Teamsters at King County - A new issue of your Local 117 newsletter is now available!
This issue has some tips about defending your rights and staying out of trouble at work. We've also got a brief update on COLA bargaining as well as info about a scholarship for your Teamster kids who are applying for college.
Check out your online newsletter here.
King County is scrambling to stave off the possibility of huge reductions in Metro bus service and the further erosion of our public transportation infrastructure.
If voters do not approve a funding measure on April 22, Metro stands to lose 74 bus routes, and over 100 routes would have to change. Residents would see more crowded buses, longer wait times, less reliable service, more traffic, and longer commutes.
The measure proposes a $60/annual car tab fee and a one-tenth-of-a-cent increase in the sales tax. King County gained the authority to take the measure to the voters when the Council unanimously approved the creation of a transportation district on Feb. 11.
VOTE YES FOR TRANSPORTATION ON APRIL 22: We’ve already seen a 44% decrease in transportation funding since 2008. Vote YES to save Metro, preserve the low-income fare program, and protect family-wage jobs!
King County will be mailing out ballots on April 2, so you should be receiving them in the mail by April 4 or 5.
Sometimes it feels like just getting up and going to work every day is an heroic act. Through our work, we serve our communities, pay the bills, and put food on the table for our families. That’s about as heroic as it gets, right?
Well, for one Teamster at King County, the daily grind presented an opportunity to do a little bit more. Randy Smith, a supervisor in the County’s Wastewater Treatment Division, and his SEIU 925 crew, helped assist in a rescue operation of a man who had fallen into a raw sewage tank in Discovery Park.
When a crew member heard the man screaming as he was making his rounds at the plant, Randy and his crew took immediate action to help save the man and called 911. Firefighters were dispatched to the scene, and the man was taken to the Harborview Medical Center.
So let’s hear it for the quick-acting Teamster who helped save a man’s life while doing his job. You can’t get much more heroic than that!
At the previous meeting the County indicated a willingness to extend the existing COLA language for one year while continuing to work on other issues. Prior to today’s meeting with the County, the Coalition caucused to agree on a response to the County, for today’s meeting. During the caucus, strategies for current circumstances were discussed along with the desire for the County to not include the unrepresented in their costing data and analyses.Read more
On February 12, King County met with the King County Coalition of Unions to address two key components of the Coalition’s November 21 proposal.
Matt McCoy from the County outlined the cost incurred to provide an additional two steps (Step 11 and Step 12) to the Squared Table, as well as a Vacation Cash Out option. It was discussed that 63% of Coalition employees are at Step 10. Adding two steps would result in a 2.78% on-going, long-term cost increase in total payroll. The vacation cash out option would be a one-time payroll cost increase of 4.75% (or $29 million in real dollars). Therefore, the immediate combined increase in total payroll cost to the County would be 7.53%.
According to Dwight Dively (Budget Director) at a December presentation to the Coalition, the General Fund Revenue is expected to have an “…average long-term revenue growth of about 2.5%.”
View the entire update here.
A proposed settlement to a class action lawsuit involving AETNA may impact some Local 117 members employed at King County.
AETNA plan members who received services from out-of-network providers from March 1, 2001 through August 30, 2013 may be eligible for cash payment under the proposal.
If you qualify for payment, you must fill out and return a Claim Form (with any necessary supporting documentation) by first class mail, postmarked no later than March 28, 2014.
Your legal rights in the settlement as well as information about the case are outlined in a court-authorized notice. Be sure to read over the notice carefully to determine your eligibility and your options in the case.
At a meeting on January 22, King County had planned to present its counterproposal to the KC Coalition of Unions' most recent proposal. The County informed the Coalition that it was not ready to make a counterproposal at that time, but there were several other business items discussed at the meeting.
You can view the Coalition's update from the meeting here.
The following is an update from the King County Coalition of Unions on the total compensation information session with the County:
This meeting was an opportunity for the County to make their case for the 2% “wage increase” proposal. Dwight Dively, the Budget Director from the King County Executive’s office met with the King County Coalition of Unions on December 12th to review the County’s budget forecast.Read more
On October 8, King County presented an initial proposal to the Coalition of Unions over your successor COLA agreement that included a 2 percent flat-rate increase for each year starting in 2015. The County is looking to move away from a CPI-based index to flat-rate wage increases in the future, a change that would make it harder for County employees to keep up with the rising cost of living.
View the complete update here.Read more
Please give a raucous Teamsters’ welcome to twelve new Local 117 members at King County. The new group of clerical and administrative employees in the County’s Wastewater Division will be accreting into the Wastewater bargaining unit.
The group, formerly represented by the Technical Employees Association (TEA), spent over a year fighting TEA appeals, but has finally prevailed in their desire to become Teamsters.Read more