Dept. of Corrections Corner

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WFSE Corrections Wins Multi-Million Settlement
Questions about the FOP? 
Probation & Parole Press NEW ISSUE
Workload Job Action
2023-25 Contract Hightlights
Upcoming DOC Meetings
Legislative News 
WMS Union Organizing
WFSE Public Safety Protection Program
Our Team


There's a lot going on for WFSE Department of Correction Members:

  • An arbitration award resulting in significant raises for our 2023-25 contract
  • Workload concerns
  • Important legislation
  • Get involved - If you're interested in Demand to Bargain, please email the MCC at [email protected]
  • And much more

Find everything you need here in the Corrections Corner.


WFSE Corrections Employees Win Multi-Million Settlement

Three union grievances, hundreds of letters, and a statewide petition result in $2k cash payment for all employees in 2023 and a retention bonus of 3% in 2024 for those deemed “essential” by DOC.

Download the settlement flyer here.

Estimated to be over $6 million, the settlement is one of the largest grievance settlements in WFSE’s 80-year history. 

Essential is defined as those who have successfully completed CCOA or CORE or whose position requires the completion of Community Corrections Officer Academy (CCOA) training or Correctional Worker Core Academy training. Members must volunteer and be within the bargaining unit on the last day of the fiscal year. The 3% essential pay will be earned in 2024 and paid at the end of the fiscal year in 2025 as a bonus.

WFSE-represented DOC employees should receive the $2,000 by December 11, 2023 “allowing for any time constraints imposed by law or the state payroll system,” per the agreement.

DOC Statewide Support Staff Meeting
Thu, December 14, 12pm – 1pm
Please registering here for our Support Staff Meeting
The Agenda will include:

  • Q & A about the settlement
  • Next Steps for DOC Support Staff
  • Current Workplace Issues


Questions about the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP)?

Petition Dismissed: FOP Lacks Minimum Support Among DOC Employees - Read the decision here.

Open Comparison Chart

Open Comparison Chart

Most DOC employees want a strong, member-run union where they can play a role in advocating for their safety at work and ensure financial security for themselves and their families.

But a small group of DOC employees have requested to change union representation from WFSE/AFSCME Council 28 to the Washington Assoc of Fraternal Order of Police (WAFOP).

We are committed to sharing and dispersing critical information to all DOC represented employees about what each organization has to offer—resources, structure, accomplishments, and more—because this is a critical decision and facts are needed.

Our perspective is clear: there is no scenario in which being represented by WAFOP would be a positive step forward for DOC employees.

The lack of resources, structure, political clout and knowledge about DOC are too great for a small organization like WAFOP to be successful. They currently represent less than 500 law enforcement members in Washington under a union contract.

Most concerning is the lack of oversight DOC employees would have in their union if they join WAFOP. That’s because there’s a difference between a union and a fraternal order.

Unlike the Teamsters, Longshoremen, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, WFSE, etc., WAFOP is not a part of the AFL-CIO (12 million members) or the Washington State Labor Council (500,000 members).

The structure of the FOP would not allow for participation by all DOC employees. Only sworn law enforcement officers are eligible to hold office and vote, according to the FOP’s constitution. This would place all non-law enforcement officers at DOC in a second-class position where they wouldn’t have the voice or ability to represent themselves and their co-workers at the bargaining table and beyond.

A lot of strange things can happen when a union functions like a social club – when members are not truly in control.

If you encounter a co-worker that is supporting WAFOP, or if you go to a WAFOP meeting, ask them:

  • Would all DOC employees have the right to participate in WAFOP by holding office and voting on contracts?

  • How many members in Washington state are covered under a union contract negotiated by WAFOP?

  • Would WAFOP bill me for legal representation if I’m a non-member?

  • Has WAFOP ever negotiated its own contract?

  • Why would I have to make an “Oath of Obligation” to the FOP? If I am expelled from membership for breaking the oath, would I still be represented equally under the contract?

  • How much money is actually given to police officers and their families by the WAFOP Memorial Foundation? Has any legal action been taken against the WAFOP Memorial Foundation?

What’s next?

On March 28th, the WCCA/FOP filed a petition with the Public Employee Relations Commission (PERC) to change representation as the exclusive bargaining representative from our union, Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE). On April 5th, the employer Department of Corrections (DOC), provided PERC, WFSE and the WCCA/FOP with a list of all the names of all DOC staff that would be covered by the group (1,047 in total). On April 7th, PERC issued a deficiency notice to the FOP stating their petition appeared to lack the required 30% of showing of interest cards (315 minimum) in order to proceed to an election. PERC then gave the FOP 14 days to respond to PERC to attempt to address this deficiency. 

