Michelle Woodrow, President and Executive Director of Teamsters 117, issued the following statement regarding the incident that took place last night at the Monroe Correctional Complex (MCC):
As the Department of Corrections struggles to manage the COVID-19 crisis, we have been working on many fronts to advocate on your behalf.
To summarize some of the work of our Union since the coronavirus pandemic began, I've created a video message for all DOC Teamsters.
In the video, I describe our work around issues such as DOC's initial and secondary screening processes, additional leave we've secured through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and more.
Throughout this crisis, we've been in constant communication with the Governor's Office, OFM, and the Department to make sure they are prioritizing your health and safety. Our Union Representatives and Shop Stewards are working incredibly hard to protect you and your co-workers. If you have an issue around safety in the workplace, please contact your Union Representative to report it.
Please also remember that, with contract negotiations scheduled to begin this year over our 2021-2023 collective bargaining agreement, we will be holding Virtual Contract Proposal Meetings on April 15.
I will be sending you an invitation to register for the meetings soon using Zoom, an online video and telephonic conferencing platform.
You can watch the video here:
Thank you to all Teamsters at King County who are continuing to provide critical services to our community during this crisis.
Our King County Coalition of Unions has been actively negotiating over additional protections for represented members during the unprecedented pandemic caused by COVID-19.
We are happy to report that we have reached an agreement with King County that provides further protections for members of Teamsters 117, along with thousands of other Coalition members.
In sum, we have secured access to a minimum of 160 hours of full-time paid leave (Federal and County) and subsequent options to utilize COVID-19 or Donated Leave.
Here are some of the highlights:
Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSLA): Effective April 1, 2020, members will have access to 80 hours of EPSLA as covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for the following reasons:
- The member is unable to work because they are quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- The member is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19;
- The member is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.
For more information on the FFCRA, feel free to visit the Department of Labor website.
All EPSLA will be paid at the employee’s regular rate of pay which is better than what is required by the law!
Paid Administrative Leave (PAL): Effective on the first pay period in April, Coalition members will be allowed to use up to 80 hours of PAL for the following reasons:
- Members who are sick with COVID-19 or taking care of eligible family members with COVID-19;
- Members who are sick with COVID-19 symptoms and must stay home;
- Members who fall into CDC high risk categories who cannot telecommute and do not want to come into the workplace;
- Members who are not high risk but are directed by a Health Officer or qualified medical professional to quarantine because of potential exposure to COVID-19 and who cannot telecommute; and
- Members who are home because their child’s school or childcare facility is closed and who are unable to work or telecommute.
This leave was established for all members in addition to the EPSLA prior to requiring the usage of any alternative leave bank.
COVID-19 Leave and Donated Leave: Members continue to have access to the COVID-19 Paid Leave and Donated Leave Programs.
Telecommuting, etc., Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), etc.: The MOA emphasizes increased access to telecommuting and PPE for those that are required to work on-site as well as priority reinstatement for any TLT or STT whose work may be suspended during this time.
Should you have questions, please reach out to your Union Representative. This is a huge victory for represented employees in King County and it wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible work of our Coalition membership during this time.
As the COVID-19 impacts workers across our state, we are compiling emergency resources to help you and your family in this time of crisis. The resources listed below come from a variety of sources, including King County and the Washington State Labor Council. More resources are also available on our International Union's website. If you are aware of resources not listed here, please send us an email or write it in the comments below. Please stay healthy and safe!
- Public Health Information
- Social Distancing
- Unemployment Benefits and Workers Comp
- Financial Resources for Consumers
- Trouble Paying Rent or Mortgage
- Student Loan Deferments
- Paying Utilities
- Food Assistance
- Insurance Issues
- Childcare for essential workers
- Union Families In Need
- Mental health assistance
- Understanding the federal government's response (Families First/CARES Act)
- Resources for first responders/public safety/corrections
- Resources for immigrant workers - en español
- Who's Hiring? Find a Teamster Job
The Washington State Department of Health has everything you need to know about the respiratory illness COVID-19, how it’s spread, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you think you might have contracted it. The Dept. of Health’s Coronavirus Hotline is 1-800-525-0127, press #. Learn more here.
