tea » tea times: January 11 2005 email: teaseattle  


T i m e s

January 11 2005

January Meeting Schedule

January 13 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, Arch/Civil Library 4th floor King Street Center)
January 17 HOLIDAY
January 18 Labor Contract Training by Jim Cline on "Contract Interpretation & Enforcement Problems" (12-1pm; KSC 3D-3E). Everyone is encouraged to attend this brown bag training.
January 19 TEA Regular Meeting (12-1pm, Elliott Bay Café)
January 20 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, Arch/Civil Library 4th floor King Street Center)
January 27 Board Business Meeting (12-1pm, Arch/Civil Library 4th floor King Street Center)

Transit Arbitration Status

Exciting news - According to our legal counsel, we should be expecting the final arbitration decision sometime within the next week!!! An initial draft decision was distributed to the partisans (the lawyers on both sides) last week, which the County then decided to "appeal" by contacting the arbitrator. Essentially, they didn't like the methodology used to calculate wage differentials, and argued that the arbitrator should revisit this.

Although highly unusual, TEA's counsel used the opportunity to not only refute this logic to the arbitrator but argue that corrections should be made the other way! Where the final decision will end up is anybody's guess, but we will know shortly. As soon as the final decision is made, Transit members will get notice and a special meeting will be called to review the determination. Stay tuned!

Wastewater Contract News

Members should see the three days of Executive Leave show up on their next paycheck, though you are eligible to use it now. (See separate article on this topic.)

COLA increases of 2.19% (and merit increases, if earned) will show on the first check to include 2005 hours (pay period end 1/14), paid 1/27/05. Please note that there was an unfortunately worded communication sent to those receiving merit increases who were already above top of their salary range. It could be read as suggesting another 2.5% increase in salary is coming. Gail Ohashi has clarified that employees need to understand above-range merit ends at year-end, when the base salary goes back to top of range. Thus the merit increase needs to be re-earned every year to maintain the 2.5% above top pay. This is equally true for those few who were given 5% above top range - in this case approval is needed at the Department Director level.

Finally, negotiations have begun on completing the updated wage/salary study for our contract. A series of weekly meetings has been scheduled to work on collecting, organizing, and analyzing the salary data for comparable agencies. The details are still being developed for how this process will move forward. The TEA negotiation team is also meeting regularly with an ad-hoc TEA Wastewater subcommittee to review and help with this effort, and we are relying on them to be our "subject experts" on job duties. If you want to be involved with this effort, contact your TEA Representative or a negotiating team member. Our goal remains finalizing this prior to the end of the current contract (June 30, 2005).

Executive Leave Notice (Wastewater members only)

Executive leave is coming for 2005 and you should see it in your balances soon. Part-time employees will notice the exec leave is pro-rated based on their workweek, rather than 24 hours. The contract says "3 days" and pro-rating is consistent with other leave applications for part-time. On the initial contract, if you got a full 24 hours consider it a bonus.

We are signing an MOU which extends exec leave to non-exempt employees who take exempt acting positions, and for new hires which enter mid-year. Generally speaking, this is prorated based on working at least a full month in the exempt assignment, and in four-month blocks thereafter, up to a maximum of the three days. I.e. 1-4 months = 1 day, 5-8 months = 2 days, 9-12 months = 3 days.

Special Assessment Refund for Wastewater Members

If you had been notified on your Initiation Fee (Special Assessment) statement that you were actually owed a refund for overpaying past voluntary dues, and have not yet received it, you need to contact Eric Davison (eric.davison@metrokc.gov) to notify him how you'd like to get your check, which is waiting for you. It can be picked up directly from him or mailed to your home of office address if that info is provided.

Thanks again to our long-term contributing members - the TEA Board has kept our promise to you and we appreciate the support!

Regular Meeting Agenda (Wed., January 19)

  1. Call to Order
  2. Treasurer's Report
  3. Status of WW Contract & Salary Survey
  4. Transit Arbitration Update
  5. Issues for the Good of the Order

Donation of Sick/Vacation Leave Requested

The following TEA employees are in need of donated sick or vacation leave. Your help would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in helping these individuals, please check with your work groups' administrative staff.

  • Victoria Beach (TR) is having surgery the end January.
  • Katerina Rubackova is on maternity leave and has only been here 6 months so she is not eligible for FMLA.