Thanks to the amazing work of our DOC Shop Stewards across the state, we were able to achieve record returns on contract surveys for the upcoming negotiations over your 2015-2017 collective bargaining agreement.
More surveys means that more DOC Teamsters have voiced their concerns and prioritized issues that are important to all of us. The surveys also allowed members to include written comments about compensation, overtime provisions, bidding rights, seniority, and other issues.Read more
This week the House and Senate released their supplemental budget proposals, and there is some good news for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections.
Both the House and Senate have joined Governor Inslee in calling for $5 million in funding for the opening of the 256-bed medium security unit at the Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla to reduce prison overcrowding. Overcrowding, particularly at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, has led to serious safety and security issues for correctional employees, with offenders packed into cells and in some cases having to sleep on the floor.
So the news on funding to open the new units is a welcomed relief.Read more
We are very excited to announce that the Senate Commerce and Labor committee has scheduled a hearing for Paid Sick and Safe Days (HB 1313) on Wednesday, February 26th at 1:30 p.m.
Thanks to your emails and phone calls, the bill passed out of the House of Representatives on January 29. Now, HB 1313 faces a tough fight in the Senate. We must do all we can if Paid Sick Days (HB1313) is going to make it through the Senate Labor and Commerce committee. Here's what you can do right now:
1. Sign the Paid Sick Days Action Alert here.
2. Contact key members of the Senate Commerce and Labor committee and tell them to pass this bill out!
Curtis King R 14th
Janea Holmquist Newbry, Chair R 13th
John Braun R 20th
Mike Hewitt R 16th
3. If you live in the 13th, 14th, 15th and 20th legislative districts, your support is especially important!
Paid Sick Days ensure people can care for their health needs without losing a day’s wages or their job and promotes healthy business by preventing the spread of food-borne disease and boosting employee morale and productivity.
Teamsters 117 was back in Olympia today to speak out in support of issues that are important to working families. Together with members of several other Teamster Locals, Local 117 members met with their legislators to discuss raising the minimum wage, passing a paid sick days bill, and protecting workers against wage theft.
"This is the second time that I've done a Lobby Day, and I had a lot of fun the first time," said Jess Turney, a 2-year Teamster at Fisheries Supply in Seattle. "I think the strength of the Teamsters is activism and the membership has to participate in order for the union to be strong and for us to accomplish our goals."
Local 117 members continued to lobby their State Senators on a bill (HB 2152) that would allow Teamster taxi drivers the choice to opt into the State's Labor & Industries system. On February 7, the bill passed out of the House by a vote of 93-1, and it is now working its way through the Senate.
Members also discussed the need to alleviate prison overcrowding and to address other safety and security-related issues for our state's correctional employees.
Today's event was organized by the Joint Council of Teamsters 28, an organization of 12 Teamster Locals in Washington, Alaska, and Northern Idaho.
“We take our little league seriously,” said Javier Solheim, a 17-year Teamster mill operator at GP Gypsum. Javier’s son, Andrew, is 8-years old and plays baseball for the Rainiers, a team based in Lakewood. Last year, the Rainiers were 12-0, and won a league championship.Read more
The new issue of your Union's newsletter, Teamster Talk, is now available. Teamster Talk is a bi-monthly newsletter that provides a closer look at some of the issues impacting members of Teamsters 117.
In this issue, you'll find stories on a number of topics including:
- Local 117's participation in the MLK Day march and rally;
- A PERC ruling impacting members at DOC;
- Our Farm to Family Rally;
- Teamsters 117 Lobby Day;
- Teamsters volunteering in the community;
- A message from your Secretary-Treasurer, Tracey Thompson.
For print copies of Teamster Talk, talk to your Business Representative.
We have some great news out of Olympia! Representative Cyrus Habib's proposed legislation (HB 2152) that would lift the Labor & Industries requirement for taxi cab operators has just passed the State House of Representatives on a vote of 93-1!
The Western Washington Taxi Cab Operators Association (WWTCOA) and the Teamsters have been working hard to pass the bill since the start of legislative session on January 13. WWTCOA members testified at a Labor and Workforce Development Committee hearing on January 16, and dozens of drivers spoke to their representatives about the importance of the bill at our Teamster Lobby Day on January 28.
The next big fight will be in the Senate, where we will need to speak out in legislative hearings and meet with our State Senators. Under the bill, drivers would still have the option to participate in the State's L & I insurance program, but they could opt out if they so desired.
Thank you to the many members who spoke with legislators in support of HB 2421, Representative Schmick’s bill, which would fund a study of DOC staffing levels. While the bill has been pulled from executive session and will not be moving forward this year, lawmakers have given good reason for doing so.
After speaking today with the State Auditor’s office, Representative Schmick, and legislators on the House Public Safety Committee, we have learned that the bill was pulled because a comprehensive performance audit of the DOC, which had been on hold due to pending litigation, is now underway.Read more
Representative Mike Sells of the 38th Legislative District has sent a letter to Attorney General Bob Ferguson requesting a legal opinion regarding supplemental pension options for state employees that exist outside of the state's plans.
The letter is similar to one that the Teamsters 117 Legal Department sent to Ferguson after he was elected in 2012.
An opinion by the AG's office would determine whether or not we are permitted under current state law to negotiate the Teamsters pension as an option into the DOC contract that can be voted on by the membership.Read more
Teamsters Local 117 recycle and yard waste drivers at Republic's Bellevue facility showed their Seahawks colors this morning as they prepared to head out onto their morning routes. Team spirit at its finest! Let's do this - Go Hawks!