Cheryl Miller, her husband Mark, and AHCC member Rob Rinard setting up for the BBQ event on July 31.
Hot dogs sizzled on the grill as DOC members grabbed a bite to eat and discussed an upcoming contract vote and the need to stay strong given a recent Supreme Court ruling that threatens our union.
The BBQ was organized by Cheryl Miller, a shop steward at the Airway Heights Corrections Center in Spokane. Cheryl is a participant in our Teamsters Leadership Academy and drew inspiration to hold the event from the 9-month course.
“Putting on an event like this was strictly by a member for a member,” she said. “The only way that we can stay strong is to stick together and stand our ground otherwise we’re going to end up working for a lot less wages than we’re getting now.”
"The only way that we can stay strong is to stick together..."
The U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled in Janus v AFSCME to create an “open shop” environment in the public sector, allowing members to abandon their unions. The danger of open shop is that wages, benefits, and working conditions can erode over time. Cheryl wanted to spread the word that the antidote to open shop is member unity and engagement.
Over the course of the day, hundreds of members stopped by to chat and grab a hot dog. Many expressed their appreciation and said they would make sure to vote on their contract.
An event of this scale cannot be put on without help. Cheryl recruited her husband, Mark, a retired Teamster food service manager and fellow member Rob Rinard to pass out materials and work the grill. Teamster staff were on hand, including Michelle Woodrow, our union’s President and Director of Corrections and Law Enforcement, to talk about negotiations and answer questions.
“What an excellent way to build union solidarity,” Woodrow said. “Thank you to Cheryl Miller for organizing this event and to all of our DOC members who work so hard to keep our communities safe. They deserve a contract that recognizes their sacrifice and honors their commitment to public safety.”
Our DOC negotiations team worked late into the night on Friday and early into Saturday morning after a long week in mediation with the State in an effort to resolve the elements of our 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement that we were unable to reach agreement on.
The team worked hard to craft an equitable economic proposal that values the critical public safety work you perform. Our proposal was based on well-researched comparables of corrections employees performing similar work in like jurisdictions.
In the end, the State was unwilling to come even remotely close to adequately recognizing your work. The State’s proposal as of Saturday morning is 2% in year one and 2% in year two of the contract. Their final offer ignores the dangers you face on the job and the essential role you play in keeping our communities safe.
As a result, our union’s negotiations committee is unanimously recommending that you vote to reject the State’s proposal.
Contract voting will be conducted in two ways: 1) by telephone or 2) through the internet. The telephonic and online internet polls open at 12:01 AM on Monday, August 6, 2018, and close at 11:59 PM on Sunday, August 19, 2018.
We will make available a summary document and a redline contract proposal document as well as complete voting instructions by the end of this week. You will be notified by email when the documents are available for your review on our union’s website.
We will be holding in-person meetings to review the State’s proposal and to answer your questions starting on Monday, August 6. You can view the complete schedule of contract update meetings at all locations here.
Assuming a majority of the voting DOC membership casts a no vote, we will exercise the interest arbitration rights in our contract and go to hearing with the State. At the hearing, we will present the following mandatory subjects of bargaining before a neutral arbitrator who will make an impartial ruling:
- A general wage increase for all DOC Teamsters based on comparable data
- Elements of Article 16 of our contract (Hours of Work)
The interest arbitration hearing will be held at the end of August with Arbitrator Joseph Duffy presiding. Our union’s legal counsel is busy preparing our case and will likely call on a number of DOC members to testify.
Again, our negotiations committee is unanimously recommending that you vote NO on the State’s proposal. Our unity in rejecting the State’s substandard proposal will give us the strongest possible position as we head into interest arbitration. Please be sure to vote and make your voice heard!
In closing, our deep gratitude goes out to our incredible negotiations team for their dedication, commitment, perseverance, and strength. Our team worked tirelessly to achieve the best possible contract for all Teamsters at the DOC. Be sure to thank them for their service.
You can view a short video update from negotiations here.
Our DOC negotiations team worked late into the night on Friday and early into Saturday morning after a long week in mediation in an effort to reach an agreement with the State over our 2019-2021 collective bargaining agreement.
Unfortunately, the State was unwilling to put forth an economic proposal that adequately recognizes the critical public safety work you perform. Our negotiations team is unanimously recommending that you vote to reject the State's proposal. We will be providing a more complete update from negotiations and information about the upcoming contract vote process early next week.
Watch the video update below from Michelle Woodrow, your union's President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement:
Last week DOC negotiations shifted to economics as your Union presented its initial economic proposal. In making this proposal, your bargaining committee demanded that the State recognize the incredible service that correctional employees provide to protect the public.
The proposal included salary increases for all classifications, improvement to shift differential, expansion of the Specialty Team Premium to include Honor Guard, Assignment Pay for Shift Commanders at stand-alone minimums and members working in Specialized Units, as well as cost-of-living increases for both years of the contract. We expect the State to respond when we meet this week.
In terms of our other proposals, Sally Thiessen, a Shop Steward at SCCC and a member of the bargaining team, summed it up best. “We’re waiting on just about everything we have submitted to them,” she said.
