T E A
T i m e s
January 25 2009
1. Transit Contract
On Wed., January 21, TEA and King County representatives met to discuss the Final Award Agreement (ie Labor Contract) for the period 2005 thru 2007 and the Retro payments. The parties had been in contact several times since arbitrator Beck issued his decision on December 23rd and scheduled a face to face meeting to discuss specific issues surrounding the award and the calculation of Retro payments. King County wanted to verify the application of the arbitration award to several job classifications that are currently on the County's squared table (ie. PPM's, SPM's), particularly those hired during the '05-'07 timeframe.
King County also made a proposal to "back-charge" Transit TEA members for the $35/month spousal benefit access fee as part of the Healthy Initiatives benefit plan. Their proposal was to charge this fee back to January 2007. This would likely result in a reduction of $840 ($35x24) from the retro of TEA members with benefit-eligible spouses in 2007 and 2008. TEA responded that this was unfair and likely illegal. As a counter proposal, TEA suggested a 2009 effective date as fair and King County indicated that they would reconsider their proposal.
The County made corrections to their wage addendum for the Contract and submitted it to TEA on Friday, 1/23. TEA plans to have the Contract signed by President Roger Browne and King County Human Resources Division Director Anita Whitfield within a week. This will allow payroll to make the hourly wage adjustments and will start the process for the calculation of Retro. Signing the document starts the official 30 day clock for payment.
2. Wastewater Contract Update
The Mediator returns to work on Mon., January 26th. The TEA Bargaining Committee and King County plan to schedule two meetings for mediation in February with a goal to have a contract offer for wastewater staff to vote on as soon as possible.
3. Furlough Update
News on two fronts regarding the furlough. TEA filed a ULP alleging that the County interfered with TEA, failed to bargain, appealed directly to employees and other offenses. PERC has issued a preliminary ruling in our favor, and the County has been given 21 days to respond to PERC.
TEA received several individual grievances from members regarding the furlough, and will consolidate them into a step 2 grievance to each department.
4. 117 Communications
A number of transit members have asked me to respond to a spreadsheet circulated by the "Employees for Professional Representation". That spreadsheet makes a number of errors regarding actual range comparisons for individual classifications but attempts to compare you to the Wastewater contract for the most part. It should have compared you to the County offer instead. Once the errors are corrected, you will find that 61% of you did better than the County offer, 25% worse, and the rest about the same. More importantly, the County offer, which is the method 117 adopted for Transit Supervisors, would have placed you on the square table at the step that is not a pay cut. Instead of the 5.58% you won in arbitration, you would get between 0 and 2.4%. The practical effect of that is you will now get between 9.6% and 19.6% more retro, even if your pay range award by the arbitrator was less than the County offer.In addition, the 117 website contains information regarding the 117 raid of TEA members. Not content to tell the true facts, this website contains a number of outright lies in an attempt to persuade you that the fight is all but over. Here are a few:
I suggest that if you are going to pay nearly 1% more of your salary to a "professional union" you better get something more for it - don't you?
- Roger Browne, TEA President
5. TEA Meeting Schedule
Roger Browne, President