Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL)

Local 17 Union Representative for DOL Members
Licensing Services & Pro-Rate and Fuel Tax Auditors

Alexis Young: 206-328-7321 ext. 103

2017-19 state contract ratified by members

The electronic ballot for the 2017-19 state contract closed at 12 p.m. on Fri., Sept. 30, with a significant majority of members voting to ratify the contract.

In accepting the terms of the new contract, the following changes will be enacted on July 1, 2017:

  • A 6% cost-of-living increase, which includes a 2% increase in July 2017, a 2% increase in July 2018, and a 2% increase in January 2019.
  • Additional targeted salary increases for more than 80% of our members
  • An increase in vacation accrual (for the first time in decades!)
  • An increase in the number of rest hours paid after 16 hours of work in a 24 hour period
  • The ability to grieve workplace behavior investigations
  • Improved supervisory pay for DOL-LSRs
  • A 53% increase in the night shift premium
  • Flexibility for employees' whose day off falls on a holiday
  • Maintainance of the healthcare premium-sharing ratio (85/15)

But our work is not done yet!

Members must be prepared to strongly lobby legislators to pass the state employee contracts. The funding of this agreement and all state employee union contracts will be determined by the 2017 legislature that must approve a budget to absorb the cost of the agreements. Lawmakers will be challenged by this while also considering the needs within the entire state budget including a State Supreme Court mandate that billions of new funding must be provided to basic education.

Additionally, Local 17 staff and members will challenge the State agencies covered by this process to continue to look at those classifications at DOL, DOT and WSP that did not receive special targeted classification salary increases. Members will be needed to get involved in this process as well.

You can read more about this year's negotiations, and find the details of the 2017-19 agreement below.

Summary of Changes

Full tentative agreement (red-lined)

Compensation Appendicies C and E

Agreement reached with state on 2017-19 contract

On Wed., Sept. 21, the Local 17 negotiations team came to final agreement on the 2017 -2019 contract with the State on the second and final day of mediation with state negotiators.

The Local 17 team, comprised of members from DOL, WSDOT and WSP was able to negotiate the largest cost-of-living increase state employees have seen in years totaling 6%! This increase covers all PTE17 members and will be distributed with a two percent raise in July 2017, a two percent raise in July 2018, and an unprecedented third raise of two percent  in January 2019. We were also successful in getting targeted increases for more than 80% of our state members. 

Also included in the settlement is an increase (for the first time in decades!) in vacation accrual, an increase in the number of hours paid after 16 hours of consecutive work, the ability to grieve workplace behavior, a 53% increase in the night shift premium, improved Supervisory pay for LSRs and flexibility for employees’ whose day off falls on a holiday regarding when they can take the holiday.  We were also able to maintain our 85/15 split for Healthcare and made an agreement with WSDOT management to discuss incentives for employees who obtain licenses and certifications. 

We have agreements with OFM and your agencies to meet and further discuss compensation for those the state refused to provide specific class salary increases:  Our DOL Auditors, DOT Transportation Planning Specialists and Technicians, WSP VIN Officers, and DOT Property and Acquisition Specialists.   We used logic, reason, and data to try and make the case for these classifications, but because past recruitment and retention trends don’t justify an increase based on OFM standards, these arguments fell on deaf ears. 

As we were wrapping up the mediation session, the state’s lead negotiator mentioned that no other unions pursues these issues as strongly as PTE17 does. These comments were echoed during the negotiations by many within the state bureaucracy including OFM analysts, our mediator and even agency executives.  Be proud that your union takes these steps and was the only one who took the state to mediation to ensure we advocated thoroughly and completely for all of our members.

Lastly, the Local 17 bargaining team would like to thank all the members who emailed, called, and delivered their messages to state and agency executives. These efforts did make a difference at the bargaining table and continues to build on the foundation for future talks. You sent the message to the state that Local 17 members aren’t afraid to step up and advocate for themselves and their colleagues. 

If you have any questions, please contact a member of your negotiations team:

Donna Blume (DOL), Randy Christensen (WSDOT), Josh Jeffries (WSDOT), Daniel Jones (WSDOT), Sarah Lorenzini (Local 17 Staff), Brendan Magee (WSP), Steve Morgans (WSDOT), Vince Oliveri (Local 17 Staff), Dean Robinson (WSP), Michael Wetsch (DOL), and Alexis Young (Local 17 Staff)

TAKE ACTION! Final push for 2017-19 state contract

While some other state unions have come to tentative agreement on a contract for the 2017-2019 biennium, Local 17 is still at the bargaining table working on getting fair increases for ALL of the classifications we represent.

To date, we've delivered hundreds of emails and messages to State Executives, used the state’s own data to show major compensation inequities, and discussed a variety of inconsistencies and contradictions within their own proposals -- yet state negotiators and agency management continue to ignore several of our classifications that are desperately in need of compensation updates. At the table this week, we continue to fight for remaining key issues, including:

  • a fair increase to the night-shift premium
  • a cost-of-living increase that keeps up with inflation
  • respect for our DOL Licensing Service Representatives
  • targeted increases for all Local 17 classifications

Despite the historical links between the planning and engineering series at WSDOT, the state continues to refuse any increase for our planning series. Similarly, they refuse to recognize the major compensation lag for our Property and Acquisition Specialists, DOL Auditors, and WSP VIN Officers.

