May 12, 2020
To: Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit Teamster Members
From: Rich Ewing, Secretary-Treasurer
Jennifer Thompson, Union Representative
Daron Smith, Union Representative
Re: Whatcom County Proposed Furloughs
On Friday, May 8, 2020, your Union Leadership Team received an email from Whatcom County expressing deep concern over the inevitable economic impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic and requesting to negotiate with the Union over County proposed furlough days.
Your Union has responded to the County with several questions and a request for further information regarding the County’s current financial status and future financial projections in preparation for bargaining. We will be reaching out to the shop stewards as we begin the process of negotiations with the County in an effort to assure that your voice is heard. It is important that we bargain with the County to protect all jobs and positions for each one of you while we work with the County to address the economic shortfall created by the COVID-19 Pandemic.
We want to thank each of you for the hard work, commitment, and patience you have shown throughout this unprecedented time. We understand the fear and anxiety this has created for all of you and we want to assure you that we are committed to working hard to ensure the best feasible outcome during this crisis.
Please look to the Union Website for updates (www.231teamsters.org), and in addition, watch your mail, as we are sending out a sign-up form for you to receive text and email communications. We encourage you to communicate and share your ideas and concerns with your shop steward as we begin negotiations with the County, or you may contact your Union Representative directly. When a tentative agreement has been reached between the Union and Whatcom County, notification will be sent to the Union membership with voting instructions.