When we fight, we win!

Public Sector

Welcome, Carrie Barnett, New Union Rep!


Let's welcome Carrie Barnett, a new Union Rep at Teamsters 117. Before joining our Local 117 staff, Carrie worked in the Transit Division at King County, where she was a Shop Steward and participated in contract negotiations.

Carrie comes from a strong Union family - both her father and brother were active Union members. She has experience lobbying in Olympia, handling grievances, and is a delegate on the Martin Luther King County Labor Council.

Carrie will be representing members at the City of Seattle and several other public and private sector jurisdictions. In January, we sat down with Carrie and talked about her new position at our Local.

Talk about your experience becoming a Teamster.

The thing I noticed when I became a Teamster was the level of solidarity. When I came to my first membership meeting, I saw how many industries were represented in the room. We had DOC, we had grocery, we had bakery workers – all across the board. It was powerful.

Why did you get involved in the Union in the first place?

It’s some genetics – my dad was a union pipefitter from an early age and then became a union rep later in his career; my brother was quick to follow suit. It is my belief that the union’s role is not only to protect the members, but to fight for all workers’ rights.

If there is something you can achieve with your members, what would it be?

I’d like to see our membership expanded. We’re faced with some challenging times. The right-to-work threat is especially troubling by its deceptiveness. I think we can help each other, but if we don’t band together, we’ll be at a loss.

What is special about being a Teamster?

It’s like a second family. You know somebody’s always got your back. I think the Teamsters embody that sense of family.  I have a lot of respect for that.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m crafty - I like to crochet and make cards. And I’m active in my church - I play in the handbell choir and do the bookkeeping. 



Take Action! Call in today to preserve health care


There's an assault on health care in this country. Congress is threatening to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), block-grant the Medicaid system, and undermine Medicare through the use of vouchers.

Millions of Americans who currently have health care could lose their coverage. Seniors, children, and the disabled who rely on Medicare could be put at risk.

Join us Tuesday, January 10 in a national call-in day to tell Congress: We need health care, not chaos.

Call 866-426-2631 (Spanish: 877-736-7831).

Tell Congress: Show us your plan to lower healthcare costs and make improvements before taking vital healthcare, Medicare, and Medicaid away from millions of Americans, our children, and our aging parents.

For more information, visit the Health Care is a Human Right website.

King County Contract Survey - Small Table Bargaining


We are approaching negotiations for bargaining unit specific contracts and a Master Labor Agreement for Teamsters at King County. To prepare for bargaining, we've created a contract survey so that you can provide feedback.

Please take a few minutes to complete the online contract survey here. Be sure to complete your survey by January 13.

Your thoughtful, accurate answers are an important tool for your negotiating committee to determine your priorities.

Starting in January, we will also be holding individual bargaining unit contract proposal meetings at locations across the County. This is an additional opportunity for you to provide feedback and discuss priorities as a group. We are still working to finalize the schedule for all of the meetings, but you can view most of the dates, times, and locations here

We encourage you to complete the survey and attend the proposal meeting. Thank you!

King County Contract Meetings - Small Table Bargaining

We are approaching negotiations for bargaining unit specific contracts and a Master Labor Agreement for Teamsters at King County.

To prepare for bargaining, we have scheduled meetings for individual groups across the County. This is your opportunity to provide feedback on your contract and discuss priorities as a group. 

Please view the schedule of meetings listed below. We are still working to schedule additional meetings. Check back if your group is not listed.

If you haven't done so already, please fill out our online survey to provide additional feedback. Thank you! 

WTD Supervisors 1/3/2017 9:30AM South Plant - Duwamish Conf. Rm.
PAO 1/4/2017 11:30AM Juvenile Conf. Rm.
WTD Supervisors 1/5/2017 6:00AM Westpoint Adm.Build.
PAO 1/6/2017 11:30AM RJC Conf. Rm.
PAO 1/9/2017 11:30AM Courthouse Rm E746
KCIT 1/10/2017 11:30AM KSC - 8th Fl.
PT&A 1/11/2017 11:30AM KSC - Southwind Conf. Rm.
PT&A 1/13/2017 12:00PM Cedar Hills Conf Rm C
KCIT 1/19/2017 11:30AM Chinook Room 121
PT & Adm 1/24/2017 12:00PM Chinook Room 121/123

Pierce Co. Members Bring the Joy of Fantasy Lights to our Community


Teamsters at Pierce County Parks and Recreation are the brains and brawn behind Spanaway Park's Fantasy Lights.

Every year, families across our region flock to Spanaway Park to enjoy a dazzling display of holiday lights. People marvel at the colorful globes suspended like chandeliers from massive firs and the magnificent scenes of animated creatures, castles, and candy canes.

