We did it! Thanks to your efforts, the legislature allocated funding in the state budget for an external audit of staffing levels at the Department of Corrections.
The Department has been operating under a staffing model that has not been reviewed in 30 years. An external audit of DOC staffing levels is an important step toward making our prisons safer for DOC Teamsters.
This is OUR victory. It's something we've been working towards as a union for the past four years. All of your lobby visits, phone calls and emails to legislators made the difference.
Thank you for your hard work and congrats!
You can access a complete report from the 2018 legislative session to learn about other legislative accomplishments that impact Local 117 members.
Teamsters gather on the steps of the State Capitol in Olympia during our Lobby Day event on February 13.
The 2018 legislative session wrapped up yesterday with some historic wins for workers.
The legislature passed a number of measures that expand our rights in the workplace and protect working families. For members of our union, we were successful in achieving many of our legislative priorities.
Thanks to your efforts at our lobby day in February, we secured funding in the budget for an external audit of staffing levels at the Department of Corrections.
This represents a major victory for our DOC members. The DOC has been operating under a staffing model that has not been reviewed in 30 years.
The current model does not account for the deficiencies of the aging facilities and the additional demands placed on staff through previous legislative change. This has led to serious safety concerns in an already dangerous environment.
An audit at the DOC is an important step in making our prisons safer for the staff who risk their lives to protect us.
Several hundred DOC members will also benefit from a bill (HB 1558) that provides greater retirement security through a modest expansion of the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS).
Through our lobbying efforts, Local 117 members were instrumental in helping to pass a measure (SB 6229) that carves out time for unions to provide orientation to new employees.
Some additional highlights include the passage of laws that ensure gender equity in the workplace (HB 1506), remove barriers to voting (SB 6002), and expand workers' comp insurance coverage for law enforcement (SB 1614) and for Hanford workers suffering from occupational disease (HB 1773).
Many of these bills had been languishing in Olympia for years. Thanks to your lobby visits, phone calls and emails, and a new worker-friendly majority in the legislature, we are seeing many policy changes that will strengthen our communities and make a difference in the lives of working families.
Thanks also to Brenda Wiest, our outstanding Director of Legislative Affairs, who spent countless hours in Olympia representing the rights of Local 117 members. We couldn't have done it without Brenda's expertise!
The State Senate took an important first step toward protecting your personal information by passing SB 6079 earlier this month. The bill ensures that individuals or entities cannot access your birth date through public disclosure requests.
But to have a chance at becoming law, the bill also needs to pass the State House, and time is running out. We need to contact our Representatives in the House immediately and tell them to protect our privacy.
As DOC employees, we know the dangers of our personal information falling into the wrong hands.
TAKE ACTION! Call the Legislative Hotline in Olympia at 1-800-562-6000 now! Tell your House Representatives that you work at the DOC and have a right to privacy. Tell them to protect your personal information by passing SB 6079 immediately.
Thank you for speaking out to protect your privacy.
Legislative session kicks off on January 8, 2018
A 60-day session of the Washington State Legislature kicks off on January 8, 2018 and will run through March 9.
During that time, we will be working to pass bills that help workers, increase government accountability, and protect the health of our families and workers.
Our union employs a full-time Legislative Affairs Director, Brenda Wiest, who will be on the ground every day in Olympia working to protect the rights of Local 117 members and their families. Brenda works closely with Political Action Director, Dustin Lambro, who is organizing opportunities throughout session for members to speak directly with their legislators about critical issues.
We will be holding two major lobby day events this year, for our for-hire drivers on January 24, and for our public sector and DOC members on February 12-13. Talk to your union representative about how you can get involved or call Dustin at 206-794-2606.
This legislative session our priorities include:
Department of Corrections/Law Enforcement
- Our number one legislative priority for DOC this session is to secure funding in the supplemental budget for a study of the DOC staffing model;
- We will also be working to: Expand the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) to include more DOC groups, achieve interest arbitration for campus police, expand the presumptive disease designations, and include PTSD and other stress-related disease coverage under workers compensation.
Expanding collective bargaining rights
- Under state law, some workers are barred from joining unions. We are working to pass a package of bills to expand bargaining rights for professional port employees, part-time workers, and interpreters.
- Our union has partnered with other public sector unions to create a number of statutory changes to give us the best chance to maintain union strength in a post-Janus environment.
- Oppose legislation that would preempt local governments from regulating the industry.
- Pass legislation that moves app-based drivers into the for-hire framework and levels the playing field for all drivers in the industry.
Priorities that are good for workers and our communities
- Pass the Equal Pay Act that will ensure differences in pay are not driven by sex or gender, and close the pay gap between men and women.
- Pass Prescription Drug Transparency to force big pharmaceutical companies to disclose the reasons for price spikes in medication.
- Pass the Voting Rights Act and Automatic Voter Registration to change discriminatory voting systems and increase voter representation and registration.
- Pass Breakfast after the Bell to close the Achievement gap and give all kids access to a healthy and nutritious start to their school day.
- Monitor Autonomous Vehicle policy to make sure workers and the public are protected.
- Work with stakeholders and legislators to address issues related to creating a Portable Benefits structure that provides for a meaningful safety net and addresses the underlying problems with the misclassification of workers and abuse of independent contractors.
REGISTRATION FOR OUR 2018 LOBBY DAY AND LEGISLATIVE RECEPTION ON FEBRUARY 12-13 IN OLYMPIA IS NOW FULL. OVER 200 TEAMSTERS AND THEIR FAMILIES WILL BE ATTENDING!
Some of the critical issues facing Teamsters that we will be discussing with legislators include:
- The need for a comprehensive statewide staffing audit.
- Improving staff safety at all DOC facilities.
- Recognizing the critical community services we provide.
You can view a complete list of our legislative priorities here.
You are invited to a dinner and reception with legislators starting at 7:30pm at the RL Hotel in Olympia on February 12. Accommodations will be provided for all members on the night of February 12, 2018. You must register by Monday, January 15 to be guaranteed a room at the Hotel RL. You may still register after that date, but we cannot guarantee we will have the available rooms.
On the morning of February 13, we will have a lobby training and breakfast before heading over to the Capitol for our appointments with legislators.
It's important that we have an excellent showing at this event as we talk with legislators about the critical services we provide.