Department of Licensing

We have more than 350 members throughout Washington — serving as Licensing Services Representatives (LSRs) and ProRate and Fuel Tax Auditors (PRFTA) — helping you get the licenses and registrations you need to be in compliance with state law.

Wage increases for 2022 and lump sum payments; plus vaccine MOU vote passes

Your PROTEC17 Bargaining Team met with State and agency management during the week of Sept. 20 to negotiate a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for next year.

Recognizing we’re in a very different budgetary situation than we’d anticipated around this time last year, PROTEC17 requested a wage reopener this summer, and the State agreed to meet on the topic. The State’s original proposal was for a 3% COLA in 2022, along with lump sum payments to employees based on income. Through negotiations, we were able to secure a 3.25% COLA for 2022, along with higher lump sums for those employed before July 1st of this year and risked their own health and safety by continuing to work during the most dangerous part of the pandemic. We also got the State to agree to provide those lump sum bonuses to our career seasonal members, which will apply to our members who work at the mountain passes forecasting and controlling avalanches during the winter months. The lump sums will be calculated prior to the 2022 COLA, and will be based only on your base wages. See the table below to see how the lump sums will be calculated. HERE is a link to the final agreement.

We’re also pleased on announce another victory, this time for public health and due process: Our vaccine mandate MOU was passed overwhelmingly by the membership yesterday. The agreement will provide important protections for those who request exemptions and those who remain employed, as well as additional flexibility for those who haven’t yet complied with the mandate. That agreement will also be posted on our website once we have the final signed copy.

Please reach out to your Union Representative or Steward with any questions.

Vaccine mandate negotiations

Your PROTEC17 bargaining team met again with the State and agency leadership during the week of Sept. 13 to present a counterproposal during negotiations over the impacts of the vaccine mandate. Our counterproposal allows for: flexibility for those who haven’t received their vaccinations by the October 18 deadline and for those whose exemptions/accommodations are denied; two personal days for those who got their shots prior to the mandate and one personal day for those who received it after; extra pay for those required to work overtime due to staffing shortages; seniority and outsourcing protections; paid time to get the vaccine; and an expedited grievance process for those whose contractual or legal rights are violated.

We haven’t yet received a response from the State, but expect to get one soon. As a reminder, we are negotiating the impacts of the mandate, but the mandate will still be enforced, likely with the same deadlines currently in place. Remember that it’s important to get your exemption requests in as soon as possible to ensure they can be reviewed prior to the deadline. It’s also important to note that just because an exemption is granted doesn’t guarantee you will be accommodated in your position.

We will send out another update when we get a response from the State. Please be prepared to vote on the agreement on short notice and with a quick turnaround.

Furloughs eliminated; new contract in effect July 1

Because of advocacy and pressure from State employee unions – including PROTEC17 – the furloughs scheduled for the 2021-23 biennium have been eliminated. The furloughs weren’t included in the biennial budget signed by the governor, and the language has been removed from our contract.

Another proposal that was rejected by the State at the bargaining table this cycle was making Juneteenth a paid holiday for State employees. This, too, was passed by the legislature and will be included in the 2021-23 CBA, which goes into effect on July 1.

These changes would not have happened without strong State employee unions in Washington, and our advocacy in Olympia. What we can’t get at the bargaining table, we can sometimes achieve through our legislature. If you have questions about your 2021-23 contract, please reach out to your Union Representative.

2021-23 state contract ratified by members

PROTEC17 state members have voted to accept the Tentative Agreement (TA) with the State of Washington for the 2021-2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). The ballot closed and was counted on Oct. 1 in time to be included in the Governor’s proposed budget for the next biennium.

Thank you to everyone who voted — your participation is the cornerstone of union membership and union democracy.

You can find a list of the changes to the 2021-23 contract in this summary document and we also have the full red-line version of the agreement for your perusal. The finalized contract will be available in the coming months once state legislators approve the budget and the governor signs the final document.

It goes without saying that this wasn’t the ideal economy in which to negotiate a contract.  With the COVID-19 pandemic and a resulting multi-billion dollar budget shortfall looming large, we reached out to our membership this past spring to gauge your priorities. We heard you loud and clear and we delivered. The cost share for your healthcare benefits will remain at 85/15 for the 2021-23 biennium. In this uncertain time, we can all rest a little easier knowing we can get the healthcare we need.

Next, we worked hard to come to an agreement on other economic and non-economic items. Instead of proposing a full rollover of the contract, we took the opportunity to make some positive changes to contract language, which are outlined in this summary document. We also have the full red-line version of the agreement for your review.

Because you have a union, you received your 3% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in July 2020. And through a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached with the State, PROTEC17 members were able to participate in the WorkShare program, which, in conjunction with a funding boost from the CARES ACT passed by Congress, put an extra $600 in your pockets for four weeks in exchange for weekly furloughs. Lastly, we were able to stave off the State’s proposal to freeze Periodic Increment Dates for the life of the 2021-23 contract.

But as State employees we knew sacrifices would be needed to reconcile the State’s budget through the next biennium. As a result, State employees will be receiving no COLAs for the 2021-23 biennium. Furthermore, we agreed to take a furlough day one day per month through the biennium, with an opportunity to negotiate a reduction in – or elimination of – those furloughs prior to implementation in July of 2021 by request of either party. Rest assured that we will be making that request.

Despite these temporary cuts, it’s more important than ever to be a union member. Many non-represented employees did not receive their COLA in July 2020. Because you have a union, we were able to negotiate the economic impacts of this pandemic on our terms. Employees who don’t have a union don’t have a voice in how their employers handle economically uncertain situations, and are at the whim of their employers and their unilateral decision making, for better or worse.

Recognizing the need for tremendous budget savings, we tried to be creative by proposing contract changes that would boost morale but cost the state little or nothing.  The state, unfortunately, was unreceptive to our innovative proposals.  Measures such as casual attire for Washington State Patrol (WSP) Communication Officers (COs) and Saturday furloughs for Licensing Service Representatives (LSRs) so they could get a three-day weekend were rejected with seemingly little consideration. But, we humbly present this contract to you, our fellow members, without a recommendation but with assurance that we got the best contract possible in a time of unprecedented uncertainty.

In January, we will be in Olympia lobbying our legislators for more progressive tax measures to help mitigate budget impacts and boost our economy; Washington State has the most regressive tax structure in the country, meaning those who make the least pay the largest percentage of their income in taxes. But we have the power to change that, and we intend to do just that next session – and those changes could help fuel new revenue to mitigate furloughs. Who is in Olympia matters – don’t forget to vote this November!

Please reach out to any member of your negotiating team if you have any questions.