Seeking same benefits as others

For those following the plight of the court clerks, here are some clarifications on what we are asking for. The decision to leave our former union to form our own association was not easy nor was it taken lightly. We have lost the security of and many of the benefits from our former contract. We accept this.

The majority of clerks are women and are some of the lower paid Snohomish County employees. Our wages start at $13.127 an hour and top out at $18.952 an hour. We have five steps in our wage scale and receive no merit raises. The only raises we see are the cost of living adjustments that are generally bargained away so we only receive a fraction of that percentage. We are not asking for wage increases or for free medical. We are asking for the same medical premiums with the same employee cap and cost of living increase given to the other county employees.

Instead of agreeing to a contract that is already favorable to the county, County Executive Aaron Reardon continues to waste taxpayer dollars and drag this out in litigation. Because we are 537 days without a contract, and because the county is not bargaining in good faith with the clerks, the clerks have been forced to file multiple unlawful labor practice complaints with the state, which means more tax dollars wasted on litigation. Why is the county continuing to drag its heels and spend tax dollars on litigation rather than just allowing the clerks to have the same medical benefits and cost of living raise given to other county employees? Why has our livelihood become a game of politics? Why don’t the clerks deserve the same benefits as other county employees? Why, Executive Reardon?

This we cannot accept.

Michelle Strohrmann

Clerk’s Office Employee and

President of the Snohomish County Clerks’ Association

Everett

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