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Support Pierce Co. employees struggling to get a fair contract

Amid proposed wage freezes, county workers will picket today in Tacoma. Sign a message of support!


TACOMA (May 17, 2022) — All union members and community supporters of quality public services in Pierce County are urged to show their support for the county’s employees who are struggling to get a fair contract.

TAKE A STAND — Members of Teamsters Locals 117 and 313, IBEW 483, PROTEC17 and AFSCME Local 120 will conduct an informational picket TODAY (Tuesday, May 17) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the County City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. in Tacoma. All are invited to participate.

You can also show your support by signing this message to Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier urging him to stop trying to freeze wages and negotiate a fair contract that recognizes county employees’ hard work amid the COVID pandemic and skyrocketing inflation.

For more information, download and share this flyer that will be handed out at today’s picket.


The following is from Teamsters Local 117:

When Pierce County proposed wage freezes for its workers, Shari Carter, an Office Assistant Supervisor at the Assessor Treasure’s office was shocked and dismayed. The union has been in bargaining with Pierce County since fall of 2021, but the county has yet to put forth a fair contract proposal for its workers. Now Teamsters’ patience is running out.

In 2017, the county has spent a quarter million dollars to conduct a study that deemed Shari and 14 of her co-workers, predominantly women and many people of color, undeserving of a raise. Since then, the world has changed with the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the nation. Many county workers stayed home to work remotely, but Shari and her team could not. They went to work every day, interacting with Pierce County residents who still needed their expert help figuring out the regulations and property taxes. They also picked up extra work from folks who were able to stay home during COVID.

“I love helping people and working with the public, and we’re under great pressure to get things right. We deal with state laws and regulations. People depend on us to figure complex calculations,” said Carter, who has worked with the county for 21 years.

Then inflation hit. Along with other Washingtonians, Shari watched prices skyrocket to the largest 12-month cost-of-living increase in 40 years. Meanwhile, her team was working overtime with no overtime pay. As the County Executive, Bruce Dammeier, insists on freezing her wages, Carter feels like it’s the last straw:

“It is frustrating to see the county not valuing our contribution to the public and not being concerned about our families and wellbeing. They are relying on an outdated study to hurt our livelihoods. I am a single mom, and I have bills to pay.”

Office assistants are not the only Pierce County Teamsters denied a fair contract. From accountants, to the forensic investigators, to the legal department, Teamsters covered by Pierce County contract maintain parks and public facilities and even do outreach to veterans. Now they are raising their voice against the callousness of County Executive Dammeier and organizing a picketing action on Tuesday, May 17 to fight for their dignity and bring awareness to their struggle. You can join them at 11 a.m. at the County City Building, 930 Tacoma Ave. in Tacoma.

“The County Exec needs to go back and reassess our work at our current point in time, not using outdated figures,” Carter said. “I will be on the picket line to let him know that we deserve a fair contract!”

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!