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The January TEA Monthly Meeting is Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at King Street Center, Room 4-C from noon to 1. We want to start 2019 defining our 2019 goals. Bring all of your ideas. I would also would like to spend some time discussing and soliciting participation in our communication committee.
Mary Natwick, WW Administrative Staff, will be away from work for an extended period and facing a serious medical condition. She could very much use donated leave during this time.
We have received notice that the Prosecuting attorney's Office approved the TEA WW Staff and Supervisor's Ratified contract on Friday, January 11, and I will be working on moving forward to step 2 of our process.
The following typical steps (revised slightly to meet our current understanding) need to occur on the County's side in order to have the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) implemented:
Due to the County's process, TEA is anticipating that the implementation of the CBA could stretch into March, 2019, most likely. There are some opportunities along the way to expedite and the Office of Labor Relations has assured me that they will to try to assist in that regard.
TEA Transit will be scheduling a meeting in January/February to discuss the contract bargaining objectives with members. The supplemental arbitration decision on retroactive stamp for the existing CBA agreement is expected any day.
One overriding principle that I keep thinking back on is that TEA, and all unions, require unity of purpose among members if they are going to successfully maintain favorable wages and working conditions. There probably is no better example of this than when the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC) Bargaining Team insisted that TEA WW be included in its agreement with County.
As you may have heard already, the TEA WW Supervisors Bargaining Unit has recently indicated their intent to change their representation to Teamsters Local 117. This change will be implemented as soon as the new WW Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is in effect. The County and TEA are supportive of the WW Supervisors' interest to change representation. I will do everything within my authority as President to assure that their wishes are respected. I believe that this change does not reduce TEA's or other labor organizations' ability to bargain great contracts to preserve wages and working conditions. As we wish the WW Supervisors well, Transit Department will increase TEA Design and construction members, now 73+ strong. Unions will continue to share information, support one other, and build on collective gains at the bargaining table.
As TEA members, we can certain have many different ideas on how to move forward. I will be actively opening up avenues to solicit those communications, especially from Transit and WW TEA members who may not have felt they had a full voice in TEA. Last year, 2018, saw many changes, and positive steps in this direction with active member participation in bylaw changes that add transparency and communication to our processes. All TEA members, both in Transit and Wastewater, should feel that there are opportunities for their concerns or ideas to be heard. Let me know if you would like to talk or suggest other venues to discuss your ideas. I am hoping to build a strong communications committee in 2019. Our strength as a union depend on mindfully and respectfully gathering our members' individual contributions, interests, talents, and engagement into a unity of purpose that benefits all our members.
Alton Gaskill, President
Michael Sands, Vice President
JR Meksavan, Secretary
Sally Turner, Treasurer
Roger Browne, Wastewater Bargaining Chair
Jerry Williams, Transit Bargaining Chair
Ken Madden, Council of Representatives Chair