Local 1488 Newsletter

Washington Federation of State Employees • AFSCME Council 28 • AFL-CIO

University of Washington / Harborview Medical Center

August 2011

Morgan Currier of United Students Against Sweatshops supports call center workers. Our delegation at Regents’ meeting.
Photos by Jamie Grady, Local 1488 Communications Committee

‘Drop the appeal!’
The powerful University of Washington Board of Regents and new UW President Michael Young welcomed a delegation of Local 1488 members to their 22nd floor meeting room July 21 as we urged the regents to drop the university’s appeal of the state order reinstating call center workers’ collective bargaining rights. The call center workers, formerly located at the UW-run Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, had their rights stripped last year when the university merged them with another call center operation in downtown Seattle. That Wisconsin-style action took away the UW Medical contact call center workers’ right to voice concerns about patient care because they could no longer file grievances or hold labor/management meetings. “We certainly want you to know we welcome your comments and you being here is most appreciated,” said Board of Regents Chairman Herb Simon to union members in attendance

UW Board of Regents welcome union members calling for justice on the UW Medical contact call center
these workers, to drop the appeal of the PERC decision and to allow our members to work in an environment of dignity and respect,” New UW President Michael Federation Young President Carol Dotlich told the regents. The Public Employment Relations Commission ordered the university to restore the call center workers’ bargaining rights. But on June 13 “the university appealed and because it’s in appeal are again denying these workers their collective bargaining rights,” Dotlich said.

and the millionaires and billionaires, captains of industry and philanthropists who make up the board. About 25 Federation members from as far away as Vancouver flanked Regina Pugh, Local 1488 the regents in their top-floor boardroom overlooking the campus and Lake Washington. While the atmosphere was cordial, the message was blunt about what the UW administration had done to the call center employees. “I come before you today to ask you on behalf of the 40,000 workers I represent to intervene and encourage the University of Washington leadership to honor the contract that rightfully covers

See REGENTS, Page 3

Local 1488 Newsletter


Legacy of Althea Lute lives on
CBTU chapter. Althea was born Feb. 5, 1951, in Seattle and attended Garfield High School prior to starting work at the UW on the night shift. She earned a degree from Seattle Central Community College. At the UW and Harborview Medical Center, Althea quickly became a shop steward – and later president for Local 1488. From there, Althea won election as WFSE/ AFSCME’s statewide vice president in 1992. She was the first African-American elected to hold that post. Within six months, she stepped down as VP and left her Harborview patient registration representative position to take a job as an organizer with WFSE/AFSCME. She eventually became organizing director and then legislative and political action field coordinator. Over the years in all her different union jobs, Lute became the “go-to” person to coordinate numerous job actions and rallies. “I was able to show members they had the power, they could take on the boss when dealing with labor-management issues…,” she said in 2006. “They could see what they could do by standing up and fighting back. That’s really what kept me going all those years.” She retired from the union in 2006 after 13 years. When she retired, she said: “I never say, ‘Goodbye,’ I say, ‘See you later.’” Althea was loved by all, a mentor to hundreds and her tireless devotion has left its mark on thousands of state employees past, present and future. She will be missed.

here was no greater champion for Local 1488 members than Althea Lute, who came to work for the UW in 1972, earned her college degree and devoted her life to improving the lives of UW and all state employees. Althea died June 22 at Swedish Hospital in Seattle from complications from diabetes and kidney disease. She was 60. In her long career at the UW and working for the Washington Federation of State Employees, Althea left her mark on organizing, direct action and grassroots political mobilization. In her final days, she visited with dozens of old friends and co-workers and simply asked them to pray for her. Services were held July 2 at Greater Mount Baker Baptist Church. The Coalition of Black Trade Unionists will have a special tribute to Althea at their annual banquet Sept. 3 at the Machinists Hall, 9125 15th Place S., Seattle, WA 98108. If you’re interested, contact Jacquie Jones-Walsh at (206) 772-2079, or Mari Wyatt at (206) 721-2266. Althea was a former president of the local



Local 1488 Newsletter

Our contract (Article 9.5[c]) allows us to have bulletin boards at our worksites. But our bulletin boards are only as good as the material we put on them. That’s why your Local 1488 Communications Committee has created the BULLETIN BOARD BUILDERS program.

We’re trying to find out where all our union bulletin boards are located. More importantly, we need member volunteers to take bulletin board materials we send to you and post them on the bulletin board nearest you.
This is one of our union bulletin boards at Health Sciences.

If you’re interested in being a BULLETIN BOARD BUILDER: • email us at organize@afscme1488.org; or • call Carol Dotlich at (253) 985-3280.

Our delegates represented us at Labor Council
We need our voice heard at the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO, which decides many issues affecting working families. Our Local 1488 delegates at the recent Aug. 4-6 WSLC Convention in Seatac were (from left): Jesse Dailey, John Miller and (inset) Jamie Grady.

REGENTS, continued from page 1
“We’ve been through a lot,” call center member Regina Pugh told the Board of Regents. “We’ve been stripped of things, but our main focus is our patients.”

Call Center members hand out 1,000+ PAC leaflets at SeaFair.

Local 1488 Newsletter
Washington Federation of State Employees AFSCME Council 28 1212 Jefferson St. S.E., Suite 300 Olympia, WA 98501

Local 1488 Calendar

Other upcoming events:
Aug. 20 - Local 1488 Summer Picnic @ Lincoln Park, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 26 and 27 -- August Local 1488 Meetings Sept. 9-10 - (tentative) UW-only Steward Training. Call the Seattle Field Office @ (206) 525-5363 Sept. 16-18 -- AFSCME Public Safety Congress, Houston, Texas Sept. 21-24 -- International Labor Communications Association, AFL-CIO, Convention, Seattle Sept. 30-Oct. 1 -- AFSCME Women’s Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin Oct. 7-9 -- Washington Federation of State Employees 44th Biennial Convention, Spokane
Local 1488 Administrators organize@afscme1488.org Local 1488 website: http://www.wfsec28.org/local1488/

August Local 1488 Membership Meetings:
11 a.m.-Noon Health Sciences Center Wing, Rm I-132 Friday, Aug. 26

4-6 p.m. Haborview R&T Bldg, Rooms 117 & 121 9 am.-Noon Seattle Labor Temple - Hall 6 2800 First Avenue, Seattle

Saturday, Aug. 27

Seattle Field Office (206) 525-5363 • 1-800-924-5754

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