"Our leaders are constantly fighting for us."
“We are aggressively moving forward with the State, not allowing them to make the changes that can hinder our operation and negatively affect our livelihood and work-life balance. Our leaders are constantly fighting for us,” stated Doug Lambe, a Maintenance Mechanic and Shop Steward at WCCW who also sits at the negotiations table.
The bargaining committee’s frustration is mounting, as the State appears to be ill prepared every time we meet. Because of this, we expect to be in mediation the week of July 23 in hopes of reaching an agreement.
Our next negotiations session will be held on July 17 and July 18 at our Teamsters Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions about bargaining, talk to your negotiations committee members or your Union Representative.
Thank you for your service, please stay safe.
Our union negotiations team for DOC wore read to protest the State's proposal to restrict our access to vacation leave.
It was a sea of red at our DOC negotiations this week. Members of our union’s bargaining committee were decked out in red T-shirts, red caps, red sweatshirts and blouses. Our team had deliberately coordinated our dress to protest the State’s proposal to restrict our access to vacation leave.
In the previous negotiations session, the State sought changes to the vacation leave article (Article 21) in our contract to allow DOC management to discipline members who make certain kinds of vacation requests by defining it as unscheduled leave.
Our team was united in rejecting the proposal. To show our unity and send a message to the State, the group decided to wear red for this session. All members participated in the action.
On Thursday, the State made a stab at another idea that was unanimously opposed by our negotiations team. The State proposed designating Visiting as a Specialized Unit.
There are a couple of problems with that. Not only would it erode our bid system and strip members of their right to work in those areas, it wouldn’t address the problems they claim they’re trying to solve.Read more
Negotiations between our union team and the State continued this week over our 2019-2021 DOC contract. The meetings took place at our Teamsters Union hall in Tukwila on Wednesday, May 23 and Thursday, May 24.
In our last sessions earlier this month, we established ground rules for negotiations and presented our union’s initial proposals.
In this week’s sessions, the State presented a few initial proposals on Wednesday morning, then requested a break to continue developing additional proposals. Much of Thursday’s discussion revolved around overtime and shared leave.
In our union caucus, we continued to refine our language proposals. We also focused on alerting members to attempts by the “Freedom” Foundation to divide our union at this critical time.
You can read the committee's joint statement here. DOC members will be receiving the statement in the mail in the coming days.
“The Freedom Foundation is trying to split our union,” said Teresa Bennett, a pharmacy tech and shop steward on the negotiations committee. “Don’t fall for their mailings – they are confusing and false. We need to stand together and not be divided."
"We need to stand together and not be divided."
Our next negotiations session will take place on June 5 and 6 at the Union Hall in Tukwila. If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or union representative.
Thank you for your service to our communities. Please stay safe.
Our DOC bargaining committee met with the State on May 2 to begin negotiations over our 2019-2021 contract.
Our outstanding bargaining team of 21 rank-and-file DOC Teamsters gathered yesterday at the union hall in Tukwila to finalize our proposals for upcoming contract negotiations.
“We looked over the contract and determined what articles we would open based on the wishes of the members,” said Becky HaneyNixon, a classification counselor at the Washington State Penitentiary.
“I think we’re going to have really good representation,” added Lynn Kunkle, a registered nurse at the Monroe Correctional Complex. “We’re not here for one, we’re here for all.”
Sergeants, officers, nurses, counselors, cooks, a mechanic, a pharmacy technician, and a ferry operator will join union representatives and our union’s legal counsel to negotiate with the State over your 2019-2021 DOC contract.Read more
In April, we will be holding contract proposal meetings for all DOC Teamsters to prepare for bargaining over your 2019-2121 collective bargaining agreement.
Your feedback is important! Your bargaining team will use your input from these meetings to develop proposals for negotiations. Please bring your priorities to the meeting. Thank you!
You can view days, times, and facilities below. Click on the link to your facility to RSVP.
|Monday||4/2/2018||0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630||SCCC|
|Tuesday||4/3/2018||0630, 0900, 1130, 1430, 1630||MCC|
|Wednesday||4/4/2018||0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630||LCC|
|Wednesday||4/4/2018||0530, 0625, 0800, 1130, 1415, 1530||AHCC|
|Thursday||4/5/2018||0500, 0630, 1130, 1300, 1410, 1630||CCCC|
|Thursday||4/5/2018||0600, 0800, 1130, 1300, 1415, 1530, 1630, 1800||CRCC|
|Friday||4/6/2018||1130, 1300, 1410, 2100||MCCCW|
|Monday||4/9/2018||1100, 1400, 1530, 2100, 2200||WCC|
|Tuesday||4/10/2018||0500, 0625, 0800, 1130, 1415, 1630||WSP|
|Tuesday||4/10/2018||1130, 1300, 1410, 2100||WCCW|
|Wednesday||4/11/2018||1130, 1300, 1410, 2100||OCC|
|Thursday||4/12/2018||1130, 1300, 1410, 2100||CBCC|
|Friday||4/13/2018||1100, 1200||DOC HQ|