Rick Reinlasoder, a Teamster who works in the County's Water and Land Resources Division, asked tough questions in total comp negotiations on March 29.
“I was not satisfied with their response,” said Rick Reinlasoder. Reinlasoder, a Local 117 shop steward on our union bargaining team, had just finished grilling King County negotiators on why wage increases had been processed for non-represented employers but not for Coalition members.
“We’ve earned it, we deserve it, and we have a right to it, but we can’t do anything with that money for close to six months.”
"We can’t do anything with that money for close to six months."
Reinlasoder echoed the frustration of others on the bargaining team after hearing in last week’s total comp negotiations that the Master Labor Agreement (MLA) was still winding its way through the County’s legislative process and members wouldn’t see their wages increases and retro pay until June.
It is strong unions, collective bargaining, and political power that drive wage increases for all King County employees, yet non-represented employees are enjoying the bump in their paycheck that the Coalition had worked for nearly a year to negotiate. “That’s quite frustrating for the membership,” Reinlasoder said.
Reinlasoder's pointed questions came in the context of a presentation by the County’s Budget Director, Dwight Dively, on the financial health of the County. Dively reported a revenue shortfall despite the strong local economy.
The March 29 negotiations started with Coalition chairs, Michael Gonzales and Cecilia Mena, outlining our union’s initial economic proposal, which addresses the high-priority compensation elements in your contract, including wage increases for 2019 and 2020.
The next negotiations sessions are scheduled for April 19 and 26. We expect the County to present its initial proposal in those sessions. If you have questions, please talk to a bargaining committee member or your union representative.
Shop Steward Dan Fernandez (l) and Union Representative Brian Perreira after Total Comp bargaining session on March 22.
Our Coalition of Unions has been working overtime on behalf of Teamsters at King County, and the results speak for themselves.
Last year, the Coalition achieved a first-ever Master Labor Agreement (MLA), which was overwhelmingly ratified by all participating Teamster bargaining units. Our Coalition team bargained a 3.25% wage increase for 2018, one of many improvements in the MLA.
With MLA bargaining wrapping up last fall, the Coalition has already launched into a new round of negotiations with the County, which started earlier this month. “Total Comp” negotiations considers all compensable elements of your contract.
“Total compensation has everything to do with your overall compensation package,” explained Brian Pinney, a bargaining committee member who works in the County’s Solid Waste Division. “A general wage increase, your medical coverage, a lot of other benefits - they’re all covered under Total Comp.”
Negotiations kicked off on March 1 with our Union and the County establishing ground rules for bargaining. Yesterday, the Coalition met independently from the County to map out our priorities for negotiations and to develop a comprehensive initial proposal.Read more
Our Local 117 bargaining team for King County Total Comp negotiations.
Your union bargaining committee worked overtime last year to achieve a first-ever Master Labor Agreement with the County.
Members in all of our participating Teamster bargaining units voted overwhelmingly to ratify the MLA and their unit’s appendix agreement earlier this year. Voter turnout was historically high.
The agreement achieved a 3.25% general wage increase for 2018 along with a number of other enhancements to your rights at work. You will receive the MLA wage increase retroactive to January 1, 2018 as soon as the contract makes its way through the Council’s transmittal process.
Now our bargaining team is back at the table for a new round of negotiations. “Total Comp” negotiations between our Coalition of Unions and the County kicked off yesterday at our Teamsters hall in Tukwila.
While the MLA consolidated the strongest elements of union contracts across the County into one Master agreement, Total Comp deals with economics only – your wages and health care for 2019-2020.
Yesterday’s session was devoted to introductions and establishing ground rules. One of our shop stewards on the bargaining team, Lisa Huntley, who works in the County’s Solid Waste Division, expressed our union’s expectations for these negotiations.
“We can see in the area how much our property taxes have gone up and how much it costs to live here. That needs to be reflected in our wages,” she said. “We also need to maintain our health benefits and address general equity issues.”
"We can see in the area how much our property taxes have gone up and how much it costs to live here."
Our next meeting with the County is scheduled for Thursday, March 22. We expect these negotiations will run into the summer of this year. We will keep you updated as they progress.
If you have questions, please contact your bargaining committee member or your Union Representative.
Your Teamsters Local 117 Total Comp bargaining Team
- Teresa Allen, WTD - Renton
- Steven Baruso, WTD - Finance
- Amon Billups, Jr, PT&A
- Chris Boyle, WTD - Managers
- Lynn Constantine, PT&A
- Terry De Priest, DOT JUA
- Dan Fernandez, POA
- Mari Jane Friel, Utilities, Roads/Fall City
- Machelle Gatewood, DOT JUA
- Cheryl Ann Gunderson, CIT - KCIT
- George Horning, IT Mgrs/Sups
- Steve Huang, WTD - West Point
- Lisa Huntley, Solid Waste Division
- Rochelle James, RALS
- Lisa Longdon, PT&A
- Vicki Moore, Elections
- Dan Nwaelele, PT&A
- Lisa Ohlen, RALS
- Brian Pinney, Solid Waste Division/Cedar Hills
- Gregory Raburn, PT&A
- Rick Reinlasoder, PT&A
- Robin Robinson, WTD
- Candi Santo, PT&A
- Robert Stalnaker, King County Sheriff’s Office
- Debbie Valle, PAO
- Lester Van Gelder, WTD
- Kathleen Vanderpool, PT&A