opportunity, as a green light, to attack our wages, benefits, working conditions, and manning levels. Budgets are aboutmaking decisions and management's utter contempt for IBU and other union represented employees is now quite clear in view of this recent history. In short, it has marked the beginning of their union busting war against us.Since our previous arbitrated contract award was voided by OFM, the law required us to go back to the table with theLabor Relation's Office (LRO) and reopen our contract negotiations. Everything in that award, and a lot more, was upfor grabs. We had to settle to Gregoire's satisfaction, per the OFM, or else we would be fighting to prevent Haugenand her minions from legislating (converting our entire cba into state law) a far worse contract including the loss of seniority, the right to collectively bargain, as well as a reduction in wages and benefits. After TA-ing on a number of issues to prevent the nightmare from Haugen etc., the final issue that needed to be resolved was manning aboard WSFvessels. They demanded COI aboard every vessel. The compromise MOU that was signed by all three marine unions,was for all four parties to go before the USCG to present our respective arguments and have them rule on what theappropriate manning levels should be. This happened in the 11
hour of negotiations with the LRO. Not only did wenot have the time to vote the membership on any of these issues, we were in a position of either working out acompromise or having Mary Margaret Haugen write us a contract of her choosing in a “title only” Senate bill.Despite all this misdirected animosity, it's important to point out that we did have help in Olympia. A number of members in the House and Senate went above and beyond to thwart the worst of the legislative attacks against us.Representative Mike Sells from District 38 and members of his Labor and Workforce Development Committee in theHouse led the effort. We can't thank them enough. Be sure to support Mike and the members of his committee in their re-election bids this November 6
(Our endorsement list will be out soon). We also had a tremendous amount of support from the labor community around us and organizations like Jobs With Justice and other community groupsthat realize the lopsided regressive tax structure in this state has been a disaster waiting to happen.
What followed in this past year was a blatantly dishonest attempt by George Capacci to manipulate the wording fromthe original MOU in a new letter to the USCG to begin the manning review process. Drafts went back and forth inwhich the marine unions would not sign. Eventually Mosely signed a letter and unilaterally sent it to the USCG which put the review process in motion. The unions wrote the USCG objecting to this and were surprised when Moselyinformed us that they would be implementing new reduced manning aboard the three classes of vessels currentlyoperating at COI since the start of the summer schedule.
ENOUGH ONE-SIDED SACRIFICE
Dedicated employees like you have sacrificed plenty to help save the state during an economic catastrophe none of you caused. Since even before the Governor declared an economic emergency in 2008, you’ve given up much to savethe state. Increases in health insurance premiums and more than 11 percent in wages have been sacrificed whileworkloads have now gone up due to the reduction in manning
on both the docks and the vessels
. The ferry unionslearned recently that the legislated reduction of 3% to all state employees since July 1
2011 was mitigated with amonthly temporary salary reduction (TSR) leave of 5.2 hours. Thousands of general government employees weregiven this TSR Leave. WSF represented employees had to take the 3% cut, yet were never even offered the TSR Leave in negotiations. In addition those same general government employees do not have the 3% cut applied to anyovertime hours. WSF represented employees do. Since we were the first to sacrifice our hard earned compensation,falling further behind the state's wage and benefit survey for our industry, shouldn't we be the first to be made whole?
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Please join your union's effort to sound the alarm on this assault on safety and good judgment. Start by showing your solidarity and proudly and prominently wearing our contract campaign buttons
“IBU Will S.T.R.I.K.E. for Safety”
“Ferry Workers United”
. Wearing these buttons is not a campaign in and of itself. It merely showsmanagement that we are going on offense and getting organized. They don't like it when we're organized. It makesthem nervous. If our campaign needs to become a fight for our recent cba arbitration award with OFM or thelegislature this winter, we'll be ready because WE RUN THE FERRIES! This of course is not an invitation to strikefor that would be illegal for state ferry employees per
RCW 47.64.140 -Strikes, work stoppages, and lockouts prohibited.(1)
It is unlawful for any ferry system employee or any employee organization, directly or indirectly, to induce,instigate, encourage, authorize, ratify, or participate in a strike or work stoppage against the ferry system.