April Meeting Schedule

April  7 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, 4G, King Street Center)
April 14 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, 4G, King Street Center)
April 20 TEA Regular Meeting (12-1pm, 5B/C, King Street Center)
April 21 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, 4G, King Street Center)
April 28 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, 4G, King Street Center)

Regular Meeting Agenda (Wed., April 20 - note in room 5B/C KSC)

  1. Call to Order
  2. Treasurer's Report
  3. Special Assessment discussion and vote (Action - see below)
  4. Proposed Bylaw Amendments (Action - see below)
  5. Wastewater Salary Survey & contract update
  6. Issues for the Good of the Order

Transit Agreement Signed by County and TEA

The TEA Executive Board authorized President Eric Mandel to sign the Transit award agreement, as amended by TEA's request. Anita Whitfield, Director of the King County Human Resources Division (HRD) and a direct appointee of Ron Sims, met with Eric and signed the agreement March 25th. (You can see the signature page via the link on the TEA website.) HRD has posted the agreement on the Labor Relations website at http://ohrm/labor/cbaindex.htm, and hard copies will be made available through your Council Representatives as soon as they are printed up.

At the last TEA monthly member meeting, there was discussion about signing a separate Memorandum of Understanding in the event the County continued to refuse to sign the agreement. TEA successfully prevailed upon the County to abandon that stance. The amended agreement adds the following at the end of Article 24: Duration.

"The parties agree that the above is an accurate description of the award in the TEA interest arbitration and is a legally enforceable document.

The County agrees to abide by RCW 41.56.470 during the pendency of subsequent contract negotiations."

The latter sentence provides TEA the protections of the agreement's continuing terms and conditions even though the agreement has expired. It was suggested by TEA's legal counsel. The head of the County's Labor Relations has also verbally committed that the agreement's terms will be honored, until replaced after the upcoming negotiations are concluded. This means that TEA Transit members now have access to all protections listed, including the grievance process.

This is another major milestone in the history of the TEA!!! Thanks in particular go to Dave Crippen and the rest of the Transit negotiating team for their hard work and persistence over the years in getting us to this point.

Special Assessment proposal and vote

Transit members were told that they will be billed next paydate for the adopted Special Assessment. In reviewing the calculation of this, the Board recognized that there was a problem with the policy that would result in unequal treatment for different classes of members. (Essentially, those few in Transit who had yet to pay any voluntary contributions would be disproportionately benefiting, and Wastewater members who were paying non-voluntary dues would be subsidizing other members.) Because the intent of the adopted policy was to treat all members equally, the Board is proposing the following amendment. Those who have been paying voluntary and regular dues will not have to pay additional out-of-pocket costs, as their dues will be credited against it.

Should this amendment fail, the Board will need to delay refunds of overpayment promised to members in Transit who have been voluntarily contributing over the years.

The existing and (if adopted by members) new Special Assessment will be levied after the general monthly meeting after any resulting modifications are calculated.


A Special Assessment shall be charged based on the following formula:

15 x [0.004] x [employee's base hourly wage on December 31, 2004] x [80 hours].

( Note:  This is the amount members who are paying voluntary or mandatory dues actually paid for this period.  .004 is the current dues rate.  15 is the # of pay periods between September 1, 2004 and March 15, 2005.  80 hours is the base worked each pay period for FTEs.)

All members will be credited with dues, both voluntary and mandatory, paid to TEA during the period September 1, 2004 through March 15, 2005.

Vote on Proposed Bylaws

In accordance with Article XII, Amendments and Revisions, the following Amendments to the TEA Bylaws have been proposed and will be voted on at the Regular Meeting in April. The current Bylaws provide that amendments or revisions to the Bylaws can be made by a majority vote of those members present at any Annual, Regular or Special Meeting. Note that current bylaws are posted at the TEA website (www.teaseattle.org) via the link at the left of the page.

1. PROPOSED ACTION:  Modify Article VII.B2. Grievance Committee. The current language with modifications is noted below.

The Grievance Committee shall be appointed by the Board from candidates that have been nominated. It will consist of four (4) eight (8) Full Members who agree to serve, and will be chaired by the First Vice-President, for a total of five (5) nine (9) committee members.

2. PROPOSED ACTION:  Modify Article VII, Section D. Bargaining Committee. There are two proposed alternatives for modifying this section of the Bylaws. They are mutually exclusive. The first would reflect the existing practice of having two separate Bargaining Committees, one for Transit and one for Wastewater, with a larger advisory team for each. The second alternative would create four separate committees bargaining their own unit contracts, with an additional joint committee discussing overall strategy.

Alternative 1:

  1. Two Bargaining Committees will be appointed, one for Transit and one for Wastewater, prior to the opening of contract negotiations with King County, and will serve until all issues and details pertaining to that bargaining session are completed.

  2. The Bargaining Committees shall consist of the President, three (3) Full Members appointed by the Board who agree to serve, and be chaired by the Second Vice-President, for a total of five (5) committee members.

  3. The Bargaining Committees shall conduct contract negotiations with King County.

  4. The Bargaining Committee members shall be responsible for the gathering and formal presentation of any and all supportive or resource material deemed necessary for the productive pursuit of negotiations.

  5. In addition to the Bargaining Committees, two Bargaining Teams will be formed, composed of members in good standing from the corresponding Bargaining Units. The purpose of each Bargaining Team will be to provide input, assist in and support the work of the respective Bargaining Committees.

Alternative 2:

  1. Each bargaining unit will have its own bargaining committee who will negotiate modifications to its own bargaining unit contract. There will be four bargaining units consisting of: Transit Supervisors, Transit Staff, Wastewater Supervisors and Wastewater Staff.

  2. Each bargaining committee will consist of: a) two (2) full members from the particular bargaining unit who will negotiate modifications to their contract, one of which will serve as the head of that bargaining team; b) two (2) full members of that particular bargaining unit who will act as alternates for the above mentioned committee members during contract negotiations; and c) the second Vice President or his/her designee.

  3. Each bargaining committee member, including any designee for the Second Vice President shall be appointed by the Board. The committee members will be appointed two months prior to the start of negotiations for a new contract and will serve until two months prior to the start of negotiations for the next contract.

  4. Each bargaining committee shall have the authority to:

    1. Negotiate their contract with King County.
    2. Enter into tentative agreements (TA's) with King County (Note - the second Vice President shall have the authority to sign tentative agreements).
    3. Recommend to their bargaining unit members to accept or reject the County's offer.
    4. If applicable make recommendations to the Board to proceed to binding arbitration for Transit contracts (Note - the Board has the authority to authorize proceeding to binding arbitration).

  5. A joint TEA bargaining committee shall consist of all current bargaining committee members, and the President, and shall be chaired by the Second Vice President. The joint TEA bargaining committee shall meet on a regular basis to discuss overall negotiation strategy.

Final Reminder on Benefits Enrollment (Transit members only)

As noted to Transit TEA members previously, you have been given an extended deadline of Monday, April 11th to return your Special Enrollment Forms. (Transit members move to the current County medical plan options with the arbitration award, though future benefits are subject to negotiations, as is true for Wastewater TEA members.)