Anyone who has lost their job due to coronavirus or has had to take time off to self-quarantine or care for a sick relative (and does not get paid sick time from work) should apply for UNEMPLOYMENT insurance. Info on that here.
If you apply for unemployment benefits and your claim is rejected, please contact the Unemployment Law Project at 206-441-9178 x0 for assistance.
Anyone whose job has brought them into direct contact with someone with coronavirus (for instance, a first responder or a health care worker) and has become ill or are required to quarantine can file for WORKERS’ COMP. File for that here.
If you have questions or need assistance filing for unemployment insurance, please call 800-318-6022 or schedule a time to speak with a claims agent who can help you.
If you or a friend or family member are out of work, Washington State's Employment Security Department provides support services as well.
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions has developed a list of financial resources for Washington consumers impacted by the Coronavirus.
If you don’t have enough money to pay, contact your lender or landlord immediately. Help includes:
- Washington Homeownership Hotline (877-894-HOME)
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau suggestions
- Rental assistance & counseling (800-569-4287)
- List of Housing Counseling Agencies
- For Seattle renters, the Mayor has issued a 30-day moratorium on evictions – through mid-April
If you need help with your student loans, you may be able to temporarily suspend your payments by applying for a deferment or forbearance from the US Department of Education.
If you need help paying your utility bills, contact your service provider immediately.
- Puget Sound Energy will not disconnect customers, will waive late fees, and offers payments plans.
- For Seattle residents, Seattle City Light and Seattle Public Utilities will not shut off service during the emergency. They also offer deferred payment plans and discount programs.
- The Utilities and Transportation Commission offers energy assistance programs.
- The federal government also has assistance programs to help with telephone and heating bills.
- Comcast is offering free WiFi hot spots, unlimited data, and no disconnects or late fees.
If you’re looking for help feeding yourself or your family, visit the Food Lifeline website to find a partner food bank, food pantry, or hot meal program in your neighborhood. This food is free and available to you, even if you don’t qualify for SNAP or EBT.
The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner has resources and information available for consumers who have insurance related questions.
- Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner - COVID-19 Resources Information from the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
- Uninsured? — Take advantage of the Washington Health Care Authority’s special open enrollment period on the Health Benefit Exchange, running through April 8. Sign up at Washington HealthplanFinder. Meanwhile, Apple Health (Medicaid) enrollment is year-round.
The COVID 19 pandemic is highlighting just how essential child care is as we respond to this unprecedented public health crisis. For childcare response and referral, call 1-800-446-1114. Be sure to ask for a Union provider.
We are urging all organizations and individuals interested in helping union families suffering economic hardship amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Washington state to make contributions to the Foundation for Working Families, a nonprofit formed by the WSLC and its affiliated unions to assist union families in times of hardship or disaster. Click here to make a contribution online or mail a check to the Foundation for Working Families, 321 16th Ave S., Seattle, WA, 98144. The FFWF is a 501(c)(3) organization — federal tax ID 91-1702271 — and all donations are tax-deductible charitable contributions.
Families can apply for FFWF assistance by downloading its Hardship Assistance Form. Assistance is not restricted to union members, but they are given priority. For more information about the FFWF, email Karen White or call her at 360-570-5169.
In these uneasy times, if you find yourself in a stressful or physically threatening situation, or need to talk to someone, please consider using these 24/7 hotlines.
If you are a public safety employee, emergency services personnel or their family member, make a Safe Call Now to (206) 459-3020.
It is a confidential, comprehensive, 24-hour crisis referral service nationwide.
- In a life crisis, reach out to counselors at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1(800) 273-8355.
- Staying at home may put vulnerable individuals at risk. If you or your loved one doesn't feel safe at home, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1(800) 799-7433, or text "LOVEIS" to 22522.
- If you are seeking help coping with drug or alcohol addiction, call the National Drug Helpline at 1(844) 289-0879.
- Connect with a crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line by texting "HOME" to 741741.
FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (FFCRA): FFCRA provides paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to some workers, funds nutritional assistance, and establishes free testing for COVID-19. For more information about workers' right to paid leave under the Act, please visit the Department of Labor's website.
CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (CARES): The second major federal relief package for the COVID-19 pandemic, the $2 trillion CARES Act includes direct payments to American taxpayers, extended and increased unemployment benefits, a new unemployment assistance program for self-employed workers, small business relief, and more. See more info about the Act here.
Our International Union has put together resources for first responders and Teamsters working in public safety professions.
If you have been laid off or are facing layoff as a result of the coronavirus crisis and are looking for a job, there are several Teamster employers who are currently hiring. We're making an effort to update this page on a daily basis.
PRIORITY OPENINGS TO FILL
- Safeway Distribution Center: Hiring 18 warehouse employees (for produce drop, starts at 2pm), send resume to Seattle.HR@albertsons.com
- Safeway Ice Cream Plant: Looking to hire employees with forklift experience. Interested applicants should email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Fred Meyer Distribution Warehouse: Hiring 10-12 warehouse positions a week (permanent positions), apply here
City of Tacoma:
- Alder Lake Park Seasonal Laborer
- Cowlitz River Project, Park Supervisor Assistant
- Cowlitz Seasonal Laborer
- EIM Software Development Engineer
- Energy Research and Development Intern
- Experienced Police Officer (Lateral)
- GIS Intern
- Police Officer Recruit (Entry Level)
- Road Use Compliance Supervisor
- Senior Systems Engineer
- Software Development Engineer- Operations & Trading
- Systems Engineer
- Wastewater Treatment Plant Maintenance Machinist/Millwright/Mechanic
- Dawn Foods: Hiring multiple line / operator positions, all shifts, apply here (choose the Seattle Manufacturing Plant (MPSE) location to see the positions open)
- Darigold: Production openings, apply here
- King County: Hiring multiple positions (sort listings by date posted to get the most recent openings), apply here
- DOC: Hiring multiple positions, apply here
- Law enforcement positions can be found here
- Swire Coca Cola: Hiring merchandiser, applicants will need to submit an online application on the Swire Coca Cola website and select the Bellevue location
- Pepsi: Hiring merchandiser, apply here
- Lineage Seafreeze: Hiring utility position, apply here
- QCD: Hiring 2 drivers, apply here
- USB Franz: Hiring multiple positions, apply here
- UNFI: Hiring drivers, apply here
- Schnitzer Steel: Hiring warehouse production, apply here
- Seattle Iron: Apply in person: 601 S Myrtle St, Seattle, WA 98108
- Steeler: Hiring a machinist and mechanic, send resume to Lindsay Decker
- Brand / Aluma Systems: 3-5 openings, print and bring filled out application to 28201 WA-410 East, Buckley, WA 98321
- AmerisourceBergen: Currently has openings on days and nights, to apply for these positions go to Indeed.com or AmerisourceBergen website
We understand members have been sent home because they have answered “yes” to one of the screening questions and are told they need to use their own leave to cover their absence from work. Some members have been sent home even after presenting a doctor's note stating they are cleared to return to work.
Your Union has aggressively advocated on your behalf, contacting the Department, the Office of Financial Management (OFM), and the Governor's Office.
As a result, TOMORROW, March 18, 2020, DOC will distribute a communication that provides for the following:
- All members who are refused entry during the DOC's screening procedure will be put on paid administrative leave (you will not be required to use your own leave)
Additionally, the DOC and the Union will work on a follow-up process to establish a timeline for when an affected employee can return to work.
As this crisis develops, you will continue to have questions and concerns about how it impacts your health and safety in the workplace. In order to have an orderly and responsive process, please direct your questions and concerns to your Shop Stewards or Union Representative. Our Union staff will forward this information to me so I can communicate your concerns to the appropriate authority.
It is also extremely important that you take every precaution to stop the spread of the virus.
Please do not come to work sick. Please answer the screening questions honestly.
Even if you are experiencing mild symptoms, you may be carrying the virus and pose a threat to your co-workers. It's also important to follow the CDC's recommendations on how to protect yourself, your co-workers, and your family. Needless to say, a major COVID-19 outbreak inside our prison system would be devastating.
Thank you for everything you do.
Please stay healthy and safe.