After votes were tallied on Sept. 29, PROTEC17 State members overwhelmingly voted to ratify the 2023-2025 contract, which will now go to the Governor’s office and the State Legislature for the final approval processes.
This contract includes a four percent general wage increase starting July 1, 2023, along with a $1,000 retention bonus for those hired as of July 1, 2022 and still employed at the time of payment. There will also be a three percent increase in the second year of the contract starting on July 1, 2024.
Other wins in this contract include targeted increases for chronically understaffed Communications Officers at the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and Licensing Services Representatives at the Department of Licensing (DOL). For Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) members, the Professional Engineer (PE) incentive was permanently memorialized. This contract also includes significant increases for those who work at night, the ability to leave work early without using leave during inclement weather, and the removal of language that allowed WSDOT to circumvent the payment of overtime.
Since the start of negotiations in early summer, the bargaining team worked hard to secure these wins. The hard-working team members are: Paul Austin (WSP), Brian Brannies (WSDOT), Brendan Byron (WSDOT), Bonnie Caress (DOL), Chanel Johnson (DOL), Mindi Mezek (WSP), Steve Morgans (WSDOT), Bennett Olsson (WSP), Mike Roy (WSDOT), and Faith Shuler (WSDOT), along with PROTEC17 staff Sarah Lorenzini, Suzie Saunders, Brent Wagar, and Alexis Young.
Despite the many positive gains in the contract, the team had hoped for a larger increase to help members keep up with inflation. And again, the State was resistant to targeted increases for WSDOT members despite the data showing that many of those classifications are far below market wages. The team plans on working with allies in the State legislature this coming session to revise the statute that governs how targeted increases are addressed to allow for consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion factors, as well as other objective data, like the State’s own salary survey, plus more accurate recruitment and retention data.
While the team was disappointed in the State’s response to many topics, this contract provided PROTEC17 State members with the largest general wage increase in one contract in a very long time, and will bring many of our WSP and DOL members much closer to market-rate wages.
Thank you to everyone who served on the bargaining team and to all members for voting. Please reach out to a bargaining team member or to your Union Representative with any questions you have. You can find the contract on the WSDOT, DOL and WSP pages on our website: protec17.org/member.