March 8, 2019
To: Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit Teamster Members
From: Rich Ewing, Secretary-Treasurer
Re: TENTATIVE MEDIATION SETTLEMENT
We are pleased to inform you, that after several months of negotiations, we have reached a tentative agreement for a successor collective bargaining agreement. These negotiations proved once again to be very difficult and required the assistance of a Mediator to reach an agreement your committee could bring to you for a ratification vote. In the end, it was your continued strong showing of solidarity that allowed your bargaining committee to achieve this tentative agreement.
If ratified, this agreement provides for your current health & welfare plan to be fully funded by the County, retroactively, for the 2019 plan year and provides an increase in funding for 2020, that we anticipate will cover all, or most, of any premium increases. In addition, it provides for retroactive wage increases and other compensation improvements, while protecting important contract language.
A meeting to review this tentative agreement and answer any questions, prior to a mail ballot vote, has been scheduled as follows:
DATE: March 19, 2019
PLACE: Bellingham Technical College, Settlemyer Hall
3028 Lindbergh Ave. Bellingham
Please make every effort to attend this important meeting. If you have any questions, please contact the Local Union office at 360-734-7780.
Whatcom County Master Bargaining Update March 6, 2019:
After two long days in mediation, on March 4th & 5th, the Union and the County have reached a tentative agreement for a successor collective bargaining agreement. Through the mediation process, your Bargaining Committee was able to convince the County to greatly increase the economic package for wages and health & welfare, while protecting important language issues. All Master Bargaining Unit Teamster members will be able to vote to approve or reject the offer in the near future. A meeting to review and answer question regarding the tentative agreement will be held at a time and location to be determined very soon.
February 19, 2019 Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit negotiation update:
The negotiations that were schedule for February 19th were canceled while we wait for a Mediator to be assigned. Unfortunately, the County has put forth an economic proposal that is well short of being acceptable and they appear unwilling to move any further without the assistance of a Mediator. We will provide an update as soon as we are able to coordinated future dates for mediation.
Thank you for your continued solidarity!
February 1, 2019 Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit update:
The Union and the County met for bargaining on January 29th & 30th. With the vast majority of the language issues resolved, we focused on the economics. We had two days of spirited dialog and exchanging of proposals, but we were not able to reach a tentative agreement.
The County’s negotiating committee representatives have explained to us that they don’t have the authority to offer an economic package that achieves the goals of the bargaining unit. Although your Union Committee would like to rap up these negotiations quickly, we are determined to keep bargaining until we reach an agreement that we can bring to the bargaining unit with a recommendation to approve.
The Parties have one more day of negotiations scheduled for February 19th and we have requested the assistance of a Mediator from the Public Employment Relations Commission. It’s unfortunate that we are once again faced with this stance from the County’s leadership, but our resolve is still as strong as ever. We will keep all Teamsters Local 231 members at Whatcom County apprised of any progress or calls to action that may become necessary to achieve a fair contract settlement.
Thank you for your continued solidarity!
Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit negotiation update 1/16/19:
The Union and the County met for bargaining on January 15th. After a productive day of negotiations, we were able come to tentative agreements on most of the outstanding language proposals, and will be focusing on economics when we meet again on January 29th & 30th. Another update will follow these two bargaining dates.
December 18, 2018 Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit update:
The Union and the County met on December 7th and 14th to continue the bargaining process. We made additional progress on the remaining open language issues and have had preliminary discussions around economics. We have five more bargaining dates scheduled in January and we will provide updates as we make further progress.
Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit negotiation update 12/4/18:
The Union and the County met for bargaining on November 29th. The County’s negotiator has been ill and they have been unable to meet on two of our scheduled bargaining dates. Despite this fact, we have continued to make good progress on various language issues. Modifying the sick leave Article to be compliant with the new State Sick Leave law has been quite challenging, but we are very close to completing this section. We are scheduled to meet again on December 7th and 14th and will provide further updates as we progress through the process.
November 20, 2018 Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit update:
The Union and the County met for the third bargaining session on November 19th. Both sides exchanged more proposals in various Articles as we continue to work through contract language. We are scheduled to meet again on November 26th and 29th, where our hope is to finalize many language proposals and begin detailed discussions regarding economics. We will post another update following those meetings.
November 7, 2018 Bargaining Update Whatcom County Master:
The Union and the County met for the second bargaining session on November 5th. The County provided the Union Committee with a comprehensive proposal and responded to some of the Union’s proposals. We are pleased with the progress made in the first two meetings, but several important issues still remain open and will require a great deal of effort, on both sides, to work through. We are scheduled to meet again on November 19th and another update will be posted here following that meeting.
October 23, 2018 Whatcom County Master Bargaining Unit negotiation update.
The Union and the County met for the first bargaining session on October 19th. The Union presented a full proposal, including language and economics. All proposals were explained in detail and questions from the County were discussed. We expect to receive a full proposal from the County when we meet again on November 5th. Another update will be posted here following that meeting.
Thank You to all the Teamsters that showed up for the Whatcom County Master proposal meeting on Saturday, September 15th. Most of the bargaining committee members and alternates have been selected. There were several great proposals brought forward at the meeting and through the surveys that were submitted.