When we fight, we win!

Public Sector

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


City of Tacoma Joint Labor Tentative Agreement Document

Our Tacoma Joint Labor Committee has achieved a 2-year tentative agreement with the City of Tacoma over your 2017-2018 contract. You will have an opportunity to vote on the agreement soon.

We will be mailing out contract documents and voting instructions to all members in the unit on Monday, October 17. Ballots must be returned and received by our office by no later than October 31.

You can review all relevant contract documents below:

If you have questions, talk to your Business Representative Julie Yust at 206-441-4860 ext. 1275.

Your King County contract webinar - watch here!

At Teamsters 117, we're making an effort to find new and innovative ways to connect with as many members at King County as possible. 

Yesterday we had our first live webinar to give you an opportunity to learn about the tentative contract agreement from our total comp negotiations with the County. You can view the recorded webinar below:

We will have one more live webinar tonight from 7-8pm. You can register for the event here.

In addition to the webinars, we are holding 15 contract update meetings in locations across the County, including a meeting today in the King County Admin building (Lean Lab 300) starting at 11:30am. 

You can find a complete list of the scheduled meetings on our website here.

Thank you so much for the important services you provide to our community. If you have any other ideas about how we can improve member communications, please let us know.

King County Contract Update Meetings and Webinars

Our King County Coalition of Union has achieved a tentative agreement in total comp bargaining with the County. The proposal is fully recommended by the Union bargaining committee.

We will be holding contract update meetings in multiple locations around the County and two live webinars. The first webinar was held on September 28. You can view a recording of it below:

There will be one more opportunity to participate in a live webinar so you can ask questions.

Live Webinar - King County Total Comp  - Register Here!

At the meetings, we will present the proposal and you will have an opportunity to ask questions.

View the days, times, and locations of the meetings below. 

Tuesday 9/20/2016 11:30AM King Street Center
Tuesday 9/20/2016 2:30PM Renton Roads
Wednesday 9/21/2016 12:00PM West Point
Thursday 9/22/2016 11:30AM Cedar Hills
Thursday 9/22/2016 2:30PM Cadman Roads
Friday 9/23/2016 11:30AM Regional Justice Ctr.
TBD TBD TBD Fall City Roads
Monday 9/26/2016 11:30AM Chinook Building
Monday 9/26/2016 2:30PM Black Diamond Rds
Tuesday 9/27/2016 11:30AM King Co Elections
Thursday 9/29/2016 11:30AM King Co Admin
Friday 9/30/2016 8-9AM, 4-5PM Dutch Shisler Ctr
Friday 9/30/2016 11:30AM KC Superior Ct
Tuesday 10/3/2016 11:30AM KC Youth Services Ctr


Coalition Achieves Tentative Agreement with King County

I’m excited to announce a major breakthrough in our total comp bargaining with King County.

Late yesterday afternoon, our Coalition of Unions achieved a tentative agreement with the County over all compensation elements in your contract. The agreement is fully recommended by your Union bargaining committee.

The agreement includes a 2.25 percent general wage increase in 2017 for all coalition members and a 2.75 percent increase in 2018 provided that the Union signs onto a separately-negotiated Master Agreement by the end of next year.

For the first time, the work of King County Union members will be recognized through a Coalition Premium and a separate wage table for Coalition members.

The agreement will increase the employer contributions to your health and welfare coverage. This means you will not pay any additional health care premium costs for 2017-2018.

We also achieved one additional vacation day added in 2017 and two vacation days added in 2018.

You can view an update from the Coalition with more details about the agreement here.

Our journey through the total comp bargaining process started over a year ago. It’s been an incredibly challenging experience. There have been many points along the way when it looked like negotiations would fall apart.

Our commitment, perseverance, and the outstanding work of your Union bargaining committee kept us together. Our team brought the voice of the entire membership to the table in powerful, persuasive ways.

I hope you’ll join me in extending my gratitude and appreciation to our entire team.

Over the next several weeks, we will coordinate meetings across the County to discuss the proposal. You will have an opportunity to vote on the agreement before the end of the year. We’ll let you know as soon as we have more information about the voting process.

Thank you for the important service you provide to our community and thank you for your membership in Teamsters Local 117.