Washington State Department of Transportation

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2025-2027 Contract Negotiations Update

Economic talks start, telework discussion continues

July 10, 2024

Your PROTEC17 State contract negotiations team met virtually with State and agency management on Tues., July 9 for additional discussion on your 2025-2027 contract. With the release of the economic forecast, we put forward an initial economic proposal to the State which includes a General Wage Increase (GWI), making step M a regular step on the State’s wage scale, allowing callback to be taken as compensatory time, extending geographic pay to Snohomish, Pierce, Thurston, Kitsap, and Clark counties, and a modest bonus for every five years of State service to recognize longevity.

We also continued to discuss telework, contracting out at the Department of Transportation (WSDOT), and have several other economic proposals on the table including incentives for licensures at WSDOT, a floating holiday for Tuesday-Saturday Licensing Service Office employees, memorializing the Department of Licensing (DOL) footwear allowance in the contract, and providing lifetime Ferry passes for Ferry employees at WSDOT.

We will meet again in-person on July 23 and 24 to propose a variety of assignment pay provisions as well as targeted increases based on market conditions. We will provide an update soon after those talks and onward throughout the summer. Please contact your Union Representative or a Bargaining Team member with any questions or suggestions!

2025-2027 Contract Negotiations Update

Progress on agreements and strategizing next move

June 21, 2024

Your PROTEC17 State contract negotiations team met again with State and agency management on Thurs., June 20 to continue bargaining for our 2025-2027 contract. We reached agreement on protections for those seeking treatment for substance abuse disorders and rules around work-related court appearances. Our team is also very close to agreement on strengthening telework language. We also proposed language to provide lifetime Ferry access to Washington State Ferries employees and their families.

The State, however, rejected proposals to bolster contracting out protections as well as a proposal to expand bereavement leave. We will continue to work as a team to decide how to move forward with those proposals.

Our next session will be on July 9, where we will make a partial economic proposal for a General Wage Increase (GWI) and expanded geographic pay. We will continue to provide updates throughout the summer – please reach out to your Union Representative or a Bargaining Team member with any questions!

2025-2027 Contract Negotiations Update

Progress and wins so far

May 24, 2024

Your PROTEC17 negotiations team met virtually with the State on Wed., May 22, and made some additional progress on two important topics: telework and protections for employees with substance abuse disorders who want to seek treatment and keep their jobs with the State.

Next month, your PROTEC17 team will be at the table with the Office of Financial Management (OFM) and agency management for the last time before the economic forecast is released, which will open up wage discussions between the parties. While progress has been somewhat slow, we’ve already walked away with several non-economic victories. As we head into economic talks, we want to recap progress so far and let you know where we are on priority topics.

What we’ve won so far:

  • Anti-discrimination language in the preamble and Article 3 of the contract
  • Improved transfer language and compensatory time rollover for Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers (CVEOs)
  • Improved overtime language for Communication Officers (COs)
  • Increase to the maximum comp time from 160 to 240 hours without having to cash it out each biennium (most State contracts have that requirement)
  • Increase in vacation accrual maximum from 240 to 280 hours
  • Improved educational language about the Reasonable Accommodation process
  • Improved Labor Management Communications Committee (LMCC) language
  • Clarification and improvement of Washington State Patrol (WSP) residency requirement language
  • Stronger safety language for Department of Licensing (DOL) employees
  • Maintenance of Plexiglass in DOL offices

PROTEC17 proposals that are still on the table:

  • Adding a floating holiday for Tuesday – Saturday DOL employees
  • Expanding bereavement leave for parent of employee’s child(ren)
  • Memorializing footwear allowance for DOL and the Department of Transportation (WSDOT)
  • Expanding licensure incentive to include FE, PLSIT, PLS, PLA for WSDOT
  • More robust contracting out language for WSDOT
  • Language protecting members from Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Earlier access to new employees to ensure everyone is contributing their fair share for the representation and advocacy provided by PROTEC17

After the forecast is released, we will also set up coalition bargaining sessions related to your healthcare benefits. As a reminder, we cannot negotiate the plans themselves, but just the cost-share percentage, which is currently 85% paid by the employer and 15% paid by the employee. We will continue to update you throughout the summer as talks continue.

2025-2027 Contract Negotiations Update

Contract language and proposal strategy

Early May 2024

Your PROTEC17 State negotiating team met virtually with State and Agency management on Tues., May 7. Productive discussions with the State, mostly WSDOT leadership, continued around strengthening our telework language. We were able to agree on additional safety language for DOL members and agreed to clean up some language around CVEO transfer requests.

Unfortunately, very little else was accomplished during our full-day session as the management team was unprepared to explain and justify their counter proposals constructively.

We began negotiating about six weeks earlier than usual this bargaining cycle, with hopes of resolving most non-fiscal matters before the economic forecast comes out at the end of June (when we will start talking about economics). While we still hope to make that happen, we’re facing obstacles that we didn’t anticipate. We will continue to work with the Office of Financial Management (OFM) to resolve the issues we’re having at the negotiation table and will keep you updated on our progress.

2025-2027 Contract Negotiations Update

End of April 2024

Your Bargaining Team met with State and agency management for a virtual bargaining session on Thurs., April 25, but remain frustrated with the slow pace at which progress is being made. We continue to work on articles detailed in previous updates, but the State has been slow to respond to our counters and initial proposals.

Amidst the slow pace, we were able to reach a Tentative Agreement (TA) on inserting Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI) language into the preamble and Article 3 of our contract, as well as language to mandate quarterly Labor Management Communication Committee (LMCC) meetings with each agency. We worked to achieve an increase to the maximum compensatory time accrual from 160 to 240 hours without having to cash it out each year (which is required in most State employee contracts). We also succeeded in getting the State to back off of a proposal that would mandate employees to use their comp time before their annual leave.

