award of an affiliate union at the MLKCLC anniversary celebration.
It was a good day at the Oscars for Teamsters 117! Our union was recognized with three “Labor Oscar” awards, including Best Principal Officer, John Scearcy, at the Martin Luther King Central Labor Council’s 130 gala anniversary celebration.
The event, which was held last Saturday at the Museum of History and Industry, celebrated “the great work being done to improve the lives of working people” across our region.
Secretary-Treasurer Scearcy was recognized by MLKCLC Executive Secretary-Treasurer Nicole Grant for “his principled and strategic leadership of the Uber and Lyft organizing campaign, the unity in his diverse ranks, his intentional decision to hire staff from immigrant communities and communities of color, and constantly working his ass off for his members.”
In accepting the award, Scearcy said, “This recognizes the work of more than one person… our staff, our staff’s families, our members, and our members’ families – I share this with everybody.”
You can watch his entire acceptance speech on Facebook here.
The MLKCLC Labor Awards for Teamsters Local 117
- Best Principal Officer: John Scearcy - of Teamsters 117 for "constantly working his ass off for his members."
- Best Organizing Campaign: Teamsters 117 for "successful organizing of paratransit, taxi cab, and app-based drivers."
- Best Political Campaign: The Burien Fantastic Four - consisting of Pedro Olguin, member of Teamsters 117, Jimmy Matta, member of Carpenters 41, Krystal Marx, and Nancy Tosta and run by Guillermo Mogollan-Diego.
View all of the award winners on the MLKCLC’s website.
Our Local 117 bargaining team for King County Total Comp negotiations.
Your union bargaining committee worked overtime last year to achieve a first-ever Master Labor Agreement with the County.
Members in all of our participating Teamster bargaining units voted overwhelmingly to ratify the MLA and their unit’s appendix agreement earlier this year. Voter turnout was historically high.
The agreement achieved a 3.25% general wage increase for 2018 along with a number of other enhancements to your rights at work. You will receive the MLA wage increase retroactive to January 1, 2018 as soon as the contract makes its way through the Council’s transmittal process.
Now our bargaining team is back at the table for a new round of negotiations. “Total Comp” negotiations between our Coalition of Unions and the County kicked off yesterday at our Teamsters hall in Tukwila.
While the MLA consolidated the strongest elements of union contracts across the County into one Master agreement, Total Comp deals with economics only – your wages and health care for 2019-2020.
Yesterday’s session was devoted to introductions and establishing ground rules. One of our shop stewards on the bargaining team, Lisa Huntley, who works in the County’s Solid Waste Division, expressed our union’s expectations for these negotiations.
“We can see in the area how much our property taxes have gone up and how much it costs to live here. That needs to be reflected in our wages,” she said. “We also need to maintain our health benefits and address general equity issues.”
"We can see in the area how much our property taxes have gone up and how much it costs to live here."
Our next meeting with the County is scheduled for Thursday, March 22. We expect these negotiations will run into the summer of this year. We will keep you updated as they progress.
If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or your Union Representative.
Your Teamsters Local 117 Total Comp bargaining Team
- Teresa Allen, WTD - Renton
- Steven Baruso, WTD - Finance
- Amon Billups, Jr, PT&A
- Chris Boyle, WTD - Managers
- Lynn Constantine, PT&A
- Terry De Priest, DOT JUA
- Dan Fernandez, POA
- Mari Jane Friel, Utilities, Roads/Fall City
- Machelle Gatewood, DOT JUA
- Cheryl Ann Gunderson, CIT - KCIT
- George Horning, IT Mgrs/Sups
- Steve Huang, WTD - West Point
- Lisa Huntley, Solid Waste Division
- Rochelle James, RALS
- Lisa Longdon, PT&A
- Vicki Moore, Elections
- Dan Nwaelele, PT&A
- Lisa Ohlen, RALS
- Brian Pinney, Solid Waste Division/Cedar Hills
- Gregory Raburn, PT&A
- Rick Reinlasoder, PT&A
- Robin Robinson, WTD
- Candi Santo, PT&A
- Robert Stalnaker, King County Sheriff’s Office
- Debbie Valle, PAO
- Lester Van Gelder, WTD
- Kathleen Vanderpool, PT&A
Local 117 members Robin Robinson and Joy Yarrington who work at King County proudly wearing their solidarity stickers.
