PROTEC17’s policy-making body – the Regional Executive Committee (REC) – met virtually on February 26 for their twice-yearly gathering to discuss the business of our union. 

With the theme ‘Proud to Be PROTEC17’, delegates reflected on the many accomplishments made in 2021 despite continued challenges, and celebrated our many wins and forward momentum. Nearly 80 participants joined the Zoom meeting, and delegates made several important decisions, including adopting the 2022 budget. 

Delegates were welcomed to the meeting by PROTEC17 President Rachael Brooks, who acknowledged the Native land on which we all reside. Board member Jennell Hicks introduced the community agreements, and participants broke into small groups to introduce themselves to their fellow members. Then, Executive Board members and new REC delegates were sworn in, and the minutes from the October REC meeting were approved. 

PROTEC17 Executive Director Karen Estevenin highlighted some of our many wins in 2021 – from membership growth and training many new member leaders, to securing strong agreements with our employers and taking action on the issues in our communities that reflect our shared values. 

Jessica Garcia, PROTEC17 Secretary/Treasurer, then presented the 2022 budget, highlighting several line items and the rationale for their change from the previous year. Because of the continued pandemic last year and its impact on other industries, many expenses were under budget in 2021. For example, virtual meeting costs are far lower than the in-person meetings we anticpated we’d be able to do early last year; while delays in supplies needed for our swag webstore pushed orders into early 2022. This year’s budget was adjusted to take these things into consideration, and to project a slow return to “normal”. After questions and discussion, REC delegates unanimously approved the budget as proposed.

Next, REC delegates had the opportunity to hear about specific wins from their fellow members in Portland, Clark County, Kitsap Health, Washington State Department of Transportation, Seattle, and King County. The wins ranged from strong  contract agreements, wage increases, and improved health and safety protections, to organizing wins that helped new members and brand new classifications become a part of PROTEC17. 

Political staff Brandon Hersey and Elliot Levin also talked about victories in the legislative session, and highlighted the many members that participated in the 2021 election cycle and provided virtual testimony and support during the short 2022 session. Staffer Paul Marvy then recapped the two and a half year PROTEC17 consitution committee process, and thanked members for their continued hard work to update this important guiding document. 

The meeting ended with ‘Good of the Order’ where delegates had the opportunity to ask questions and present ideas