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.

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.

Contract negotiations continue; TA and vote expected to follow Sept. 24  session

Your PROTEC17 2021-2023 State contract negotiations team met with agency executives and the Governor’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) on September 9th and 16th to continue discussions around contract changes and economics.  While discussions have been productive, we don’t have a Tentative Agreement (TA) to present to you for a vote quite yet — but please keep an eye out for vote documents in your personal email boxes prior to the October 1 statutory deadline.  We have another session scheduled for September 24th, and hope to reach a TA at that session.

After the pandemic began and we realized bargaining would look very different this year, we sent a survey out to you asking for your priorities given the dire economic situation, which includes an approximately $9 billion budget shortfall through the 2021-23 biennium.

We heard you loud and clear: Healthcare is a top priority for you. As we reported last month, we came to a TA that keeps your healthcare cost share at 85/15. 

While we know sacrifice is necessary, we are also acutely aware of the essential services State employees provide to all Washingtonians. Our work at the bargaining table is currently aimed at mitigating that sacrifice — keeping jobs and maintaining step increases, which the State has proposed to put on hold through the biennium. We also have a number of contract language changes on the table, including language to keep unfounded allegations out of performance evaluations and a shorter timeline for management to respond to vacation requests. We have also been able to maintain the WSDOT PE incentive Memorandum of Understanding.

PROTEC17 will also be working this upcoming legislative session with our labor and community allies to fix Washington State’s upside down tax structure, which puts a disproportionate tax burden on working people. Hopefully, the new revenue we achieve through this action will further mitigate any cuts necessary to get our state back up and running, and working for working people.

We will have more changes to report after we reach a TA, hopefully on Sept. 24. In the meantime, if you need to update your personal email address, or have co-workers who need to get on the mailing list, please let your Union Representative know.

Negotiations for the 2021-2023 state contract continue

The June 10 negotiation session for the 2021-2023 contract presented the first opportunity for the State to pass their initial proposals, which included some responses to PROTEC17’s initial set of proposals. In addition, the PROTEC17 team proposed additional contract changes, including the extension of a WSP MOU; changes to overtime rules; additional time between shifts for WSP employees; clarification regarding temporary schedule-change notice, tandem WSP employees’ seniority, and break rules; and additional miscellaneous leave. Our next session is slated to take place on June 24, where we will have a better picture of the State’s economic outlook for the next biennium.

As things continue to evolve and change on a daily basis, we are committed to keeping you updated on developments. Feel free to reach out to your Union Steward, Rep, or a member of the State Bargaining team any time. This year’s team consists of the following State colleagues, as well as PROTEC17 staff:

Bonnie Caress, DOL
Russ Hallgren, WSP
Chanel Johnson, DOL
Daniel Jones, WSDOT
John Kleinkopf, WSDOT
Anthony Madsen, DOL
Mindi Mezek, WSP
Steve Morgans, WSDOT
Faith Shuler, WSDOT
Christina Belt, WSP (Alternate)
Bill Hicks, WSP Subject Matter Expert

Negotiations for the 2021-2023 state contract are underway

Meet the PROTEC17 negotiations team, who will be bargaining virtually with the State during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 20, the PROTEC17 State negotiating team had its first session with the Governor’s Office of Financial Management (OFM) and state agency management to bargain the 2021-2023 contract. For the first time ever, negotiations were held by videoconference while the Governor’s COVID-19 stay home order and phased reopening plan remains in effect.

Your PROTEC17 team presented our first set of proposals to OFM, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), Department of Licensing (DOL), and the Washington State Patrol (WSP). The proposals included both economic and non-economics items such as: posting of minimum job requirements; Licensing Service Representative (LSR) transfers; performance evaluations; compensatory time maximum; paid time for union and professional training; parity for Tuesday through Saturday LSRs; clarification on positions needing “relief replacement” and inclement weather; union access to new employees; assignment pay for those working around asbestos; and the extension of an MOU specific to WSDOT engineers.

We will meet again with State leadership on June 10 to hear the State’s response to our proposals and to receive the State’s initial proposals.

We will also continue to work with our Union partners to strategize around how to handle negotiating economics in light of what will be an unprecedented hole in the State budget. Thank you to all of you who filled out our recent survey regarding this year’s round of negotiating.

As things continue to evolve and change on a daily basis, we are committed to keeping you updated on developments. Feel free to reach out to your Union Steward, Rep, or a member of the State Bargaining team any time. This year’s team consists of the following State colleagues, as well as PROTEC17 staff:

Bonnie Caress, DOL
Russ Hallgren, WSP
Chanel Johnson, DOL
Daniel Jones, WSDOT
John Kleinkopf, WSDOT
Anthony Madsen, DOL
Mindi Mezek, WSP
Steve Morgans, WSDOT
Faith Shuler, WSDOT
Christina Belt, WSP (Alternate)
Bill Hicks, WSP Subject Matter Expert