March 15, 2019


Monthly Meeting

The March TEA Monthly Meeting is Wednesday 3/20/19 at King Street Center, Room 4-C from noon to 1.

Want to call into the meeting from a remote site? Join by phone:
Conference ID: 534484

Communications & Education Committee:

I would also would like to spend some time discussing and soliciting participation in our communication and education committee(s). These committees will work on providing timely updates to TEA members; developing training on labor rights issues; reaching out to new employees, party planning, and answering/forwarding member questions.

I. Education Committee:

  1. Education Committee will help tell the story of the history of how the Technical Employees Association came to be. This will serve as purposeful information for new employees/new members of TEA. This history and information should be posted on the TEA website for reference.

II. Communications Committee:

  1. Purpose will be to improve communications to TEA members. There have been recommendations to the TEA board from TEA members to better improve and create better transparency between the board members and members of TEA.

  2. JR Meksavanh, Secretary, will chair the Communications Committee and will be soliciting participation for this committee.

Leave Donations

Looking for that hard to find leave donation form for someone you know in need of leave time donations? Here are links to the leave donation form in PDF format and in a Microsoft Word document format.

Call for Work Unit Representatives

TEA is updating the current list of TEA work unit representatives. This important role assists our volunteer organization in making sure each work group receives information from TEA, as well as transmits communications to the TEA Board. Each work unit within both Transit D&C Staff, and WW are encouraged to select a representative to fill this role. If someone in your work unit has been doing this role for a while consider giving them a break and have a vote in your unit for a new representative.

TEA Council will have a noon meeting on Tuesday, March 26th from 12-:00 - 1:00 PM for the Council of Representatives. A box lunch will be provided. Please RSVP Ken Madden if you plan to attend, and let him know if you have any food preferences. Meeting is located on the 8th floor, Room 8I.

WW Bargaining Update

Good news — steps 4, 5 and 6 of the process identified below are progressing.

First reading of the TEA WW Collective Bargaining Agreement legislation was on 3/6 before full Council; The Mobility and Environment Committee deliberations are scheduled on 3/19 and the second reading and possible vote on the CBA should be before the full Council 3/27.

TEA is anticipating that the implementation of the CBA (new pay ranges and retro pay) could now stretch into late April or even May. The new TEA WW Staff and Supervisor CBA General Wage Increase (GWI) rates are:

General Wage Increases

  1. The wage rate for 2017 shall be increased by 2.25%.
  2. The wage rate for 2018 shall be increased by 2.88%.
  3. The wage rate for 2019 shall be increased by 3.47%
  4. The wage rate for 2020 shall be increased by 3%.

To recap, the following steps need to occur on the County's side, to have the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) implemented:

  1. Office of Labor Relations (OLR) prepares Transmittal Documents and, Fiscal Note and routes the package to the Prosecutors Office for legal review;

  2. After the package it completed and passes review by the PAO, the TEA President is invited to sign the contract and OLR routes it to the Executive's Office usually the same day. The Executive's Office has 45 days to review, but we may see some time savings here. Executive's Office routes to Council. This could occur sometime in January.

  3. The ordinance adopting the CBA is received by the Clerk of the Council, stamped in, and the Executive's Office locates a Council Sponsor (probably the Regional Water Quality Committee Chair) who then gets the ordinance on the Council's calendar;

  4. The ordinance adopting the CBA gets first reading before Council and referral to committee for Council Action;

  5. The committee invites the County and TEA representatives to the committee's meeting to answer questions. After hearing the proposed legislation, the committee will vote on adopting the ordinance and it could recommend expediting the agreement and placing it on the on the Consent Calendar for the next meeting of the Council.

  6. The CBA package is voted on by King County Council;

  7. The ordinance adopting the CBA is sent to Executive for signature;

  8. The CBA becomes law 10 days after signature.

  9. Central Payroll works with OLR and Wastewater to begin the process of implementing the new wage increases and the retro payment of General Wage Increases (GWI, formerly COLA). The prospective date when the new wages go into effect is determined and implemented; the following pay period is when the retro is usually paid.

Alton Gaskill
TEA President

Transit Bargaining Update

TEA Transit has had a robust and transparent process to form a Bargaining Committee and recommend a Bargaining Team. We met on February 19th. Jim Cline and Eamon McCleery, TEA's attorneys were there to discuss the bargaining process and the history of TEA Transit's bargaining with King County.

We met again on February 20th to discuss potential Team members and LOE in being on the Team. A vote was conducted (Alton and I abstained from voting).

Jennifer Ash, Colin Asquith and Jeremy Vining were selected by the Committee to join Alton Gaskill and me on the bargaining team.

I would like to thank everyone who participated in the Transit Bargaining Committee process and selection of the Bargaining Team. Our first bargaining session with OLR with our new team was in the afternoon of February 27th. This meeting was devoted to discussions of TEA's information requests related to pay scales and medical benefits necessary to inform TEA's formation of an initial offer.

Jerry Williams
TEA Transit Bargaining Chair.

President's Message

Thank you, Roger Browne

On behalf of the TEA Board, I want to express gratitude to Roger Browne for his many years of service to King County, and as TEA Past President, Bargaining Chair and labor mentor. He filled other roles for labor, too, all representing countless hours of selfless and dedicated work. Roger is officially retired as of February 28th.

Roger helped organize the Technical Employees Association and achieve its recognition as representing the Wastewater Staff, Wastewater Supervisors, and Transit Design and Construction Staff bargaining units in the 2001 – 2006 timeframe. He did so, with others, with the belief that a volunteer labor organization of employees collaborating with their own employers, was potentially a better, and at least more interesting, alternative to being assimilated by one of the big unions. He ran all of the wage comparison analysis and followed local and national trends in wage rates and COLAs. He could go toe-to-toe with the County's full time labor economists. He knew labor law forward and backward. He participated in the Joint Labor Management Insurance Committee (JLMIC) negotiations and even provided draft bargaining proposals to JLMIC's labor bargaining team. He is outspoken in his support of TEA and labor, and took the inevitable heat from within the organization, Office of Labor Relations, and Management. Roger cared about others and worked on individual issues, and may have saved a few careers along the way, but that's all confidential. Roger was positive and collaborative. He always supported management initiatives that aligned with labor's goals and interests. We wish him all the best life has to offer in his next adventures.

Opportunities for full participation

There is no better time than now to get involved in a TEA committee or with the Council of Representatives. There is tremendous potential for changes in 2019 and 2020, and there is a lot at stake. I invite everyone who has the time and interest, to help shape TEA to be its best future self - a labor association that is inclusive, representative, transparent, engaging, and responsive to all of its members.

We are volunteer employees who work to reach Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) that provide competitive wages, safety, fairness, and good working conditions (and keep dues low). We want to be collaborative with other unions and King County management to create positive outcomes. I encourage you to support workers and labor however/wherever you can as a full member of TEA.

Alton Gaskill
TEA President

TEA Board

Alton Gaskill, President
Michael Sands, Vice President
JR Meksavanh, Secretary
Sally Turner, Treasurer
Vacant, Wastewater Bargaining Chair
Jerry Williams, Transit Bargaining Chair
Ken Madden, Council of Representatives Chair