Members of Teamsters 117 on our King County Coalition of Unions negotiations team.

Our union coalition team was back at the negotiations table with King County yesterday as we continue to bargain over your wages and health care for 2019-2020.

These so-called “Total Comp” negotiations have been ongoing since February with a group of dozens of rank-and-file union members, including more than 20 Teamsters, representing your interests in bargaining.

We have entered the challenging period in these negotiations when we are relatively close to an agreement but still have a few critical issues to resolve.

The County made a proposal in the last session that involved many moving parts including general wage increases and other economic elements of your contract. Our group spent much of yesterday’s session identifying the highest priority items that will have the greatest benefit to the largest number of represented members at the County.

The good news is that the fund that safeguards our health care benefits is in excellent shape. The Protected Fund Reserve (PFR), which was established in 2013 by the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC), has grown from $25 million to a projected $66 million in 2018.

Teamsters 117 was instrumental in establishing and managing the fund to protect the excellent health benefits you enjoy as a union member at the County.

Our union coalition is also continuing to push the County on wages. We are insisting on a general wage increase over the next two years that recognizes the outstanding service you provide and also takes into account the rapidly rising cost of living in our area.

As we delve further into economics and approach the end of these negotiations, we will continue to keep you updated on our progress. This month, we have added two additional bargaining sessions.  We anticipate having a contract proposal that you will be able to vote on later this year.

As with our vote on the Master Labor Agreement in January, we will be holding in-person vote meetings at our Union Hall and at locations around King County. As soon as those meetings are on the calendar, we will let you know. Please stay tuned!