Officer and Shop Steward Mark Hackett has worked on campus for over twelve years.
The Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) has ruled in favor of our Union in an Unfair Labor Practice case with the University of Washington involving paid family leave for UW police.
During negotiations, the employer signed off on a tentative contract agreement that included a proposal to cover the complete paid family leave premium for Teamsters at the UW Police Department (UWPD). On the day of the contract ratification vote, the employer tried to renege on the proposal.
Our Union filed an Unfair Labor Practice arguing that the employer must uphold its end of the negotiated agreement. The case went to hearing in June, and we received the PERC examiner's decision this week.
In its order, PERC ruled that the employer had breached its "good faith bargaining obligations by refusing to honor agreements reached in bargaining."
PERC is ordering the employer to cover the paid family leave premium for UWPD union members or "make an equivalent payment to bargaining unit employees." Employees will also be made whole for any premium contributions deducted from their pay that contradict the paid family leave article.
"It really shows how important it is having Teamsters as our union."
"It was important to keep them accountable because they were trying to go back on their word," said Officer Mike Miskell, in reacting to the PERC ruling. "Everybody at the UWPD really appreciates the hard work. Also with getting interest arbitration, it really shows how important it is having Teamsters as our union."
"Our members at the UWPD and across our union honor the terms and conditions of their contracts, and we expect employers to do the same," said John Scearcy, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters 117. "When an employer makes a commitment in negotiations, we will hold them accountable. This is an important victory for all Teamsters, and a testament to the outstanding work of our Union's legal team."
You can read the PERC examiner's complete ruling and order here.
Mark Hackett has worked on campus for over twelve years.
When you are a police officer at UWPD, you never know in the morning what your day will bring. It could range from responding to a car prowl case to something more serious, such as a gun threat, or you might be fishing unruly students out of the quite deep and polluted Drumheller fountain again. With the beginning of the academic year, thousands of new freshmen students are expected at the UW, and police officers will be going to student orientations to do safety trainings and talk to parents and students who might be out on their own for the first time.
" I want to thank past members, past Teamster Reps, and all who made this bill a reality."
Officer Mark Hackett has done this job for over twelve years and knows that patience and diplomacy are his assets when resolving incidents involving students in a college environment.
“We’re here as a resource for the students, and we want them to succeed. We want to keep them safe,” he shared.
Officer Hackett appreciates the necessity of a union for performing his best at a job laced with daily uncertainty and danger. His coworkers formed a guild when he first came to the UWPD, but around 2010 things began to change. A new police chief moved in from a right-to-work state and contract violations began to compound. Hackett and his team realized they needed more power to face the injustices creeping up in their workplace and decided to join Teamsters 117.
“The University of Washington is a very powerful entity and a very large employer, so we needed the backing of a powerful union,” mentioned Hackett.
After joining the Teamsters, officers had their contract respected again and gained invaluable representational support and help with legal matters.
“At the end of the day, I need to get home to my wife and daughter. Having a good contract means having good equipment and increased safety,” Hackett said.
One of the biggest issues for officers at the UWPD was that they were not interest arbitration eligible. They were hopeful that joining Teamsters 117 would help them make progress toward that goal, and they were not disappointed. After almost a decade of Teamsters fighting for interest arbitration, the Governor has signed the bill and 6000 members, including UWPD officers, were granted access to a neutral arbitrator for resolution of negotiations that have reached impasse.
Along with Teamsters 117 President, Michelle Woodrow, Hackett and his co-workers are celebrating the passage of an interest arbitration bill.
Here Hackett puts it in his own words:
“After facing many difficult challenges the Campus Police Officers at the University of Washington joined Teamsters 117 in 2011. The transition was not easy. We faced a difficult and unknown future as we worked to achieve our first Teamsters collective bargaining agreement. Our UWPD members had a clear conversation about future goals and had high expectations of our Union. Our Teamster’s Business Reps, Attorneys, and the President of our local, had a very direct response. We needed to change the law. We needed to have the same rights as other police officers in our state. We needed interest arbitration!
Approximately 8 years later, Governor Inslee will put pen to paper and Senate Bill 5022, granting interest arbitration to Campus Police Officers throughout the State of Washington. I want to thank past members, past Teamster Reps, and all who made this bill a reality. Our members, our Union, our work, make a difference!”
Today, Hackett is celebrating this monumental achievement with his co-workers as smoke rises from the grill, and Teamsters enjoy a BBQ outside their station. If you are ever at the UW campus, know that officers there are 100% behind their union.
This Tuesday is truly a momentous day for our corrections and law enforcement members.