On April 21 the WCCA/FOP responded to PERC. Their response included a list of DOC employees’ names that they believe were either incorrectly included, or excluded from the DOC list originally. On April 25th, PERC requested that the DOC look into the names listed by the WCCA/FOP and respond with an update as to their current employment status. PERC gave DOC 14 days to respond. PERC will then review the information provided to determine next steps. 

What does this mean? As of today, PERC will hold off on scheduling any potential change in representational election until they are able to determine if the WCCA/FOP submitted a valid, correct petition to do so, following PERC rules and the applicable state laws.

Over the coming months we will make sure we share accurate, up-to-date information on all of the election details and processes.

You deserve to have your questions and concerns addressed fully by both organizations and we look forward to an open and honest conversation about the critical issues facing DOC employees.

Ton Johnson

Law Enforcement Labor Advocate/DOC

Probation & Parole Press

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Open or Print the Current Issue, February 2024

Read Issue 2, July 2023

Read Issue 1, April 2023

Workload Job Action

Despite our collective efforts to manage workload and the implementation of mitigation strategies, we are experiencing another surge in workload. The fact remains: the requirements of the work exceed the resources allocated to be successful in completing the requirements set forth in policy. Exacerbating that is the complexity of jurisdictions, the lack of violator confinement, and frustration related to the employee classification system which simply is unfair.

Our union, the Washington Federation of State Employees, and the DOC Administration worked collaboratively with the Legislature to achieve funding for a long overdue workload study. This will be the first time since 2004 we will true-up the staffing model with resource allocation. Unfortunately, that relief will not come soon enough.

That’s why we are taking action, as a union.

What can you do?

1)     Review this letter regarding workload, and if it is accurate and reflective of your current work situation, we ask that you print a copy, sign it, and request it be placed in your supervisory file to document your workload issues.

2)     Complete this union survey to help us gather information on your current workload. This information will help us better document and advocate for improvements around workload with management.

If you receive pushback or concern from your management regarding your request to place this letter in your supervisory file, please do not hesitate to contact your Law Enforcement Labor Advocate Ton Johnson ASAP.

DOC 2023-25 Contract Highlights 

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Get to know your delegates and share your voice at the table.

Region 1 & 2 Delegates: Bill Copland, Anthony Perkins, Jon Oglesby, Max Henderson, Tiffany Filan

Region 3, 4 & 7 Delegates: Matthew Braithwaite, Robert Entler, Brian Henry-Walters, Jessica Colleran

Region 5 & 6 Delegates: Jim Furchert, Zale Cordero, Loreli Smith, Kyle Tull, Nicole O’Hare, Doug Chaput

Click here to read the entire 2023 Contract Summary Overview.

Click to read the entire list of raises by job classification.

Find the rest of our contract here.

Click to read the entire list of raises by job classification.

Click here to learn more about the arbitration award and the remainder of our 2023-25 contract.

Questions? Attend an upcoming meeting by RSVPing at one of the links below. 

Legislative Priorities

Take Action on our 2024 Legislative Session Priority Bills

See Our 2023 Legislative Wins

WFSE Public Safety Protection Program

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WFSE offers our law enforcement members a legal defense program, the Public Safety Protection Program, that is the same one offered by Washington FOP but at half the price with added benefits.

Learn more and sign up

Download this flyer to share with your coworkers

Our Team

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Ton Johnson,  WFSE Law Enforcement Labor Advocate & Lobbyist

Over 30 years of knowledge and experience advocating for Community Corrections workers in WA state. Former DOC Correctional Officer, Sergeant, Community Corrections Officer, Special Initiatives/Government Affairs Administrator CCD, Hearings Violations Administrator,  and Senior Operations Administrator. Responsible for the day to day interests of the Corrections Bargaining Unit.

Dennis Eagle, WFSE LPA Director

For over 20 years, Dennis has led efforts to support DOC members before the Legislature resulting in many victories, including protecting due-process for DOC over the last couple years and ensuring DOC officers were excluded from the law enforcement civil liability bill this year (HB 1025). Has access to leadership at the highest levels of government and routinely uses that access to advance DOC issues.

Kati Durkin, WFSE Lobbyist

Kati started with WFSE in December 2022. She has been  involved in labor and labor politics since 2019. As a legislative and political action lobbyist, Kati works with state lawmakers to advocate for every WFSE member’s needs and interests: getting contracts passed, stopping legislation that harms state employees, and passing new laws to expand benefits and improve workplace rights and conditions. Lawmakers constantly introduce legislation that impacts DOC and its employees. Kati and the LPA team is always on the lookout for those impacts and will fight to stop anything that harms our DOC members.

