Port Commission approves salary raise for Local 47B union members

16 articles of Local 47B’s contract have been agreed upon so far


Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Local 47B are getting a raise. The Port of Olympia Commission authorized a memorandum of understanding on Monday, October 23, to raise the salary of Local 47B members by 4%, effective November 1. The same employees will also receive another 4% salary raise starting January 1.

Rob Rose from Local 47B, which represents employees at the port’s maintenance facility, marina, and boatyard, already signed on to the memorandum along with port management on October 11.

HR Director Ben McDonald, who briefed the commission about the memorandum, told the commission that the raise was a step of good faith to keep the negotiation process moving and to acknowledge the progress achieved so far.

Local 47B has been bargaining with the port for a contract since July 2022, with the two parties now in mediation through the aid of the Public Employment Relations Commission since March of this year. McDonald said that 16 articles of Local 47B’s contract have been agreed upon so far.

All three Port Commissioners expressed their commendations to Port of Olympia staff and Local 47B, stating that the raise was a move in the right direction.

“It's great to see the pride that our team takes. It requires creativity and everyone assuming positive intent, which is what the whole team is doing. So thanks to Local 47B and staff for getting us moving in the right direction,” said Commission Chair Amy Evans Harding.

Debby Pattin, who chairs the port’s citizen advisory committee but remarked on the topic independently, also expressed her support for the salary raise during public comments.

“I know that some people may say that if workers don't like their current pay, they can go find another job. But if local 47B workers left the port for other jobs, the port would lose their experience and their skills…  I think it's far better, in my opinion, to give these workers a raise in November and in January as per the memorandum of understanding,” Pattin said.


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