Community College Coalition bargaining update

Community College of Spokane members at June 25 Solidarity BBQ for fair contracts for all WFSE Higher Education and General Government members.

Community College of Spokane members at June 25 Solidarity BBQ for fair contracts for all WFSE Higher Education and General Government members.

The coalition bargaining team for 12 Community Colleges met June 25 in Olympia and June 26 on the Tacoma Community College campus, with the team working hard on contract language and answering management questions.

Compensation will be discussed at the next bargaining session.

The team reached tentative agreement on two articles: Article 37 – Mandatory Subjects; and Article 54 – Terms of Agreement.

Here’s the team’s full report:

Your bargaining team has spent the last two days working hard on getting articles agreed on.  Our first day started out with management coming to the table with only questions on the proposals that we passed to the last time we met, and no proposals to pass to us.  We were also notified that compensation will be discussed the next time we meet, so keep looking for that update.  Our team spent the rest of the day getting answers to their questions, and getting proposals to pass onto them.   That afternoon we were invited to listen to the Budget presentation, the same that is being passed onto us by the heads of our colleges.  We can help explain what all that means and how it will change as time goes by, so feel free to ask one of your bargaining team to explain it.
The second day we had their answers and clarifications for them on some of the items that they brought up.  We have been able to TA on 2 articles: Article 37 Mandatory Subjects and Article 54 Terms of Agreement.  We have also exchanged a few more articles.  Once management left us, we spent several hours preparing more articles for future TAing (which means tentative agreement).
While we were on the Tacoma Community College campus Thursday, we were fortunate to be invited to join their Lunch and Learn.  We explained the whole process of what goes on in bargaining and why it is important to stay informed.  We explained what we were asking for and the whole history of our past financial losses.  It was a great opportunity for the staff there to see who we were, to listen to what has been said on both sides, to ask us questions and tell us what their concerns are.
Unfortunately, we may not have the pleasure to do this on all of our campuses, so that is one of the reasons we will be having support teams being developed on each and every one of our campuses!  Hopefully, you’ll all step forward and take part in any job actions that are planned as we sit at the table representing you!  Feel free to keep asking one of your bargaining team questions, and attend any of the Lunch and Learns held on your campuses!
The next time we meet will be July 10th and 11th, and they have said they will talk compensation!  So, keep wearing your green on bargaining days we need your support and we need your participation to remind management that we, as classified staff, are more members than who they see sitting at the other sides of the table.
If you can, find a red coke can and write on it- “It’s COLA time!”, and place that on your desk or in your work site.

Here are a few insights from the members of your team:
“It is an experience everyone can benefit from- working with management once they get serious about the issues our members want addressed.”  Orson Williamson, Seattle CC’s      Side note:  Orson has been involved in getting a strike committee group started at his Local over the past several months, getting serious support and involvement from his members.
“I feel we have impressed on management how serious the issue of compensation is to us.  It is now up to them to give us a serious proposal on compensation.” Jerry Owens, Shoreline CC
“As a union, all of us are at the table!  If we want to succeed, we must participate!  Contact your legislators, and ask for their support.”  Cheryl Kimbel, Centralia CC

(Thanks to Community College Coalition Bargaining Team Communications Officer Laura Little for this update on behalf of the team.)


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