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On Your Side: Recent Council 2 Contract Wins

by Council 2 Staff on June 17, 2020
Council 2 is on your side fighting for higher wages, better benefits, and strong contracts for its members. Even as the pandemic rages on, Council 2 will continue to fight for the best interests of city and county employees. Some recent wins include:
  • Pierce County Wastewater, Local 120-W: Council 2’s bargaining team went to the table in mid-2019, as Jason Main, Mark Newport, and Abbie Zulock worked hard for many months, bargaining with a County whose bargaining style is to say ‘no’ rather than work to come to the middle or compromise on issues. The bargaining season dragged on, with threats that included denying retroactive COLAs to members if a deal wasn’t settled in January, 2020.
Union members, with resounding confidence, voted “NO” on what was thought to be the best and final agreement. 

So, the Council 2 team worked with a coalition of other Pierce County Unions to put pressure on the County, went back to the table, and were able to secure pay equity for our Maintenance Workers – a high priority in this contract negotiation season. Members approved the offer, and were able to do so in the nick of time without losing retroactive COLAs and without compromising the wins of this contract by bargaining through the pandemic.
  • Skagit Transit, Local 176-T: Following months of negotiations between Local 176-T and Skagit Transit, a new contract has been ratified and executed. This new CBA was reached following extensive meetings between the Local 176-T negotiating team and Skagit Transit management over several days of negotiations, which led to PERC mediation. Following two rounds of the PERC mediation the parties arrived at a tentative agreement, now enacted. This new CBA includes 2% COLA in 2020, 2021, and 2022; $500 VEBA for all three years, and full time health insurance benefits for all members. 
  • Tacoma Public Library, Local 120-TPL: Council 2’s bargaining team worked collaboratively with the new administration in Tacoma Public Library during this contract negotiation season. Council 2 highlighted important issues facing its members: lack of robust staffing for coverage when members are out on leave, lack of bargained language around temporary promotion setups (called ‘Acting Appointments’ by the library), and the dismal wages for Pages in the library.
  • Council 2 and management worked through many of the issues – in manners both friendly and sometimes ferocious – earning three key wins at the table:
    • The creation of a substitute pool, not to replace full time employees, that will ensure coverage in case of member absences from the workplace;
    • Bargained language for acting appointments, since they impact wages, benefits, and working conditions;
    • A signed letter of agreement to ensure that Pages stay above minimum wage and an additional step on their wage scale
Council 2 also won healthy COLAs for the Tacoma Public Library members, which ensures that they can maintain some economic security in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.