In 2019, we created our first ever strategic plan that would guide the goals and objectives for our union from 2020-2022. As part of the planning process, thousands of members gave feedback via surveys, Chapter meetings, focus groups, emails, and more, which shaped our priorities for those years – 1) Develop and train member leaders, 2) Elevate racial and social justice initiatives, and 3) Grow our membership. In addition, leaders developed a mission statement and a vision statement for our union.
We are a member-powered union inspiring action, advancing equity, and building community.
Together, we envision a world free of social, racial, and economic injustice, where all people thrive, living happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
As we continue to work towards making our vision a reality, we celebrate the milestones we were able to reach during our first plan, and move towards three new priorities that we’ve set for 2023-2025. They are: 1) Create a strong union identity and culture, 2) Build our political power and community connections, and 3) Strengthen member leadership programs and opportunities — all of which will be viewed through a racial justice lens. If you have additional input as we strive to reach our newest goals, please reach out to us at .
First founded in 1918 by a group of draftsmen employed in the Seattle shipyards, our organization joined the International Federation of Technical Engineers, Architects and Draftsmen’s Unions on October 24, 1927. At that time, the organization consisted of the draftsmen and City of Seattle engineers, and was known as the Seattle Association of Technical Engineers and Architects Local 17.
In 1942, Local 17 gained jurisdiction over the entire state of Washington in order to more effectively represent the needs of professional engineers in the region. At this time, the Local’s official name was changed to the Technical Engineers and Architects Association. In the 1950’s, the International changed its name to the American Federation of Technical Engineers, and Local 17’s name changed again to the Professional and Technical Engineers Association.
Since the early 1970’s, Local 17 has expanded its representation to include a wider range of job classifications – from nurses, social workers, and health specialists, to real estate appraisers, transportation planners, environmental specialists and, of course, engineers. By 1980, there were 3,400 members.
In order to better serve its members in the Pacific Northwest, the Local 17 governing body voted in 2011 to disaffiliate from the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, whose membership costs were increasingly unsustainable. At this time, the name was changed to Professional and Technical Employees, instead of Engineers, to more accurately reflect the professional diversity of the membership. Since that time, the organization has expanded its reach into Oregon and continues to grow. As we marked our 100th birthday in 2018, Professional and Technical Employees Local 17 — PROTEC17, for short — represents nearly 9,000 public employees across Washington and Oregon.