When we fight, we win!

Public Sector

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

King County Presents its Proposal in MLA Bargaining


Our King County Coalition of Unions met with the County again yesterday at the Teamsters hall in Tukwila to continue negotiations over a Master Labor Agreement (MLA).

With these negotiations, we are working to consolidate common language in our contracts into one general agreement that will apply to all Unions in the Coalition that vote to accept the MLA.

We also aim at setting contractual minimums for participating bargaining units to promote equity throughout the Coalition agreements.

Bargaining units that successfully ratify the MLA by the end of 2017 will receive an additional 1 percent general wage increase effective January 2018.


On April 20, our Coalition team, which consists of dozens of Union Representatives and rank-and-file Union leaders, met again with the County.

In the last bargaining session on March 30, we presented our initial comprehensive proposal for the MLA. We believe our proposal strongly reflects the interests of the membership by including some of the best language from the contracts of the Coalition’s individual bargaining units.

In this meeting, the County responded with a presentation and explanation of their initial proposals. We spent a great deal of time asking clarifying questions while the County responded to our questions.

We expect that the County will finish its presentation in our next bargaining session scheduled for Thursday, May 11 at IBEW Local 46 in Kent. We have also scheduled bargaining dates for Thursday, May 18 and Thursday, May 25 at our Teamsters Hall in Tukwila.

If you have questions, please contact your Bargaining Committee member or your Union Representative.  Thank you for your service to the residents of King County.

Secretary-Treasurer's Message: Quarterly Update


Local 117 Secretary-Treasurer John Scearcy at the Shop Steward Seminar on March 11.

Brothers and Sisters -

In January, I had the incredible honor of being sworn in as Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 117 to continue to serve the membership of our great Union for the next three years.

Running a Union of 17,000 members is a tremendous responsibility. As the leader of this Local Union, I know your livelihood and the welfare of your family is tied inextricably to your Union contract and to our ability to build unity and power in the workplace.

When I became Secretary-Treasurer in 2015, I made a commitment to build a strong foundation for the future and to always put members first.  That commitment has not changed, and I intend to continue to work tirelessly on your behalf.

Now that the first quarter of my elected term is behind us, I want to share with you some of the highlights and accomplishments of our collective work.

Union coalition passes full proposal in King County MLA bargaining


Our King County Coalition of Unions bargaining team at the Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila.


Our King County Coalition of Unions negotiated a Total Compensation agreement with the County last year covering basic compensation elements of your contract. The Total Comp agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by individual bargaining units within the King County Coalition of Unions.

As part of the agreement, we committed to bargain a Master Labor Agreement (MLA) basing it on the structure of the National Master Agreement between United Parcel Service (UPS) and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

If we are successful in ratifying a Master Labor Agreement by the end of 2017, members of the Coalition will receive an additional 1 percent general wage increase effective January 2018.


On March 30, our Coalition of Unions met with the County to continue negotiations over a Master Labor Agreement (MLA). The MLA would consolidate language in our contracts into one general agreement that will apply to all Unions in the Coalition that vote to accept the MLA as well as setting contractual minimums for all participating bargaining units to promote internal equity throughout the Coalition agreements.

During this negotiation session, the Coalition of Unions presented an initial comprehensive proposal for the MLA that identified the priorities and interests of the various memberships. The County responded with many clarification questions geared towards fully understanding the interests behind our proposals.

After a short caucus the County expressed their appreciation for the work of the Coalition bargaining committee and shared that it is their goal to present a complete counterproposal at the next scheduled session on April 20.

We will be ready to continue negotiations and are committed to communicating our progress as we move forward.  

If you have questions, please contact your Bargaining Committee member or your Union Representative. We will have another update for you after the meeting on April 20.

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