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  tea » archives ยป December 21, 2010 email:  

SPECIAL EDITION: TEA asks for Representation Vote to move forward

On Friday, December 17, TEA sent a letter to PERC (Public Employment Relations Commission) Director Cathleen Callahan requesting that they move ahead with the representation vote between TEA and Teamsters. "Transit members deserve their Retro", said Bargaining Chair Jerry Williams. "Members are being paid 2007 wages and it's almost 2011; that's just not right".

The last Interest Arbitration Award that Transit members received in 2009 included a Retro payment for 2005, 2006 and 2007. Transit TEA members have remained at the 2007 wage rate pending further negotiations on a subsequent contract. Negotiations were underway in the fall of 2008 when the Teamsters filed a raiding petition. The raiding petition halted all contract negotiations. At about the same time, the County announced 10-furlough days for 2009. Since the County failed to negotiate with TEA before imposing the furloughs, TEA filed a ULP (Unfair Labor Practice complaint) with PERC to protect the interests of Transit members.

PERC conducted a hearing on the furlough ULP in April 2009. Hearings examiner Terry Wilson ruled in TEA's favor on October 22, 2009. King County appealed this ruling to the full PERC Commission. The full Commission issued a decision on June 22, 2010 in TEA's favor. King County appealed the Commission's decision and a trial is scheduled with the Washington State Superior Court in Thurston County on February 18, 2011. "The problem", said Williams "is if the County appeals the Court Decision, we could be looking at another year of delays; that's just not acceptable to the Transit members. We need to get back to bargaining".

TEA's letter to PERC states: "The perpetuation of this block is creating an undue hardship upon the members that both bargaining representatives are seeking to represent. As a result, even though the revocation of the block places TEA at an otherwise unfair disadvantage in any potential election and places at risk the potential remedies of its thus far successful ULP complaint, TEA nonetheless seeks a lifting of this block in the best interests of its members."

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