Today the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments in a case (Janus v AFSCME) that is attacking our ability as union members to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.
If the Court rules as expected, public service workers, including thousands of members of Teamsters 117, will lose their freedom to negotiate union security clauses in their contracts.
Members will be able to “opt-out” of paying their fair share in dues but will be able to continue to reap all of the benefits of their union contract and union representation. Our ability to stand together and bargain strong contracts, provide quality representation, and protect each other’s rights at work is at stake.
"I want us to continue having a strong union," said Robin Robinson, a Teamster who works at King County. "We need to make sure everyone is aware of what's happening so we can keep our communities strong."
"We need to make sure everyone is aware of what's happening so we can keep our communities strong."
Wealthy special interests like the “Freedom” Foundation that are backing the Janus case are banking on a ruling against unions. They may call, email or even visit you at home to mislead you into abandoning your union sisters and brothers.
Make no mistake — their goal is to cut or privatize public services, drain unions of resources, and outsource public sector jobs. The Freedom Foundation fought against funding our Department of Corrections contract. They have sponsored numerous initiatives to undermine the ability of workers to organize for higher wages, strong benefits, and safe working conditions.
To draw attention to the threat presented by Janus and the Freedom Foundation, Teamsters 117 members and public service workers across the country have called for a day of action.
Local 117 members who work at the Department of Corrections, King County, and in the South Sound are wearing solidarity stickers today to spread awareness about the case and the importance of committing to each other so that we can continue to have a strong union.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Wear your sticker today and talk to your co-workers about Janus and the threat of open shop.
- Educate fellow Teamsters about the Freedom Foundation and encourage each other to sign a card committing to your co-workers and your union.
- Read about the trail of dark money that is backing the Janus case.
- Learn about our shared values as union members at www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.
By sticking together, we can stand up to the Freedom Foundation’s anti-worker agenda and continue to improve our workplaces and our lives.
On Monday, February 26, the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing a case (Janus v AFSCME) that will likely harm our ability as union members to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.
Public service workers across the country have called for a Day of Action on Feb. 26.
On Monday, Teamsters 117 members will be wearing solidarity stickers to spread awareness about the case and the importance of committing to each other so that we can continue to have a strong union.
Your union rep or member leader will be distributing stickers to you on Monday. Please wear your sticker and talk to your co-workers about why it's important to show solidarity in the face of this impending threat.
For more information about the Janus case, visit www.FamilyStrengthCommunity.org.
Thank you for your service and for all that you do to make our union strong.
Have a kid or grandkid who needs money to further their education? The General Teamsters Retiree Club is now accepting applications for its 2018 scholarship.
The scholarship is open to the sons, daughters, step-children and grandchildren of members of Teamster Locals #38, #66, #117, #174, #227, or #763. There are no restrictions placed on a course of study.
Brothers and Sisters -
Many of you have requested that we continue to provide updates on the Janus v AFSCME case that threatens the resources that support our ability to continue to stand together and negotiate strong contracts.
The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case on February 26. We are expecting a decision sometime this spring.
If the court rules as we expect, you will no longer have the freedom to negotiate union security clauses in your contract. This means that public workers would be able to abandon their union membership, but continue to receive all of the benefits of representation without having to pay for it.
It may sound appealing – no union dues – but the reality is that your wages and health benefits could be cut and your contractual rights weakened in an open shop environment if we don’t stick together and defend our union.
Wealthy special interest groups like the "Freedom" Foundation may even try to trick you into “opting out” of paying your fair share.
We’ve launched a campaign called Family – Strength - Community to prepare for the Janus ruling and to defend against these attacks. Members are talking to members about how we can get ready for open shop. Over a thousand Teamsters have already signed cards committing to each other and their union.
In Washington State, workers must not experience the same erosion of rights that workers in Wisconsin have been suffering. Wages and health care benefits plunged after that state passed laws that attacked public workers’ right to collectively bargain.
If you have any questions about open shop or about the Janus case, talk to a shop steward or your union representative. You can also email me directly.
Thank you for all that you do. And thank you for your membership in Teamsters 117.
Lynn Constantine and other member volunteers tally up the votes for Local 117 King County bargaining unit contracts at the Teamsters hall in Tukwila on January 18.
The results are in! All Teamsters 117 bargaining units participating in the recent contract vote at King County have overwhelmingly approved their respective contracts.