At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, Governor Inslee will sign into law bills granting statutory interest arbitration rights for our members at the Department of Corrections and University of Washington Police Department (SB 5021/SB 5022). At the same ceremony, the Governor will also sign a bill that restores the right for trained DOC personnel to carry a concealed weapon (HB 1589).
We will be gathering outside of the Governor's office on Tuesday starting at 1:30 p.m. All members are encouraged to attend this event and join in celebrating this extraordinary accomplishment.
Interest arbitration increases our power and leverage in contract negotiations. Without interest arbitration, we had little recourse when bargaining with the State over issues like wages and working conditions.
With this new law, we will be able to take mandatory subjects of bargaining to a neutral third-party arbitrator if we reach impasse in negotiations.
Over the next several weeks, we have a number of activities planned to celebrate this win. We will be sending thank you cards to the legislators who supported our bills and recognizing the bill sponsors and other key legislators at our June membership meeting and our summer DOC barbecues.
We are also creating a commemorative pin to recognize the hard work so many of you put in to pass this legislation.
Congratulations and thank you to everyone on this historic achievement. After a decade-long effort in the Washington State Legislature to expand the rights of Local 117 members, our moment of victory is close at hand.
On Friday, the State House and Senate finalized the legislation for our Department of Corrections (DOC) and University of Washington Police Department (UWPD) interest arbitration bills (SB 5021/SB 5022). This clears the way for both bills to be sent to the Governor’s desk for his signature.
The Governor has indicated that he is supportive of the bills, and we expect he will sign them into law in the coming weeks. As soon as we have a date for the bill signing ceremony, we will let you know and encourage you to attend this historic event.
It’s hard to express the magnitude of this victory. We’ve been working as a union for nearly a decade to achieve statutory interest arbitration rights. Now the finish line is close at hand.
Interest arbitration is a complete game-changer when it comes to the power we leverage in contract negotiations. Without interest arbitration, we had little recourse when bargaining with the State over issues like wages and working conditions.
It’s hard to express the magnitude of this victory.
With this new law, we will be able to push mandatory subjects of bargaining to a neutral third-party arbitrator if we reach impasse in negotiations.
The ramifications are huge. Over the last three contract cycles we’ve been able to access interest arbitration rights at the DOC, first through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Governor, then through a negotiated provision in our contract. Because of interest arbitration, we’ve succeeded in increasing wages for DOC Teamsters by 28.3% over six years.
But from the start our goal has always been to codify these rights into State law, which is exactly what these bills will do. Once they become law, we will have increased our strength to negotiate higher wages and better working conditions for all of you who risk your lives to serve and protect our communities.
Thanks again for your tremendous work toward this victory. By standing together and committing to each other, we’ve succeeded in achieving critical rights that will improve the lives of 6,000 members and their families.
Wearing our union colors down in Olympia for the interest arbitration hearings on January 17.
With the 2019 legislative session kicking off in Olympia this week, bills that would grant interest arbitration rights to our Department of Corrections (DOC) and University of Washington Police Department (UWPD) members are already starting to move.
Several Teamsters provided powerful testimony supporting both bills today in hearings before the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee and the House Labor and Workplace Standards Committee.
Michelle Woodrow, our union's President and Director of Corrections & Law Enforcement, laid out our case for interest arbitration before legislators:
Interest arbitration is a right commonly available to public safety employees such as the Washington State Patrol who do not have the ability to strike. It allows our union to move mandatory subjects of bargaining to a neutral third-party arbitrator should we reach impasse in negotiations.
At the DOC, we achieved interest arbitration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by the Governor in 2014 and negotiated it into our contract, but it has not been codified in statute. Our members at the UWPD have never had access to these rights.
Without access to interest arbitration, members like Officers Mark Hackett and Marvin McKinney of the UWPD have struggled to obtain critical safety gear to protect themselves in the line of duty.
For Sergeant Jason Heuer and Officer James Deuel of the DOC, passing interest arbitration means securing their rights into the future. "It’s critical that we win this in statute because otherwise it can just be taken away...," they said.
Thank you to our members who took time out of their busy schedules to travel to Olympia to testify.
- You can view the House testimony on TVW here
- The Senate testimony can be viewed online here
- Track our bills: HB1042 (DOC), HB1043 (UWPD), SB5021 (DOC), SB5022(UWPD)
As session continues, there will be more hearings on these bills and more opportunities to make your voice heard. Passing interest arbitration for DOC and UWPD will require excellent participation at our upcoming Lobby Day on February 26-27. It will also require all of us coming together to educate legislators about the critical public safety work we perform.
Teamsters fighting hunger (from l to r): Matthew House, Mark Hackett, Chris Ellrodt, Roger Gale, and Jed Slagter.
