LOCAL 2617 - Kent, Washington

·      President – Sara Wood - Police
·      Vice President – Marla Pinelli
·      Chief Steward – Kathleen Etheredge – Finance
·      Secretary – Joan Broom
·      Treasurer – Joe Bartlemay – Finance
·      Trustees -  Bonnie Coleman and Jean Anderson
·      E-board at Large – Sheldon Page & Tyler Busik

The City of Kent is facing challenging economic times and we unfortunately lost five more AFSCME employees (one was able to transfer to another position) and one vacant AF position on 12/5.   As soon as the State of Washington completes their budget reductions, we could be looking at another large reduction in revenues with a possible Phase 2 of layoffs. 
We have completed very difficult contract negotiations and ratified our contract for 2012-2013.  We used the collaborative bargaining method for the first time and we are happy to report that it went very well; lots of great ideas and discussion.  We started the process with hope, but by September 2011, we were hearing there was no money.  We fought hard and our staff representative, Ethan Fineout was a terrific leader. 
It was very difficult to deliver the news of no COLA’s for 2012 and 2013, but the good news is our medical premiums only increased by 5% in 2012 and no increase in 2013.  The city also provided us with two more non-compensated personal days off for both 2012 and 2013.  There were also gains in a few non-economic areas. 
We are relieved that negotiations are over and we are all hanging on until the State makes their final decisions. 
The Local 2617 Negotiations Team 
Happy New Year! 

Stewards Corner

Many of you know that most Stewards don’t get paid, spend a lot of our own time working on issues, and get blamed from both sides whenever something inevitably goes wrong. In Local 2617 we have a Stewards Committee that consists of the Chief Steward and a group of Stewards and our Staff Representative. We usually get together weekly to discuss labor issues, as well as any possible grievances or situations that could lead to a grievance. Once a grievance occurs, a Steward or Stewards are assigned to the case and they keep the group apprised of all grievance hearings, issues, etc. The group brainstorms issues and together we come up with innovative ideas to meet the challenges that Union Employees often face in today’s workplace.
In the near future you will be meeting one of our Stewards along with a little information about them and what keeps them dedicated to fighting for workers rights. Be on the lookout for our first featured Steward soon. 
Conference Fun

From left to right: Lynn Weatherill, Kathleen Etheredge, Tammy McQueeney, Dori Tolbert and Barbara Haney at AFSCME Legislative Conference weekend 2009.

From left to right: Barbara Haney, Tammy McQueeney, Lisa Brown, Rosalie Givens, Kathleen Etheredge and Dori Tolbert at AFSCME Legislative Conference weekend 2008.