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)
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
Negotiations continue for the 2017-19 contract; progress made on non-economic items
Your PTE Local 17 state bargaining team is (above, left to right): Steve Morgans (WSDOT), Daniel Jones (WSDOT), Dean Robinson (WSP), Josh Jeffries (WSDOT), Brendan Magee (WSP), Michael Wetsch (DOL), Donna Blume (DOL) and Randy Christensen (WSDOT). Not pictured: Local 17 staff Sarah Lorenzini, Yoko Kuramoto-Eidsmoe, and Vince Oliveri.
Your Local 17 bargaining team met with State of Washington management on June 1 and 2 to continue negotiations for the 2017-19 contract.
On the first day of the two-day bargaining session, we discussed proposed changes to Article 2, Non-Discrimination; Article 3, Workplace Behavior; Article 4, Hiring and Appointments; Article 10, Holidays; Article 21, Uniforms, Tools and Equipment; Article 29, Discipline; Article 35, Seniority; and Article 41, Classification.
On June 2, the bargaining teams discussed Local 17's proposal in Article 7, Overtime. This proposal is intended to address some of the concerns that our Licensing Services Representative members have regarding “flex time.” We also discussed proposals regarding maximum compensatory-time accruals.
Details on this session will be available in the next negotiations newsletter -- coming soon. The team meets with management again on June 21 and 22.