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  tea » archives » September 15, 2016 email:  


  1. 15th Anniversary of TEA
  2. Annual Meeting
  3. Bargaining Committee Updates
  4. Collective Bargaining Tentative Agreement
  5. Open Board Position

1. 15th Anniversary of TEA

The Technical Employees Association (TEA) was formed in 1994 by professional and technical employees of the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Metro) before the Metro-King County merger. At that point, TEA was comprised of employees of Metro’s Technical Services Department, consisting of professional, technical and administrative employees providing services to the Water Pollution Control and Transit Departments. These Metro employees were previously non-represented. During the government merger with King County, Metro employees decided that representation was warranted and began a process that led to creating an independent professional union called TEA. TEA is a nonprofit corporation in the state of Washington.

On April 13, 2001, TEA gained the right to represent professional and technical employees in the Wastewater Treatment Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and the Transit Design and Construction Section of the King County Department of Transportation.

The purpose of the Technical Employees Association is to promote solidarity and professionalism among our members. We improve our economic, professional and employment status through collective bargaining, contract enforcement and employee advocacy. TEA members often work on project teams to provide effective and efficient delivery of services that benefit the residents of King County in the areas of water quality and mass transportation.

Come celebrate the first 15 years at the annual meeting!

2. 2016 Annual Meeting

The annual meeting will be held September 21st in the 5th floor in the Harappa conference room, Noon-1PM. There will be food, laughter and of course confirming the new board members:

There will be no ballot since each positon is unopposed. The membership present at the annual meeting will confirm the candidates by a hand vote.

Meet the board candidates

Alton Gaskill

I am asking for your support of my candidacy for TEA President. As a current TEA Board member, I have served 3 years as Chair of the Council of Representatives and 3 years as Wastewater Bargaining Chair. I have worked on various projects, including special duty assignments, unit clarification and PERC recognition, contract bargaining, as well as assisting employees with disciplinary and grievance processes.

If elected, I will work with the new Wastewater Bargaining Chair to conclude collective bargaining for the 2017 Wastewater contract, support Transit in their collective bargaining effort, promote member involvement and information sharing, offer labor education, and interact collaboratively with Transit and Wastewater Management.

Tony Chiras

For the last six months I have been your current Vice-President, as well as Chairperson for your Grievance Committee. During this time I have learned so much about the responsibilities and duties of being a board member as well as just a TEA member. I will continue to strive with my commitment to support and assist all the members of TEA. Thank you for your support.

Gillian Zacharias

Hello TEA members! I have worked at King County Metro as an environmental planner for nearly 3 years. Before that, I worked as a land use and environmental planner for a consulting firm in Oregon, with projects in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. My previous public sector experience was as a policy analyst for the Government of Ontario in Toronto, and for the City of Bellingham as a land use planner. What I like about TEA is its diligence in addressing member concerns and holding King County accountable and enforcing our labor contract.

My goals as Secretary of TEA are simple: transparency, accountability, and engagement. I want to encourage our members to become more engaged and involved with TEA activities. To do that, I aim to provide the most transparency possible in TEA’s communication with members. I will strive to be accountable to members by being responsive and providing accurate, thorough and up to date information (taking into account the need for privacy in some matters, of course). I look forward to serving you and I especially look forward to meeting members in Wastewater.

3. Bargaining Updates

The Transit Bargaining Team met with King County and the State Mediator Matt Greer on September 2nd. No settlement was reached. The mediator will certify for arbitration. Mr. Greer has requested the positons of the County and TEA be sent to him by September 16th at which time Mr. Greer will certify the list of issues for arbitration. Once certified for arbitration, an arbiter will be selected by TEA and the County. Arbitration will likely be scheduled in (either late first quarter or second quarter- delete of) 2017.

The Wastewater bargaining begins October 26th.

4. Collective Bargaining Tentative Agreement

On September 8th, Executive Constantine sent an e-mail regarding an agreement reached with the King County Coalition of Unions; this does not apply to TEA. Along with other unions, TEA does not participate in Coalition Bargaining.

5. Open Board Position

Alton Gaskill will become the TEA President as of September 21st. The position of Wastewater Bargaining Chair will be vacant as of September 22nd. Any full member is eligible. To fill the vacancy, a vote is to be held at the next regular meeting on October 19th (Article VI, Section C.2.l). The positon will be for one year until the 2017 Annual Meeting. Bargaining for the Wastewater contract will start October 26th. Contact Alton Gaskill if you are interested in serving as the next Wastewater Bargaining Chair.

TEA Board

John Phillips, President
Tony Chiras, Vice President
Hillary Schafer, Secretary
Elizabeth Wright, Treasurer
Alton Gaskill, Wastewater Bargaining Chair
Jerry Williams, Transit Bargaining Chair
Ken Madden, Council of Reps. Chair