T E A
T i m e s
July 22 2009
1. VEBA Vote - Ballots Due 7/29
Did you cast your ballot for VEBA? Ballots are due to TEA Secretary Ken Madden by COB July 29. That leaves one more week to get your ballots in and voice your opinion on the Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). Based on voting rules established by the County, participation in the HRA-VEBA will be determined on a Bargaining Unit-by-Bargaining Unit vote.
Here's the current status of responses:
WW Supervisor Bargaining Unit 5 responses/17 members (29%) WW Staff Bargaining Unit 45 responses/217 members (21%) Transit Staff Bargaining Unit 18 responses/60 members (30%)
Based on the County's rules, individual items on the ballot will be determined by the majority of respondents in each Bargaining Unit. So it's important for everyone to express their preference by voting.
All TEA members in good standing are eligible to vote. Those who are eligible to retire in the 2010 - 2012 timeframe are eligible to vote for the 35% sick leave and 50% vacation leave contributions. All TEA members get to vote on the optional $50/month contribution.
You can learn more about VEBA at www.kingcounty.gov/employees/benefits/VEBAvote.aspx
Vote results will be reported on Thursday, July 30th.
2. Labor - Management Meeting to Discuss 2010 Budget Crisis
Labor Management Meeting to Discuss 2010 Budget
TEA leadership in WW and Transit were invited to attend a presentation by Acting County Executive Kurt Triplett on Tuesday, 7/21. Union leaders across the County were invited to participate.
The Executive outlined the anticipated budget shortfall for the next two years ($50M in 2010 and $60M in 2011), and expressed a desire to work closely with union leaders to manage the budget problems.
Presentation Highlights: Mr. Triplett said that there would likely be cuts in people and programs in his 2010 budget proposal to the Council; he indicated that General Fund discretionary programs would experience the greatest impact of the 2010 budget crisis; he confirmed the inequity of the broad-brush approach of the 2009 furloughs ("only about half the County workforce was actually furloughed") and suggested that changes would be needed if furloughs are utilized in the future; and he noted that the WW Productivity Program had achieved substantial savings.
In closing, he expressed support and value for hard-working King County employees.
Following the presentation, labor leaders including TEA President Roger Browne participated in labor round-table discussions to develop budget proposals for County management. Participants suggested that the budget constraints need to be examined "fund by fund", i.e., General Fund (aka CX-Fund); Wastewater Fund, Transit Fund, Health & Human Services Fund; Criminal Justice Fund; etc. Executive Triplett has set a mid-August target date for receiving input from Labor. The Executive needs to submit a budget proposal to the Council in early September.
Roger Browne, President Adé Franklin, Vice President Ken Madden, Secretary Terry Browne, Treasurer Eric Davison, Wastewater Bargaining Chair Jerry Williams, Transit Bargaining Chair John Phillips, Council of Reps. Chair