Local 872: Taco plates and contract debates

Nothing can stop WFSE Local 872 from getting together to envision a better contract — not even a swarm of chile-verde-hungry yellow jackets!

Thanks to everyone who came out for Taco Tuesday on the Lacey Ecology Building lawn on Sept. 12! Although the yellow jackets were buzzing around the food, there was even more buzz about new bargaining ideas for the next contract cycle.

Members shared some great thoughts and proposals on sticky notes: How about a 32 hour work week? Shouldn’t administrative professionals get paid fairly for their massive workloads? What about hazard pay for herbicide application? Shouldn’t we be able to use bereavement leave for the people we are closest to, rather than a short list of family?

All these intriguing and exciting proposal ideas and more were discussed over a delicious taco and enchilada spread catered by Ramirez Mexican Restaurant in Tumwater and served by member volunteers. It was great to see everyone’s smiling faces together to discuss our next collective steps.

If you missed out on the Taco Tuesday event, you might be wondering — didn’t we just start a new contract? Isn’t that why I got a raise on July 1? Why are we talking about bargaining again so soon?

Well, this iteration of the WFSE contract covers the period from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2025, and it takes nearly two years to propose, bargain, support, pass, and enact another one. Even though we just started our current contract, bargaining for the next contract is right around the corner!

The next steps in the bargaining process include:

  • Collecting contract proposals like those shared at Taco Tuesday to develop a list of bargaining demands
  • Nominating your bargaining team who will represent your interests at the bargaining table
  • Mobilizing your colleagues to join the union to maximize our bargaining power!

For those of you who didn’t make it to the event, don’t worry! There are plenty of resources to get you caught up on the process. If you are interested in learning more about the contract bargaining process, head on over to the WFSE Bargaining Info page. If you would like to submit a contract proposal for consideration in the bargaining process, you can find that at WFSE Contract Proposals.

For anyone who submitted a sticky note with a wonderful contract proposal — thank you for sharing your ideas! But also, don’t forget to share them in an official contract proposal so that your brilliant ideas can be considered by the bargaining team.

Stay tuned for the next Local 872 event. We hope to see you there!

And don’t forget to stay safe out there! The yellow jackets— and union busters — are active!