Voting took place over the course of two weeks at more than twenty meetings across the county. Turnout in the contract vote was historically high.
On Thursday evening, member volunteers tallied up the votes on contracts covering 12 bargaining units and over 1200 King County Teamsters.
You can view the results according to bargaining unit below:
Department of Public Defense - Management Unit
Dept. of Transportation Administrators
IT Managers and Supervisors
Joint Units Agreement
Prosecuting Attorney's Office
Printers and Copiers
Professional & Technical & Administrative Employees
Information Technology Managers & Supervisors
In voting to approve a Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which was negotiated last year between our Coalition of Unions and the County, members will receive a total wage increase of 3.25%. Members also voted to approve their individual bargaining unit’s appendix agreements.
The MLA together with the appendix agreements contain many improvements, including a provision for economic equity, expanded bereavement leave, protections against sub-contracting, professional development opportunities, among others.
Mary Jane Friel, a county utility worker who served on the bargaining committee, said she is pleased with the results. “We were especially proud to change the language around discipline, the sunset clause. We fought really hard for that. And the boot allowance is important for our group.”
You can access a summary of the highlights of the MLA as well as a redline document of the agreement on our Teamsters website. Contract summary documents and the redline versions for individual units can also be found online.
"I want to congratulate our members at King County on their new contracts that provide across-the-board wage increases and critical workplace protections," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117. "King County Teamsters provide essential services to our community. These contracts represent an important step toward recognizing their labor and the invaluable contributions they make to the residents of King County."
Our international union is now accepting applications for the 2018 James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship. For the first time, scholarships will be awarded to students attending training and vocational programs.
The children and financial dependents of Teamster members are eligible to apply.
Academic scholarship awards ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 for high school seniors planning to attend a four-year college or university and Training/Vocational Program awards of up to $2,000 for use at community colleges and trade schools.
A new and improved online application process can be found on the James R. Hoffa Memorial Scholarship Fund’s website: www.jrhmsf.org
Legislative session kicks off on January 8, 2018
A 60-day session of the Washington State Legislature kicks off on January 8, 2018 and will run through March 9.
During that time, we will be working to pass bills that help workers, increase government accountability, and protect the health of our families and workers.
Our union employs a full-time Legislative Affairs Director, Brenda Wiest, who will be on the ground every day in Olympia working to protect the rights of Local 117 members and their families. Brenda works closely with Political Action Director, Dustin Lambro, who is organizing opportunities throughout session for members to speak directly with their legislators about critical issues.
We will be holding two major lobby day events this year, for our for-hire drivers on January 24, and for our public sector and DOC members on February 12-13. Talk to your union representative about how you can get involved or call Dustin at 206-794-2606.
This legislative session our priorities include:
Department of Corrections/Law Enforcement
- Our number one legislative priority for DOC this session is to secure funding in the supplemental budget for a study of the DOC staffing model;
- We will also be working to: Expand the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) to include more DOC groups, achieve interest arbitration for campus police, expand the presumptive disease designations, and include PTSD and other stress-related disease coverage under workers compensation.
Expanding collective bargaining rights
- Under state law, some workers are barred from joining unions. We are working to pass a package of bills to expand bargaining rights for professional port employees, part-time workers, and interpreters.
- Our union has partnered with other public sector unions to create a number of statutory changes to give us the best chance to maintain union strength in a post-Janus environment.
- Oppose legislation that would preempt local governments from regulating the industry.
- Pass legislation that moves app-based drivers into the for-hire framework and levels the playing field for all drivers in the industry.
Priorities that are good for workers and our communities
- Pass the Equal Pay Act that will ensure differences in pay are not driven by sex or gender, and close the pay gap between men and women.
- Pass Prescription Drug Transparency to force big pharmaceutical companies to disclose the reasons for price spikes in medication.
- Pass the Voting Rights Act and Automatic Voter Registration to change discriminatory voting systems and increase voter representation and registration.
- Pass Breakfast after the Bell to close the Achievement gap and give all kids access to a healthy and nutritious start to their school day.
- Monitor Autonomous Vehicle policy to make sure workers and the public are protected.
- Work with stakeholders and legislators to address issues related to creating a Portable Benefits structure that provides for a meaningful safety net and addresses the underlying problems with the misclassification of workers and abuse of independent contractors.