September 8, 2017
King County Master Labor Agreement (MLA) bargaining is getting down to the wire. The county is interested in ushering any tentative agreement reached with the coalition through the county’s contract transmittal process by December 28. To meet that timeline, they have proposed wrapping up MLA negotiations by next week and small table bargaining by October 2.
Our union coalition is committed to achieving the best possible agreement on behalf of the membership based on your feedback. We are amenable to the county’s timeline, but not if it means sacrificing our priorities at the bargaining table.
Any agreement reached by our coalition and the county is subject to ratification by the individual bargaining units in the coalition. If we are able to reach an agreement with the county, we anticipate giving you the opportunity to vote on the MLA this fall.
In yesterday’s bargaining session, the county responded to our proposal from last week with a complete counterproposal. We asked for clarification on several issues and discussed a number of topics, including union recognition, union bulletin board usage, safety gear, safety allowances, after-hours support, holidays, vacation leave, bereavement leave, parental leave, jury duty, reclassification, comp time, and many others.
In general, with all of these topics, the county is interested in standardizing as much contractual language as possible to gain efficiencies and streamline small table bargaining. Our interest as coalition is in preserving the best of the hard-fought language improvements contained in the myriad of union contracts across the county.
This has been a long and challenging process. Thank you to our bargaining committee members for the tremendous work and sacrifice they have made during these negotiations.
Next week is our final scheduled bargaining session with the county. We should have a better idea where things stand after that meeting. If you have questions about MLA bargaining, please contact your bargaining committee member or talk to your union representative.