We’ve made progress on other issues including vacation, and holding the line on healthcare costs, but we need your help to make that final push to get a fair contract for all Local 17 members.

TAKE ACTION!!! Click here to send a message to Governor Inslee and state executives to let them know that all of the Local 17 members who keep Washington residents moving and safe deserve a good contract with equitable raises for ALL classifications!

TAKE ACTION! Let state executives know that their hard-working employees deserve a raise!

The state has proposed a modest cost-of-living increase, and some targeted increases for several classifications at WSDOT, DOL, and WSP in the 2017-19 contract, but is avoiding addressing other classifications despite glaring evidence from their own salary survey about how far behind these salaries are when compared with the market rate in both the public and private sector.

TAKE ACTION!!! Click here to send a message to Governor Inslee and state executives to let them know that all of the Local 17 members who keep Washington residents moving and safe deserve a good contract with equitable raises for ALL classifications!

State employee birthdates prohibited from release to Freedom Foundation

In the on-going court case between public sector unions in Washington state -- including Local 17 -- and the Freedom Foundation, the Court Commissioner this week prohibited the release of state employee birthdates to the anti-union group pending the outcome of the appeal. Since this could take up to a year to work its way through the Appeals Court, this is a victory for state union members who are concerned about safeguarding their personal information.

In compliance with the Public Records Act (RCW 42.56.250), state employee names and work emails have been released to the Freedom Foundation. Local 17 will be working with other unions in the 2017 legislative session to ammend the requirements of this law to ensure that your privacy is protected.

State Negotiations Newsletter - August 2016

Previous Newsletters:

July 2016
June 2016
May 2016

Labor Management Committee
Meeting Summary - May 3, 2016

Your LSR officers and union staff met with representatives of DOL management on May 3 for the second of four Labor Management Committee (LMC) meetings for the year. These quarterly meetings are held to discuss and sometimes resolve ongoing issues that aren’t necessarily part of contract negotiations.

Tom Darcy of the Spokane LSO, Mike Wetsch of the Bellingham LSO, union representative Yoko Kuramoto-Eidsmoe, and union legislative director and lead negotiator Vince Oliveri attended on behalf of Local 17 members. (Donna Blume, who works as a Pro-Rate and Fuel Tax Auditor, ordinarily attends these meetings but was on vacation that week.)

The first issue we discussed was parking at the DOL’s Black Lake offices for auditors who have a telework agreement. The auditors’ offices are moving from a Tumwater location, where parking was plentiful, to the Black Lake offices, where parking is more scarce. Previously, those auditors who usually telework had not had to pay for parking. DOL management said they would check on previous arrangements and whether teleworkers in other areas were being asked to pay for parking.

We also discussed the issue of conversion of all Licensing Services Offices to Enhanced Drivers License offices. Union officers and staff asked whether the agency anticipated widespread problems with background checks and citizenship requirements.

Management representatives said they thought that most LSRs would be able to qualify as EDL LSR’s without a problem, but explained that because all offices will be entirely EDL, any transfer options would likely be in headquarters in Olympia.

Finally, we discussed vacation scheduling for LSRs. Assistant Director Chuck Simchuk explained some of what he’d like to see in the process that would go into effect this fall, including a process that gives priority to vacation segments of a week or longer with conflicts resolved based on office seniority. He expressed an interest in doing things this way in order to ensure that LSRs are able to get a real break from work each year and also to make sure that excessive amounts of vacation time aren’t being carried over from year to year.

Simchuk plans to bring a draft of a vacation plan to the July LMC so that we can take a look and discuss any concerns we might have with it well in advance of this fall’s bidding period.

Labor Management Committee
Meeting Summary - Feb. 23, 2016

One of the ways your fellow union members (and union staff) address workplace issues is through meetings with representatives of Department of Licensing management four times a year.

Although the big issues get addressed at contract negotiations that happen every other year, these meetings are useful to discuss and sometimes resolve ongoing issues.

Ordinarily, the following people attend these meetings on behalf of the union: Tom Darcy of the Spokane LSO, Mike Wetsch of the Bellingham LSO, Donna Blume, who works as a Pro-Rate and Fuel Tax Auditor, union representative Yoko Kuramoto-Eidsmoe, and union legislative director and lead bargainer Vince Oliveri. (Darcy was unable to attend the most recent meeting because of flight delays.)

At the meeting held on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016, we discussed the following issues: uniform standards, tentative leave process, work-shift adjustments, and PRFT audit software update.

DOL Assistant Director for Customer Relations Chuck Simchuk indicated that he’d like to see some changes in the area of LSR uniforms. In his first several months on the job, he’s traveled around the state and seen a wide range of types of attire worn by LSR’s in different offices, and he’d like to eventually move toward a more polished, uniform appearance.