But who works to ensure that the Fantasy Lights show in Pierce County is a success? Teamsters, of course. A dozen or so Local 117 members, who are employed at Pierce County Parks and Recreation, assemble, install, and maintain the displays every year.

Their work starts in October with a creative brainstorm. Then, once the plan is in place, every snowflake is custom made, refurbished, painted, zip-tied, and hung. The entire project, complete with over 300 displays, takes about five weeks to set up. After the initial installation, there is round-the-clock maintenance and protection against vandalism. 

Welcome, Pat Silvernale, to Local 117!


Pat Silvernale comes to our Union with several years' experience negotiating contracts and representing union members.

Let's extend a warm welcome to Patrick Silvernale who joined our Local 117 staff effective November 21. Pat comes to our union with many years' experience negotiating contracts and representing members in the public and private sectors.

For the last three years, he represented members from the City of Tacoma, Pierce County and Clark County while at PTE Local 17. Prior to that, he worked for UFCW 21 for over ten years, first as a Union Representative, then as a Contract Negotiator.

Silvernale’s experience includes internal organizing, contract enforcement, building steward networks as well as steward training, labor-management work, grievance investigating and processing, and contract negotiations in both the public and private sectors.

"I understand the importance of workers standing together to improve working conditions."

“I am very appreciative and excited to be joining the staff at Local 117," said Silvernale. "Local 117’s reputation as a progressive leader in the Washington state labor community was the main reason I pursued working here."

Silvernale has lived in the Seattle area all of his life and comes from a strong union family.

“Growing up, I understood the importance of workers standing together to improve working conditions, benefits and wages for themselves, as well as future generations of union members. It’s these principles that drive me to do the work I love, helping others create a better life for themselves.

"I am honored to be serving the members of Local 117 and look forward to working with you and for you.”

King County update, next steps in bargaining


Members at King County tally up the ballots from the total comp contract vote.

As we head into the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to keep you updated with the latest union news for Teamsters at King County.

Matt House is your current contact for any representational issues that arise in the workplace. Matt is our Business Representative Coordinator and can be reached at 206-441-4860 ext. 1242 or matthew.house@teamsters117.org. If you have an issue with your contract that cannot be resolved by your Shop Steward, please contact Matt.

We’re also excited to announce that we have hired Pat Silvernale who will be assuming the responsibility of bargaining several unit-specific contracts at King County. Pat is an excellent labor negotiator with many years’ experience bargaining union contracts in the public sector. Today was Pat’s first day at the Local and you will be seeing more of him soon!

Teamsters demand that the City of Kent honor its commitments


Local 117 members at the City of Kent pack Council chambers on Tuesday to demand a fair contract.

Teamsters at the City of Kent are fed up and speaking out. In bargaining, the City promised to restore some of the sacrifices that employees made during the recession starting back in 2008. Now, the City is backing off its prior commitments.

Employees took furlough days and endured a five-year wage freeze when times were tough, and City officials had given them their word. Once the City is back on secure financial footing, we’ll make it up to you, they said.

But the City’s proposals this contract cycle tell a different story. The City is insisting on higher out-of-pocket health care costs for City employees, and they’ve made little effort to rectify the sacrifices their employees made in the past. 

Safety and Service at King County


By Clementine Brewer
Customer Service Specialist III at King County

This past summer, the challenges of working in a public building came to a head.

For five months a homeless encampment consumed the patio behind the King County Administration Building. This generated stress for employees, but it also opened our eyes to the needs of the homeless community and improving safety in and around our workplace.

The camp was erected by a homeless advocacy group as a plea to government officials for much needed resources. To many, this was another chapter in Seattle’s ongoing homelessness crisis. But to those who work in the Administration Building, it was a stark reminder of the reality of working in a public space. For nearly half a year we witnessed and experienced the sanitary and safety concerns of the encampment.

King County Members Approve Total Comp Agreement


Members tally up the votes on the total comp agreement at the Teamsters hall in Tukwila on October 14. 

On Friday evening, member volunteers tallied up the votes on the total comp agreement between the Coalition of Unions and King County. You can view the results below: 



Professional & Technical and Administrative


Prosecuting Attorney Office


Wastewater Treatment Professional & Technical


Wastewater Treatment Supervisors


Wastewater Treatment Managers & Assistant Managers


Print Shop – Graphic Communications


Security Screeners – King County Sheriff’s Office


Administrator I – Transit DOT


Legislative Analysts – King County Council


Information Technology Managers & Supervisors


Joint Units Agreement


Public Defense Supervisors