tea tea times: July 20, 1999 email: teaseattle  

TEA Times

Judge Tabor's ruling for TEA on June 4th continues to resonate. The attorneys are hammering out a summary judgement that is acceptable to all parties (TEA, Local 17, KC, PERC and the Judge); But this is not a time to rest on our laurels. Now is the time for political action. Our strategy includes both group and individual actions.

First, we have scheduled paid advertisements in the Seattle Times and PI. Stay current with your monthly contribution to help support this action.

In addition, TEA needs each member to call or write the Executive & his deputies, director of OHRM Robert Derrick (replacement for Ricardo Cruz), Council members & their staff, and the Transit Department and Wastewater Department directors & managers. Help make our presence known!

You need to remind each of these leaders that it is time to stop wasting taxpayer money fighting one of the most productive and professional work groups at the County. Tell them that the existing labor / management "family secret" between OHRM and IFPTE Local 17 has been exposed by Judge Tabor. Now is the time for our elected officials to show some real leadership and bring a halt to the injustice and prejudice shown to TEA for the past four years.

Court Action Next Week: TEA vs. King County (case no. 98-2-12794-5 SEA) is scheduled before Judge Janice Niemi on Friday July 30, 1999 at 10am in room W-379 at the King County Courthouse. This lawsuit was filed to reverse the unilateral changes in working conditions and benefits imposed by the County in January 1996. Come support our case and our attorney!


For the Record

These exerpts are taken from court transcripts dated June 4, 1999:

  • the County was represented by Ms. Kerry Delaney
  • PERC was represented by Mr. Daniels
  • IFPTE Local 17 was represented by Mr. Garfinkel

Page 44:

Judge Tabor: Let me ask you a question there. If we assume for purposes of argument that the employees were not represented by an appropriate bargaining unit at the time, would the contract bar provisions apply?

Ms. Delaney: If we assumed that Local 17---

Judge Tabor: Yes

Ms. Delaney: -- was not an appropriate unit?

Judge Tabor: Correct.

Ms. Delaney: Well, there would be no effective contract.

Judge Tabor: There would be no contract bar, then.

Ms. Delaney: But I can assure you that there is an effective contract that the County has with Local 17.

Judge Tabor: Well, I asked you to assume for a moment that there were none.

Ms. Delaney: Well, then, yes, there would be no contract bar, there would be no contract.

Judge Tabor: And the Executive Director could not have dismissed the petitions as untimely at that time then, under that hypothetical.

Ms. Delaney: Well they wouldn't have been raiding another union, they would just have been petitioning for. Well, not necessarily, they would have been petitioning for a group of employees and they would have made a search showing as to interest whether of not those employees were interested in joining a union, so no, not necessarily.

Judge Tabor: But he couldn't have dismissed it under the contract bar provisions.

Ms. Delaney: Yeah, that wouldn't have existed.


Page 50:

Judge Tabor: Mr. Daniels, I do have a couple of questions. One is a variation of the question I asked earlier of Ms. Delaney. Is it your position that the Executive Director found that Local 17 was in fact an appropriate bargaining unit for some of the employees that were part of the petitions?

Mr. Daniels: Well, I think the Executive Director determined that the TEA's argument that prior decisions of the commission had determined what units were appropriate of inappropriate or so forth was not correct.

Judge Tabor: I understand that, but was there a finding by anyone that there was an appropriate bargaining unit that put into effect the contract bar period of time?

Mr. Daniels: I'm not sure of the answer to that, Your Honor ....

Judge Tabor: Well, I guess that brings us directly to the hypothetical that I proposed before. If we assume for a moment that there was not an appropriate bargaining unit for the purposes of this argument, the contract bar provision would not apply, would they?

Mr. Daniels: Well, I hesitate to answer that, Your Honor, because PERC - I mean that, that assumes a certain reading of PERC's decisions. PERC has not addressed, I mean PERC has not addressed that issue in this case, and in my mind that's one of the matters that the Court - I mean if the Court wants that matter addressed, the Court should remand it to PERC, if the Court finds that that issue was sufficiently raised.

Judge Tabor: Okay. Thank you very much.


Page 58:

Judge Tabor: Well, I do have a couple of questions for you.

Mr. Garfinkel: Sure.

Judge Tabor: Going back to what your argument prior to the time bar argument, that I should give great deference to the expertise of PERC, where in the record do I find any information as to the appropriate bargaining unit being your client?

Mr. Garfinkel: Well, I think the working -- I don't know that I could answer that there has been a determination of appropriate bargaining unit in this record.


What Judge Tabor so eloquently extracted by his questions is the fact that PERC has never certified IFPTE Local 17 to represent the King County employees that they claim to represent.

King County OHRM has "voluntarily recognized" Local 17 as the sole bargaining unit for all Engineering and Technical staff. Yet these Engineering and Technical employees --

  • have not expressed interest in Local 17 membership
  • have not signed signature cards

There is nothing in the record to validate IFPTE Local 17's operation within the County, and nothing in the record to justify their intervention against TEA


Monthly Contributions

Our Acting Treasurer tells me that we have significant legal expenses to pay.

The Intense period of activity is costing us and is likely to cost a lot more.

Have you remembered your monthly contribution?

-- Wyatt Wood
Acting President