Washington State Department of Transportation

We have over 1300 expert members working for WSDOT at offices throughout Washington State, who keep our roads safe and implement the infrastructure projects needed to keep us moving.

Negotiations for your 2023-2025 contract are underway!

Your PROTEC17 state employee negotiating team met virtually with Department of Licensing (DOL), Washington State Patrol (WSP), and Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) management on Wed., April 27 to begin bargaining for your 2023-2025 contract.

So far, five proposals on contract language and working conditions have been presented. As a reminder, discussions on targeted- and cost-of-living increases will commence after the State’s June economic forecast, and we’ll negotiate in coalition with other State employee unions over healthcare costs later in the summer. We are restricted by statute from negotiating over healthcare and pension benefits. Also per state statute, we’re required to have a contract ratified by October 1, 2022 so the agreement can be reviewed by the governor’s office for financial viability and then go through the legislative process next session. This is why it’s so important to have elected officials in the legislature who support state employees – they have to the power to approve or deny your contract prior to it being finalized and signed by the governor.

Remember, you will be receiving a 3.25% COLA on July 1 of this year, and those who worked through the most dangerous part of the pandemic will also receive a lump sum payment on their July 25, 2022 paycheck (see below).

Our next bargaining session is May 19. Please make sure that we have your preferred personal email address on file to receive updates throughout the summer. If you have any questions in the meantime, please reach out to your Union Representative or a member of the bargaining team: Faith Shuler (WSDOT), Mike Roy (WSDOT), Brian Brannies (WSDOT), Brendan Byron (WSDOT), Steve Morgans (WSDOT), Bonnie Caress (DOL), Chanel Johnson (DOL), Mindi Mezek (WSP), and Christina Belt (WSP).

Wage increases for 2022 and lump sum payments; plus vaccine mandate MOU 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.