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Chelan County Employees Disatisfied with Teamsters Union Representation

November 05, 2009


Chelan County employees apparently don’t want to be represented by the Teamsters Union and have filed a petition with the state for union decertification. The group’s spokesman, Robert Scoville filed the petition with the State Public Employment Relations Commission. The timing of the petition comes at a time when County Department heads make plans to lay off employees due to budget cuts. Scoville also said the employees are dissatisfied with the way the Union has worked with the County during the current budget discussions. He says the group wants to form its own collective bargaining unit. The decertification petition was filed on October 21st and Scoville says he expects a rank and file vote on the matter soon. There are currently 163 employees represented by the Teamsters. They work in various departments including building and planning, public works, juvenile detention, the Auditors, Clerks and Treasurer offices among others.


Chelan County union issues

I think that it needs to be said that a former commissionor is the one who told the employees to form a union in order to get anywhere with raises other departments were receiving. which we did. All departments are not treated equally.
Robert you have been asked questions regarding your association, we are still waiting for the answers. The newer employees do not know what it can be like without the union. The county employees need answers, if you can't provide them why would we even consider voting for an association??


Chelan County Employees Union Decertification

Spoken like a true union employee Paul.
If the Chelan County Commissioners are refusing to include you in the discussions then why are we paying the union $88,000 per year to represent us?
As for “lies and distortions” Just because you say things Paul, doesn’t make them true. Like the rumor you started that we were working with the commissioners to decertify the union in exchange for our department budget not being cut. I heard that from two different employees. I’m surprised not by the fact that you started such a ridiculous rumor but that some employees actually believed it.
And then there was the one you started spreading about how we had formed an association for just our department and that each department would have to form their own. There again, who would believe such garbage. The power would come from us all being in one large association.
The reason you don’t have any answers to your questions regarding our association is because it doesn’t involve you. We have and will continue to discuss it with employees, in person, face to face.
As for people having forgotten the “abuses of the past” before the union, let me remind everyone that I was here then and Paul was not!
If Paul was so sure that a majority of the employees are still in favor of the union, why did he rush through a second vote on a contact offer suggesting that it was all he could get and the commissioners would not budge any farther when it was the same exact contract that he suggested the employees vote down just two weeks before rather than continue forward with the mediation that he had planned. Of course they said they wouldn’t budge, it’s called a negotiating tactic Paul! The truth is you wanted to get a contract voted in before we got our decertification vote.
And if you’re so sure about your majority then why are you trying to delay the decertification vote even further with the Unfair Labor Practice complaint that you filed against the County for which the state then had to issue a deficiency notice back to you because, and I quote from that notice, “The complaint is defective”. Our legal consultant said it’s a standard union delaying tactic.
Finally, why do you think it ill-conceived for employees to want to represent themselves.
We obviously have our own best interest in mind as opposed to you who put our own interests second to your continued paycheck from our dues.
Robert Scoville
Chelan County Employee

The Chelan County Employee Association that is not

Dear Mr. Scoville and other disaffected association members,

I am a true Union employee, thank you.

If you were wishing to address the fact that you lied and I caught you, well, you didn't do it. You put out information that is untrue, end of story, well, not quite.

You go on to say that I fabricated rumors. I did not. While I have heard those rumors, I cannot substantiate them and did not pass them along. It does not surprise me that there would be rumors though, that tends to happen when people aren't given any information, which leads us to your "association"

Mr. Scoville, people that you would supposedly be representing have asked you numerous pertinent questions regarding the plans of the association and you have not responded to them. I don't care that you don't respond to me, but you need to be open with your would be constituents. All along you and your cohorts have implied that the "association" would replace the Union and as such there would be a dues rate, legal representation, etc.

You need to apologize to all of those people you tried to dupe with your misrepresentation. You admitted over the phone that your group is not seeking to certify itself as a legal entity that has any authority to represent employees. In effect your group has nothing, no authority, no contract, no dues, no members, no officers, no by-laws, no protections of any kind. You would have these employees be in an "at-will" status.

You made the comment, "Of course they said they wouldn’t budge, it’s called a negotiating tactic Paul!"
I find that amusing Robert. Please share what information you have with the County, I am quite certain they would like your input on where to find the hidden money right now. At a time when people are being laid off I think you are well aware of the financial situation.

You also said, "Finally, why do you think it ill-conceived for employees to want to represent themselves?" That's the wrong question Robert. The question is, why do I think your plan is ill-conceived? For starters, there was no plan. You have had the last three years to establish a plan, to have meetings, to voice your disapproval, but your group has not elected to do any of those things. I should not have said "ill-conceived" because that implies there was a plan and it was just laid out poorly, the reality is that there is no plan.

Currently your group is barring me from negotiating with the County. I can not work with employees and management to try and avoid layoffs. I'll let you explain to them why they may not have jobs in the near future.

You stated it best, "We obviously have our own best interest in mind..." Yes you do Robert and that is unfortunate. You should be thinking about more than yourselves and your own little isolated world.

Chelan County

While there are some employees who aren't happy, the fact is that they do not represent the majority and those that are unhappy would be so under any professional association. Mr. Scoville has no idea even how the Union has been working with the County as neither he or is cohorts have made any attempt to become involved. Mr. Scoville would have people believe that the Union is doing nothing during these difficult times which is simply not the truth. The truth is that the Chelan County commissioners, namely Ron Walter, want to make unilateral decisions and really have no interest in having us at the table for discussions over solutions. That is just the way they operate, one does not have much further to look than what has happened with attempts to reconcile the Regional Jail issues with other entities.
It is unfortunate that the ones wishing to decertify had to rely on lies and distortions to further their efforts. People are starting to see through that and to realize that this "association" is ill-conceived, poorly timed, self-serving, and has no substance. The "association" has been asked to identify its officers, address whether they have any by laws, to let people know what their dues rate will be, and just how they plan on representing its members. There has not been a single answer to any of these questions and these people have either forgotten or don't know the history of Chelan County and the abuses of the past prior to having representation. Simply ask those that have been at the County for some time, they will tell you.

Paul Parmley
Business Representative
Teamsters Local 760

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