We will continue to exchange proposals around telework parameters, with your union team pushing for more robust language and the management team proposing stricter language. Along with compensation, safety, and healthcare, getting strong telework language will remain a priority during contract negotiations this Summer.

Our next meeting with the State will take place virtually on May 7. We will send out another update after that session.

Contract Negotiations Update

Mid-April 2024

Your PROTEC17 State Bargaining Team met with agency and Office of Financial Management (OFM) leadership for an in-person, two-day bargaining session on April 9 and April 10 to continue discussions regarding your 2025-2027 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).

The sessions got tense at multiple points when management seemed unprepared to present their proposals or address our 14 proposals directly. While management took excessive time in caucus (when the parties are separated and preparing proposals and responses), our union Bargaining Team was able to put together additional initial proposals. At the end of the second day, we finally received, in total, four non-substantive proposals from the employer, as well as a handful of counters to our original proposals.

In addition to our original set of initial proposals, we also passed proposals that would:

  1. Increase max comp time accrual allowed to 240 from 160 hours
  2. Allow for 40 hours of comp time to be carried over to the next biennium
  3. Clarify Communication Officer (CO) overtime rules
  4. Add a floating holiday for Licensing Service Representatives who work in Tuesday through Saturday offices
  5. Increase the vacation accrual and the vacation max (from 240 to 280 to reflect union-supported legislation)
  6. Establish a 40-hour, non-cash-value sick leave bank to address the new culture of minimizing coming into the office sick
  7. Add court-reporting language for Washington State Patrol (WSP) employees who need to appear in court for work purposes
  8. Add a footwear allowance
  9. Add language to allow for those with substance-abuse issues to self-report and receive treatment prior to discipline
  10. Add language to protect PROTEC17 employees from losing work to Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  11. Mandate quarterly Labor Management Communications Committee (LMCC) meetings for all three agencies we represent

The employer:

  1. Rejected our proposal to extend the hour of paid leave for inclement weather to the end of the day
  2. Denied our proposal to increase security protections at the Department of Licensing (DOL), replacing it with language that mandates “yearly safety training”
  3. Denied footwear allowance proposal
  4. Rejected most of our language to strengthen telework
  5. Countered with more specific language around CO overtime scheduling
  6. Agreed to increase the maximum comp time accrual to 240
  7. Agreed to allow for more education around the reasonable accommodation process
  8. Proposed that employees must use comp time before vacation
  9. Rejected the idea of carrying over 40 hours of comp to the next biennium
  10. Rejected our vacation accrual increase but accepted our proposal to increase the max comp time allowed from 240 to 280 hours (pursuant to the new legislation passed by the 2024 legislature)
  11. Rejected our idea of putting unused vacation accruals into a Shared Leave bank, citing administrative issues
  12. Agreed to most of our LMCC proposal
  13. Agreed to change reporting distance for some Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Officers at WSP

Our next negotiation session with the State will take place virtually on April 25. We will send out another update following the session, as soon as we’re able.

Contract Negotiations Update

Mid-March 2024

Your PROTEC17 State bargaining team met with management on Tues., March 12 to set ground rules and make the first set of proposals for your 2025-2027 contract. The proposals were based on survey responses, bargaining team member input, and other issues identified by members and staff. We proposed the following changes to the contract:

  • Strengthening telework language to allow for more flexibility
  • Strengthening WSDOT contracting out language
  • More flexibility in the event of inclement weather
  • Adding parent of employee’s child to bereavement leave
  • More safety measures at DOL
  • Better guidance on reasonable accommodations
  • Incentives for PLS, PLSIT, FE, and PLA at WSDOT
  • Better access to new employees to educate them on the importance of union membership
  • Clean up of residency requirement for WSP CVEOs

We will meet again on April 9 and expect to receive an initial set of proposals from the employer. As a reminder, we will start talking about pay/compensation in July after the economic forecast is released. We will continue to send updates throughout the Summer as negotiations continue. Please reach out to your respective Union Representative (you can find that info on this page in the right side menu bar) or one of your Bargaining Team members with any questions.

Get ready for YOUR contract negotiations, join an upcoming prep meeting!

Join your fellow PROTEC17 State members as we prepare for YOUR upcoming contract negotiations for your 2025-2027 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)! We will host TWO options for a contract negotiation prep meeting — one on Tues., Feb. 20 at 6 p.m. and another on Sat., Feb. 24 at 10 a.m. Please note that these meetings will have the SAME content, just two options to accommodate different schedules. You can find full meeting details, including how to join, in your personal email and the Member Portal Events page HERE.

We will go over results from your recent bargaining survey, explain the bargaining process, and establish a bargaining team. Hope to see you at one of the upcoming prep meetings!

Kaiser insurance premiums rising

If you have health insurance through Kaiser, please be advised that some premiums are increasing exponentially. We are sharing information to make sure you have everything you need as open enrollment approaches on November 1, 2023. We are not giving any specific advice other than to sit down with your family and determine whether staying with Kaiser is the best option for you.

Please see the table below:

Please see this document for the full document including the table with all info: https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/pebb/whats-changing-2024-pebb.pdf

  • Additional information can be found here and here
  • Information on how to contact the Health Care Authority (HCA) here
  • Contact Kaiser here

As a reminder, your union is prohibited by statute from negotiating the plans itself or plan costs. The only piece we can negotiate is the cost share, which is 85% paid by the employer and 15% paid by the employee.