After votes were tallied on June 27, the new Coalition Labor Agreement (CLA) was ratified by 12 of 14 PROTEC17 bargaining units at King County. While this was an extremely challenging negotiation, the bargaining team did an excellent job of representing PROTEC17 members over nearly two years at the table to secure some major victories in the 2021-2024 contract.
Working together with other unions as part of the King County Coalition of Unions was part of the strategy to achieve a strong Coalition Labor Agreement (CLA). The CLA contract, which covers economic items and other benefits and protections for most union members at the County, includes significant wins like a 12.5 percent wage increase over four years, telecommuting language, extra holidays, and many more.
Moreover, the PROTEC17 bargaining teams were able to secure additional benefits by negotiating the appendices agreements specific to their bargaining units. PROTEC17 leaders from all units stepped up and advocated for their co-workers at these small table negotiations.
The contract runs through 2024 and, in the meantime, PROTEC17 leaders will continue to strategize and build our membership over the next few years to ensure we are ready for the next challenge.
“This was the toughest contract negotiations I have ever been a part of, but we stood our ground and our solidarity and unity paid off,” said Jennell Hicks, PROTEC17 Trustee and King County bargaining team member.
While the vast majority of King County members have ratified the CLA, the Transit Chiefs and Superintendents bargaining units continue to face challenging negotiations (as this issue went to press). The County is proposing cuts to their contracts, including a reduction to their holiday bank, disparate executive leave language, and not filling vacancies, to name a few.
“We recommended a “NO” vote and the membership agreed,” said PROTEC17 Superintendent Bargaining Team member Jake Jacobovitch. “We are off to mediation and if an equitable solution can’t be found there, we’ll see about arbitration.”
PROTEC17 King County members stand in solidarity with Chiefs and Super- intendents as they continue to fight for what’s fair.
“At times these negotiations were frustrating, but I knew my union brothers, sisters, and siblings would benefit from our efforts,” said Marlon Hall, a Public Health employee and member of the bar- gaining team. “That was the motivation to keep showing up, and keep working to get the best deal we could.”
The agreements that have been ratified by members will now go to the King County Council and Executive for final approval. Once those steps are complete, members will see their wage increases and retroactive pay in their paychecks. Check your email and the PROTEC17 King County webpage (protec17.org/member/king) for updates. Thank you to everyone who served (and continues to serve!) on the bargaining teams.