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T i m e s

August 4 2008


  1. August Meeting Schedule
  2. Meeting with Councilmember Larry Gossett
  3. Nominating Committee / Nominations / Elections
  4. Transit Contract Arbitration
  5. Wastewater Contract Negotiations
  6. Announcements
  7. Advertisements

1. August Meeting Schedule

    August  6 - Board Meeting, 12-1, KSC 4G
    August  7 - TEA Council of Reps, 12-1, 8th Flr Conf Center, KSC
    August 13 - Board Meeting, 12-1, KSC 4G
    August 20 - Monthly Membership Meeting, 12-1, 8th Flr Conf Center, KSC
    August 26 - Grievance Committee, 9am
    August 26 - WW Bargaining Team Meeting, 12-1, 5F

2. President meets with Councilmember Gossett

On July 15th, TEA President Roger Browne and Secretary Ken Madden met with Councilmember Larry Gossett to discuss a variety of Union issues.  Councilmember Gossett is the Chair of the Labor and Technology Committee for the King County Council.  In that capacity, Mr. Gossett has expressed concern over the length of time it takes to negotiate labor contracts.

"I recently met with Councilmember Gossett to explore how we might shorten the time to bargain contracts" Browne said.  "This is a subject that he regularly expresses concern about when his Committee is approving labor contracts and is universal to all unions, not just TEA.  Even contracts whose terms are not significantly modified, such as a roll-over contract, take over a year to finalize.  It was clear that Councilmember Gossett shares our concern about speeding up the bargaining timeline and agreed make some inquiries with HRD".

3. Nominations / Nominating Committee / Elections

In response to a solicitation in last month's TEA Times for volunteers to serve on the Nominating Committee, the following members have agreed to serve:  John Phillips, Eileen D'Amelio, Valerie Garza, Wyatt Wood and Ken Madden.  The Nominating Committee is chaired by the TEA president.

The Bylaws call for Officer elections each year at the Annual Meeting in September.  Three officer positions are open for election this year - President, Vice-President and Secretary.  The duties and responsibilities for each position are posted on the TEA website.

Nominations for the positions are now open and will close at 4pm on Tuesday, August 26th.  If you are interested, or you know someone who is interested, please submit a nomination (in writing) to a member of the Nominating Committee.  All candidates must agree to serve a two-year term.

4. Transit Contract Arbitration

We are still on track to have briefings in the transit arbitration to the Arbitrator by August 22nd.  Unfortunately, the Arbitrator has indicated that due to other Arbitration commitments, he cannot review the Transit briefs until October, making the retro paycheck date around the end of this year or early next year.  In the mean time, TEA has submitted a request to the County to begin bargaining the next contract while we wait for the final arbitration results and they have agreed to meet for the first bargaining session during first week of September.  If you have ideas for the next Transit contract, please contact Jerry Williams.

I understand that some Transit members have expressed concern that TEA was "voluntarily recognized" by King County and that somehow this diminishes our standing under PERC or our rights as represented County employees.  This is not the case.  Many unions at King County have gone thru the "voluntary recognition" process (established by the King County Council).  In addition, you have all seen that PERC hears our ULP's, provides a mediator for contract bargaining and arbitration.  We have collective bargaining agreements with King County and have been through the PERC Arbitration Process twice.  I hope that clears up the confusion, but if not, please bring your questions to the board.

   - R. Browne

Finally, there is a small but dedicated group exploring other representation options for Transit TEA members, such as Teamsters 117 and ATU 587.  The TEA Board encourages you to ask questions and gather sufficient information regarding the benefits and costs of the other options before signing a pledge card; for example, compare the dues rates and ask what would happen to your 2008 retro check.  The current arbitration pays a retro thru 12/31/07.  Tranist members risk losing their 2008 retro payment worth several thousand dollars for switching unions without a new contract.  As always, ask questions and get solid answers before signing a pledge card for another union.

5. Wastewater Contract Negotiations

The Wastewater Bargaining Team will present its findings from a pay study of the comparable agencies established in the 2005 Tea Salary Study at a July 31 bargaining session.  The County will present its findings on the same comparables at an August 5 bargaining session.  The County HRD is finalizing new job classifications for job series represented by TEA, which will be used in negotiations at the two bargaining sessions scheduled for later in August.  Negotiations will be centered on reaching agreement for the salary comparables and other related economic issues.

The next WW Bargaining Team Meeting is August 26, 12:00-1:00 in room 5-F.

6. Announcements

MERRA is offering reduced-rate tickets to Wild Waves ($25 as opposed to $37.50) and Movies at several theaters.  Please contact a MERRA representative to purchase tickets.  For more information, call Faye Smith at 263-5280.

Leave Donation Requests:

Mikaela O'Brien (Grosso) is in need of sick and/or vacationĂ‚ leave.  She is at home on best rest through the rest of her pregnancy - she is due late August.  If you are able to donate time to her, please fill out a leave donation form, have your supervisor sign it and send it to Cindy Burch at M/S:Ă‚ KSC-NR-0511.

Shoji Oiye is in need of time donations.  Please fill out a leave donation form, have your supervisor sign Section 2 and forward to Cindy Burch in Wastewater Human Resources at KSC-NR-0511.