Brandon Anderson, WFSE Lobbyist

With over a decade of experience in state government and labor advocacy, Brandon’s experience includes extensive policy work related to public safety, pensions, and workforce development issues. Brandon’s expertise in these areas has allowed him to develop and advocate for state-level policies that build power for WFSE members and their families. Brandon holds a master’s degree in public administration & policy, and a bachelor’s in political science. His strong educational background, combined with his extensive experience, makes him a valuable asset to the WFSE’s legislative team. Brandon's dedication to advocating for the public employees is evident in his work, which involves analyzing state budgets, crafting new state policies, and building strong relationships with policymakers.

Herb Harris, WFSE PERC Manager

Herb has been an organizer and Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) Representative from 2002 to 2008, and WFSE's Manager of PERC Activities from 2009 to the present. His role is to be the point of contact for issues dealing with PERC. This includes Unfair Labor Practices (ULPs), Unit Clarifications, and Representation petitions. Herb works with outside legal counsel to help prosecute ULPs filed against state agencies including DOC. He also works with outside legal counsel in Unit Clarifications and with WFSE organizers when filing for new groups.  We file ULP’s to protect our bargaining unit work from being skimmed, contracted out, or when management does not bargain in good faith.

Herb worked with organizers filing new representation petitions for new groups at DOC, such as the Re-Entry division and adding food service workers to Community Corrections. He has filed ULP’s when DOC reallocated several CCS to HRC’s and tried to remove them from the bargaining unit. He also worked with DOC to clean up and redefine the Records Bargaining Unit.  Since 2004, Herb has filed 100’s of ULPs that protected our members work and the rights of our members to bargain and to support their union. WFSE is the only labor union that has someone who’s specific role is to interact with PERC.

Teresa Parsons, WFSE Class and Compensation Specialist

A 20-year state employee 9-year WFSE staff member, Teresa started her state career in office support positions. She understands the value of line staff and the critical roles of employees at every level contributing to an organization’s success. Her greatest asset is her knowledge of the state’s classification and compensation system, which she uses to write compensation proposals for bargaining. 

While at the state, Teresa worked for the former Personnel Appeals Board (now PRB) and OFM State Human Resources. She understands the issues from both an advocacy and human resources perspective and uses that knowledge to strongly advocate for our members. 

Teresa has worked with many member workgroups to build strong compensation proposals and has participated in negotiations and arbitration with the DOC bargaining team. She is so proud of the progress our members have made in the last several contracts. Our DOC members have a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and we have momentum. With strong member engagement, I believe we can build on that momentum to secure future achievements for our members.

Jen Thomas, WFSE Labor Negotiator

Jen is a former DOC WFSE member and 15-year shop steward. She has been on staff for 6 years. She worked as a lead CCO for DOC and was out-stationed with the Vancouver Police Department and then the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. She has carried every caseload, from sex offenders to dangerously mentally ill officers. She has filed a number of grievances going to arbitration with 0 losses and assisted in membership lobbying to fix bad legislation. She successfully pushed for Narcan availability for officers.

Ed Younglove, Legal Counsel

Representing organizations including the Washington Trial Lawyers Association and the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, Mr. Younglove has handled several large class action lawsuits in both state and federal courts. He handled one of the nation's largest gender discrimination cases and obtained a wage settlement of hundreds of millions of dollars. He has lived and practiced law in Olympia since 1974. 

Chris Coker, Use of Force Representation

A pro tem judge for the City of Olympia for much of his career, Mr. Coker has also worked as a prosecutor for the cities of Shelton, Montesano, Elma and elsewhere. He is well-versed in employment law and serves as DOC members' legal representation for WFSE's First Response Program, which provides counsel and representation for use of force incidents.

Greg Rhodes, Counsel

Sarah Smith, WFSE Arbitration Attorney

Sarah Smith is a former criminal defense and contract dispute attorney. While she is still in her first year at WFSE, she is a tireless advocate for people’s rights, and is taking over the in-house arbitrations for WFSE. Sarah knows the tough issues corrections and police officers face as a result of previously being on the other side of them in the courtroom. She believes listening to the Members is the biggest way to help them win their disputes.

Ron Heley, WFSE Arbitration Attorney

Has been working at WFSE for 6 years and has been active in organized labor since 1995.  Ron takes pride in knowing that we guide our members through legal processes that are often quite complex and nuanced to push back against management who have ill intent.

Jason Holland, WFSE Arbitration Attorney