Simchuk acknowledged that there have been fit issues with past LSR uniforms and assured us that the agency is working with the Department of Corrections vendor to ensure that LSR’s have more options and a better fit.

When the agency provides formal notice of its intent to make the changes, Local 17 plans to request bargaining to discuss any concerns with the agency’s plan.

Going forward, Simchuk would also like to establish a uniform committee that would include LSR’s in order to address any issues.

We also discussed management’s interest in making changes to the tentative-leave bidding process. The parties agreed that when the topic was first brought up last fall, the timeframe was too short to properly discuss and understand any changes.

Simchuk had intended that the leave calendars both expand (offering more vacation slots during some slower times of the year) and contract (during busy times), but some district managers misunderstood and had issued calendars offering only contraction and not expansion.

Both management and union members hope that starting the discussion earlier in the year will give us time to come to a better understanding in time for this fall’s bidding for 2017. Most of May’s LMC meeting is anticipated to be on this topic.

Another topic we discussed was “flex time” used when LSR’s have had to work beyond their normal schedule (to finish helping a customer after hours, for example). In many cases, supervisors have asked them to adjust their schedule by coming in a few minutes later the next day.

This practice is allowed because LSR’s don’t have daily overtime, and overtime requirements kick in only after 40 hours in a week. We expressed our frustration that LSR’s end up working beyond their normal hours, delaying them from getting to after-work activities, picking up children from childcare, etc., but then don’t get the benefit of doing so through overtime pay or comp time.

We suggested that one of the things that’s particularly bad for morale is that even though we get the time “back” the next day, it’s often not at a time that would be more helpful or meaningful. Instead of just coming in late the next day, for example, some LSRs might prefer a longer lunch break, or using less leave time for a doctor’s appointment, or leaving early for a child’s soccer game.

Simchuk said he understood that and said he would talk with district managers about asking employees for input on when they’d like to make those schedule adjustments to make up for extra time worked. Management would still have the final say if an employee’s preference interfered with operations and staffing too much, but LSR’s would at least have the ability to express a preference and supervisors would be expected to justify denials.

This type of issue is handled differently with Local 17’s WSDOT engineering members, who have overtime when they work in excess of their scheduled shift. The union may propose similar language for LSRs in the upcoming round of negotiations.

From the pro-rate and fuel-tax-auditing side, DOL management gave an update on new software being introduced. Training is expected to be complete by July with rollout beginning in August.

Current Contract

To access an electronic version of the 2015-17 Collective Bargaining Agreement, click here.

DOL Shared Leave List

Due to serious health conditions, the following DOL employees have exhausted their leave balances and are in need of Shared Leave. If you would like to share your leave, or are in need of shared leave, please contact Human Resources.

Donaree Chouinard - North Bend
Loren Foster - Shoreline
Regina Lewis - Seattle
Angie Medina - Parkland
Suzie Moceri - Spokane
Enough Rinquist - Puyallup

DOL Pro-Rate and Fuel Tax Auditors

Chapter Officers & Stewards

Donna Blume (Olympia) - dblume@dol.wa.gov

Vice President:
Barb Culpepper- (Spokane) gdeglow@dol.wa.gov

Kenneth Munnell (Seattle)

Donna Blume
Barb Culpepper
Doug Gill
Ken Munnell

DOL Licensing Services

Chapter Officers & Stewards

President: Michael Wetsch (Bellingham)

Vice President: Vacant

Tom Darcy (N. Spokane)


Anacortes - Vacant
Bellingham - Mike Wetsch
Bremerton - Patti Johnson
Mt. Vernon - Toni Johnson
Oak Harbor - Vacant
PT Angeles - Norman Olson
Poulsbo - Vacant

DT Seattle - Vivian Helwig
Everett - Marian Harris-Jones
Lynnwood - Vacant
Shoreline - Vacant
Smoky Point - Rose Duey

Bellevue - Diana Branstetter
Kent - Jerry Bond
N. Bend - Vacant
Renton - Irina Poliansky
W. Seattle - Laurie Fuller

Federal Way - Carol Gunderson
Lacey - Joey Summerson and Ananda Tonge
Parkland - Vacant
Puyallup - William Walker and Toni Kornec
Shelton - Joni Hart
Tacoma - Toninia Edwards

Hoquiam - Vacant
Centralia - Vacant
Kelso - Lance Pennington
N. Vancouver -Rick Johnson
E. Vancouver - Teresa Clement

Kennewick - Leticia Del Rio and Steve Welch
Sunnyside - Irene Sanchez
Union Gap - Tilli Miller
Walla Walla - Frank Salazar

Ellensburg - Teresa Howard
Moses Lake - Adolf Vasquez
Omak - Vidal Arciniega
Wenatchee - Judi Hanan

Clarkston - Suzanne Webster
Colville - Vacant
Pullman - Suzanne Webster
Spokane Valley - Chris Arp Sr. and Suzie Moceri
Spokane: Tom Darcy