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Public Sector

King County MLA bargaining update


Local 117 members have been working as a part of a broad coalition of unions to negotiate a Master Labor Agreement with King County.

We wanted to update you on the status of the Master Labor Agreement (MLA) negotiations between our coalition of unions and King County.

As you know, these negotiations started in March and have been ongoing throughout the summer. Our goal in bargaining is to consolidate the best language from contracts across the county into one general agreement that will apply to all unions in the coalition that vote to accept the MLA.

On July 29 and August 3, our coalition met, without the employer present, in caucus to discuss the county’s most recent proposals and to develop a strategy moving forward.

We are addressing issues that the membership identified, such as vacation leave, other kinds of leave (bereavement, jury duty, organ donor, donated, executive, etc.), volunteer time, holidays and eligibility, reclassification, special duty, professional development, longevity and merit pay, term-limited temps, and working out of classification.

Again, we are proposing to incorporate the strongest language found in county contracts on those issues for the purposes of the MLA.

Upcoming Pierce County Demands Meetings

We have several upcoming demands meetings scheduled for Teamsters who work in bargaining units at Pierce County. All of the meetings will take place at the IBEW Hall in Tacoma (3049 S 36th S Tacoma, WA 98409).

Here is the schedule for the meetings.

Assessor Treasurer's Office August 17 5pm
Custodian August 16  5pm 
Medical Examiners August 14  6:30pm 
Court Clerks and Pre-Trial Services August 8  5pm 
Parks August 14  5pm 
Facilities August 15  3pm 


These meetings are an opportunity to help establish priorities for bargaining. Please attend the meeting designated for your group to make sure your voice is heard! If you have questions, contact Union Representative Julie Yust at 206-441-4860 ext. 1275. Thank you.

Teamsters at the Pike Place Market Ratify New 3-Year Contract


Teamsters who work at Pike Place Market voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new 3-year contract on Wednesday.

The fully-recommended agreement provides a minimum of 3% wage increases in each year of the contract, limits on temps, improvements to holiday pay, and improvements to safety, training and health and welfare language.

Member activism played a critical role in achieving this contract. Members wore buttons at work and many attended a PDA board meeting on the grand opening of the Market’s $74 million expansion project.  

911 Dispatchers Attend National Police Week


Jennifer Abruzzo and Stephanie Scott sharing their National Police Week experience.

This year’s National Police Week took place May 14 – 20 in Washington, DC. Jennifer Abruzzo and Stephanie Scott, South Sound 911 Dispatchers, were the Teamsters who were union-sponsored to attend the event alongside Michelle Woodrow, Local 117 President and Director of Corrections and Law Enforcement.  Scott has been a Teamster at SS911 for almost 10 years and worked as a police officer prior to that. She is also a newly elected Shop Steward at her workplace. Meanwhile, Abruzzo has 20 years at SS911 and 28 years in the industry under her belt.

Teamsters 117 announces sole endorsement of Jessyn Farrell for Seattle Mayor


Teamsters 117 throws it support behind Jessyn Farrell for Seattle Mayor. A committee of members recommended the endorsement.

Today Teamsters Local 117 announced they are backing Jessyn Farrell for Mayor of Seattle, voting to give her their sole endorsement in the race.

Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy, the union’s principal officer, explained their sole endorsement by pointing to her three-term career representing the 46th Legislative District in the state House and serving as the Chair of the Working Families Caucus. “From her leadership on raising the minimum wage, her unwavering support for paid family leave, to her defense of collective bargaining rights, Jessyn has proven herself to be an ally and strong supporter of working families.”  

King County members present proposals in MLA bargaining


Teamster Bargaining Committee members in King County MLA negotiations.

Our Coalition of Unions continued negotiations with the County yesterday over a Master Labor Agreement (MLA) here at our Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila.

The idea behind the MLA is to consolidate language from the various contracts countywide into one general agreement that will apply to all Unions in the Coalition that vote to accept the MLA.

You can read more about the purpose and process for MLA bargaining here.

In previous sessions, our Coalition broke into sub-committees to develop counterproposals based on specific topics that the County presented where we felt there could be some shared interests. We had sub-committees for vacation leave, other kinds of leave (bereavement, organ donor, donated, etc.), holidays and eligibility, reclassification, special duty, and working out of classification.

