Teamsters 117 works to bring the collective voice of the members to Olympia and beyond.
Our Union's Legislative Affairs Department has worked with members to identify our top legislative priorities for 2023 to protect and expand the rights of working families.
This year, we will be holding two lobby day events for members of Teamsters 117.
We will be partnering with the Washington State Labor Council for a lobby day on February 3 to lift the voices of Teamsters working in the private sector. Our Department of Corrections Lobby Day will be held on February 8-9. Learn more and register for these event here.
OUR LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES FOR 2023
Funding our DOC contract
Our members at the Department of Corrections face enormous challenges in the workplace. Chronic understaffing, the impacts of the pandemic, excessive overtime, and mismanagement by the agency have led to safety and security issues that put our members in harm's way. We need to educate legislators about the nature of this important public safety work and the dangers corrections workers are confronted with every day. An important step toward recognizing these workers is funding their 2023-2025 collective bargaining agreement. An independent arbitrator has issued an award with a minimum 10% wage increase for all of our DOC members for the coming biennium. Let's raise our voices to make sure the legislature funds the arbitrator's award.
PSERS for 911 call takers and dispatchers
Taking calls and dispatching first responders is difficult work mentally and physically. Workers routinely work long stressful shifts sitting at a desk. Providing people in crisis the support they need day in and day out is essential to the general public. The profession consistently faces recruitment and retention challenges. Last year workers were reclassified as first responders; now the legislature should move these workers in to the Public Safety Retirement System. PSERS will shorten the number of years workers must work in order to retire allowing more people in the profession to access a secure retirement.
When a worker goes to their Union with a problem at work they have an expectation that their conversation is confidential. Often conversations about sexual harassment, mental health, domestic violence, substance abuse, discrimination, and other sensitive topics are discussed with Shop Stewards or Union Staff. Unfortunately some employers want access to that information and have used the courts to gain access. Creating a privilege that keeps worker conversations with their union representative confidential will prevent employers from subpoenaing those records to use against workers in court.
Warehouse Worker Protections
Workers in the warehouses do fast paced, physically demanding work to make sure goods get out stores and consumers. Many large warehouse use a production standard or a quota to keep workers on task and to keep freight moving out their doors. Production standards must be carefully engineered to keep workers from sustaining debilitating repetitive motion injuries and muscle strains. Additionally, companies should not be allowed to increase standards with out informing workers. The Warehouse Worker Protection Act will require companies to inform workers upon hiring what the standard is and how it is calculated. They must also inform workers if the standard changes and prevent workers from working during breaks or lunch in order to meet the standard.
Expanding Collective bargaining for WMS workers
Some state workers are prevented from unionizing even though their counterparts in local government are allowed representation. Changing the statute to allow these workers to form a union if they choose is the right thing to do!
legislative goals in Olympia this year.
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