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T i m e s

November 20 2009


1. WW Contract Update
2. Furlough ULP
3. Executive Triplett will not declare a fiscal emergency for 2010
4. Use-it or Lose-it, Over 480 VL Hours
5. December TEA Meeting Schedule

1. WW Contract Update

Wastewater Staff Contract

The Wastewater Staff Contract was approved by the King County Council on November 9.  Wastewater Bargaining Chair John Phillips testified to the Committee of the Whole and the contract was passed unanimously in the full council meeting later in the day.

The contract is now being implemented.  New wage rates with the 2009 COLA will be reflected in the December 10 paycheck.  King County has indicated that the retroactive payment for the 2009 COLA will be distributed in the February 4 paycheck.  TEA is working with the County to accelerate the processing of the retro payment.

Benefit Time is effective January 1, 2010.

TEA will work with payroll and HR to allow members to transfer 100 hours of sick leave to BT time, this should be completed before April 1, 2010, the first time a cash out is available.

Since BT time does not take affect until January 1, staff still need to be below the 480 cap before January 7, 2010

Wastewater Supervisor Contract

Bargaining is still on hold.  The County filed an appeal of the Furlough ULP as expected.  At this time please continue to follow management direction on furloughs for the rest of the year.

Under the appeal process and the pending representation petition, the bargaining unit is to remain in "status quo," no changes to wages, hours worked and benefits can occur.

2. Furlough ULP Update

PERC Rules in favor of TEA

On October 22, 2009, the Hearings Examiner, Terry Wilson, issued a ruling that King County improperly implemented the 2009 Furloughs. Among the actions required by the ruling is the reinstatement of back-wages, including interest. A copy of the complete ruling will be posted on the TEA website.

King County Appeals PERC Ruling

On November 12th, King County's attorney with Davis Wright Tremaine filed an appeal to PERC's ruling on the furlough. This appears to be a delay tactic on the part of the County, since PERC has consistently ruled against the employer in three similar furlough ULPs. The next step in the legal process is for PERC to set a schedule for submission of appeal briefs. The full PERC Commission would review the appeal briefs and render a decision.

3. Executive Triplett will NOT to declare a fiscal emergency in 2010

This has the greatest impact for TEA members in the WW Staff Bargaining Unit. Those members are covered by a contract that includes the Furlough MOA. The terms of the MOA include a provision for "replacement time" in 2010 and 2011. Under the provision, the 80-hrs of furlough days in 2009 would be "replaced" over the 2 year period, with 40 hrs per year.

4. Use-it or Lose-it:  VL over 480 hrs.

For those employees who are nearing or in excess of 480 vacation hours, please note that you have until January 8, 2010 to get your vacation hours at or below the 480 limit. Any hours above 480 will be deleted by Payroll. Deletion of excess vacation hours will occur with the paycheck dated February 4, 2010.

Vacation Hours in Excess of 60 Days

An employee's vacation hours in excess of 60 days at the end of the payroll year are deleted. Sixty days of vacation leave equals 480 hours for employees working a 40-hour workweek and 420 hours for employees working a 35-hour workweek.

The pay period that includes December 31 is the end of the payroll year for PeopleSoft.  This year, the pay period that includes December 31 begins on December 26, 2009, and ends on January 8, 2010, which means that employees accrue 2009 vacation hours through January 8.   Deletion of excess vacation hours will occur with the paycheck dated February 4, 2010.

Employees in the position of losing excess vacation hours should begin making plans now to use the hours or to donate them either to other employees or through the county's Employee Giving Program.

If you have any questions regarding excess vacation, please contact Susan Gleason at 206-263-9366 or Vatsala Gopaul at 206-263-9357.

5. December Meeting Schedule

December  2 — TEA Board Meeting, 12-1, KSC, 4G
December  9 — TEA Board Meeting, 12-1, KSC, 4G
December 16 — Monthly Meeting

TEA Board

Roger Browne, President
Adé Franklin, Vice President
Ken Madden, Secretary
Terry Browne, Treasurer
John Phillips, Wastewater Bargaining Chair
Jerry Williams, Transit Bargaining Chair
Jan Knudson, Council of Reps. Chair