In yesterday’s negotiations, rank-and-file union members presented the proposals to the County that they had developed in their sub-committees and vetted through the Coalition. 

Lisa Longdon, one of our Bargaining Committee Members representing Teamsters in the Professional, Technical, and Administrative Support bargaining unit, presented on the topic of reclassification: “Members were able to tell their stories of situations that they’ve experienced and it was an eye opener to management,” said Sister Longdon.

Our presentations by sub-committee took the better part of the morning. Afterwards, the County indicated that they wanted to break early for the day.  After some discussion with Union leadership, the County agreed to continue working and ultimately presented a counterproposal on leave in the afternoon. 

We will be meeting again with the County next Thursday, June 15 at the Teamsters Union hall where the County will be giving us their full counterproposal. If you have questions, please contact your Bargaining Committee Member or your Union Representative.

For more news about what’s happening at our Union, please attend our upcoming quarterly General Membership Meeting starting at 7pm on June 15. Join us for dinner starting at 5:30pm.

Thank you for your service to the residents of King County.

Video: King County Teamster gives an MLA Bargaining Update

Political Advisory Committee off to a great start in 2017!


Members on our Statewide Political Advisory Committee interview Dave Upthegrove on Saturday, May 13. 

The last three Saturdays, our Statewide Political Advisory Committee met at the Teamsters Hall in Tukwila to interview candidates in local races for municipal office. 

So far we have put together our 2017 candidate questionnaire and interviewed twenty-five candidates running for city council and mayoral positions across King and Pierce counties.

We formed this committee in 2015 because we wanted to make sure a cross section of our membership had input in who we endorse for political office.

“I am so impressed by the caliber of members on this committee who have volunteered countless hours the last few weeks to ask the hard questions of those seeking elected office,” said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. “They take the time to consider every candidate we endorse and make thoughtful decisions. We want to make sure the candidates we are picking share our Union’s values.”

Our 8-person committee this year represents members from both the public sector and the private sector.

Here’s how our endorsement process works:

  • Back in April, our Political Advisory Committee came up with our candidate questionnaire, which we require every candidate who wants our endorsement to fill out
  • Candidates return their questionnaire and we schedule them for a 30-minute interview with our committee
  • We ask candidates questions about their questionnaire, their background, and their plans to win the election
  • We then make decisions about which candidates to advise our full Executive Board to endorse and whether to make a campaign contribution to their campaign
  • We send the recommendations to our Executive Board which ultimately makes the final decision. The Board will be reviewing our recommendations this coming month and once we take action in a race, we will put those endorsements  online.

In politics, we only have permanent issues – we don’t have permanent friends. This means we continually need to hold politicians accountable for the votes they take and to make sure we hold them to what they say they are going to do.

The only way we do that is to have members involved.

Not too late to apply for Local 117 Alfieri Scholarship!


We are closing in on the deadline to apply for our Teamsters Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship, but it's not too late!

Applications must be received by 5PM on Friday, May 5. The Local 117 Jeff Alfieri Scholarship of up to $2000 is awarded to outstanding students whose parents are members of Teamsters Local 117. 

View application materials below:

If you have questions about the scholarship, talk to your Business Representative, or call 206-441-4860 or 1-888-872-3489.

The founders of the scholarship fund, Ralph and Sue Alfieri, established the scholarship in memory of their son Jeff Alfieri, a former Business Representative with Teamsters Local 117.

Time to Honor and Celebrate our Administrative Professionals


Brothers and Sisters,

The last week in April is recognized as Administrative Professionals Week. Although many of us work in challenging environments, I would like to take this opportunity to share my appreciation for all of our members working in professional administrative positions.

No workplace can be imagined without the existence of administrative workers. Speaking from experience, the administrative staff at your Local Union are the lifeline of our organization as they are the ones who ensure that our office runs like a family and the services that you rely on as a Local 117 member are accurate and timely.

Please take a moment to thank your co-workers, friends, and family members who work in these roles for their service, commitment, and contributions that too often go unrecognized.

Lastly, I would like to share a couple of quotes that speak to the appreciation we all should have for administrative professionals:

  • "No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another. Thank You." -Joseph Addison
  • "The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -Unknown

Again, thank you for everything you do in the workplace and in our communities.



John Scearcy