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.