A group of sharpshooters from two Teamster police departments joined forces last month to take aim at hunger. Officers from the City of Pacific and the University of Washington along and their union representative, Matthew House, teamed up for the Emergency Food Network’s annual Breaking Hunger Trap Shooting and Archery Tournament.
The contest, held at the Gig Harbor Sportsmen’s Club on August 10, raised over $16 thousand dollars to help feed hungry families in Pierce County. “This was my first time,” said Sergeant Jed Slagter, who heard about the event from a fellow officer. “It was for a good cause, well organized, and a lot of fun.”
"It was for a good cause, well organized, and a lot of fun."
Slagter, who’s been on the force at the City of Pacific Police Department for five years, talked about the importance of his union giving back to the community. “It’s great for Teamsters to participate in these kinds of charitable events,” he said.
Our union’s Executive Board covered the team’s registration fee. All proceeds from the event go to benefit the Emergency Food Network.
Thank you to our members from the Teamsters Law Enforcement & Corrections Division who participated in the tournament:
- Jed Slagter, City of Pacific Police Dept.
- Roger Gale, City of Pacific Police Dept.
- Chris Ellrodt, University of Washington Police Dept.
- Mark Hackett, University of Washington Police Dept.
The Pierce County emergency food system includes 67 food banks providing over 15 million meals annually to over a hundred thousand families in need. Teamsters Local 117 is a generous supporter of EFN and has participated in a number of volunteer events to benefit the organization.
Access to good health care is critical for State employees, but so far the State is not getting the message. In the current round of health care negotiations, their proposal would increase out-of-pocket costs for you and your family.
Our coalition of unions has proposed COST SAVINGS through a reduced premium share, but the State is pushing back. We need to flood the Governor's office with phone calls and emails now!
Tell the Governor to fund a health care agreement that values the hard work you perform to serve and protect our communities.
During the recession, State employees made sacrifices to help the State through its financial crisis. Now that the State is back on solid financial footing, they need to prevent costly increases to your health care.
CALL AND EMAIL THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE NOW!
Call Governor Inslee's office at 360-902-4111 or send him an email now. Urge him to:
- Support a fair health care agreement that values the hard work and sacrifices you make to serve and protect our communities.
Please call and email the Governor now!
Early this morning, the state released its proposed operating budget for the 2017-2019 biennium. All indications are that the legislature will vote on the agreement today and that the budget will be signed into law to avert a government shutdown and temporary layoffs of state employees.
The proposed budget fully funds the interest arbitration award for our members at the Department of Corrections. It also funds the contract for our members at the University of Washington Police Department as well as for members at the Department of Enterprise Services. This means that all of the terms and conditions of the new collective bargaining agreements for our members who are state employees are now in place.
Teamsters at the DOC will receive general wage increases of at least 10.5% over the coming biennium; at the UWPD, members will receive annual increases of 10%; DES members' wages will increase by roughly 6%.
The legislature ultimately decided to fund our contracts because all of us stood together and demanded respect for the challenging, dangerous work you perform.
So many of you have played a critical role in this success. Thank you to our incredible member leaders who worked long hours to achieve meaningful improvements to our contracts. At the DOC, we were able to achieve interest arbitration rights in our contract for the first time, which is a major accomplishment.
Many of you also took the time to contact your legislators in the last several weeks as we made the final push to stop a shutdown of state government and avoid temporary layoffs.
Finally, thanks to all of you for the incredible service you provide to our communities. Your work is challenging, dangerous, and vital to the safety of the public.
There is still more work to be done. The proposed budget does not fund an external audit of staffing levels at the DOC. We will be working to include it in the supplemental budget next January as it continues to be one of our priorities moving forward.
But if we stand together as we have done in the last several months, we can continue to strengthen our contracts, improve our working conditions, and our lives.
Today, the House Democrats released their 2017-2019 Operating Budget proposal, and there's some great news: It fully funds our collective bargaining agreement for Teamsters at the Department of Corrections. Last week, the Senate Republicans passed their budget which also funds our DOC contract.
Unlike the Senate, though, the House budget also funds $500,000 for our requested budget proviso to conduct an independent, comprehensive staffing level audit to review staffing levels in each DOC institution by classification. We lobbied on this issue this year, and made it a key part of our legislative agenda.
The House and Senate budgets diverge in other ways as well. The Senate failed to fund most other state employee contracts; thankfully, the House remedied that by investing in all state employees including our members at the University of Washington Police Department.
With budget negotiations about to get underway, we need to send a message to our legislators about our priorities for the budget.
YOUR ACTION NEEDED: Call the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 with this message:
- Thank your legislators for recognizing the important work of our state's corrections professionals.
- Encourage your Senator to support funding for the DOC staffing level audit.
- Ask your Senator to invest in our UW Police Officers by funding their contract.
Thank you for taking action on these issues.