Port of Olympia extends contract of law firm aiding in union negotiations


The Port of Olympia Commissioned authorized a contract extension with the law firm supporting the port with union negotiations on Monday, February 26.

The contract is with CSD Attorneys-at-Law, formerly Chmelik Sitkin & Davis. CSD is assisting the port in negotiations with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 47B, the union representing the marina and boatyard employees. The firm is currently supporting the port in mediation sessions with the union.

Human Resources Director Ben McDonald said that CSD will also provide legal counsel to the upcoming renegotiations for the contract of Local47A, which is the union of marine terminal maintenance employees.

The terms of the amended contract run through December 2025, while its not-to-exceed amount increased by $50,000.

The original contract was a letter of engagement prepared by CSD and approved under the executive director’s authority in 2022 with a contract value of $50,000. The JOLT previously reported that the contract was amended last year to raise the not-to-exceed amount to $100,000.

Port staff originally requested increasing the not-to-exceed amount by another $100,000; however, Commissioner Jasmine Vasavada expressed in a meeting two weeks ago that she was more comfortable increasing the contract amount to just $50,000 or less.

In this week’s meeting, Vasavada motioned to approve the contract amendment with a not-to-exceed amount of $25,000, but no other commissioner seconded the motion.

“I really think it's very important that we have just a short-term solution while we wait to onboard an executive director,” Vasavada said, adding, “I do believe it's important that we get back in the room to negotiate, not rely too heavily on an extended contract.”

Commissioner Amy Evans Harding asked whether $25,000 would be enough, McDonald said he could not tell for sure.

Harding expressed that she appreciated Vasavada's desire to continue negotiations but said she wanted to reflect $50,000 in the new contract to move away from CSD’s letter of engagement.

A contract amendment of $25,000 would also not have needed the commission’s approval and would have fallen under the executive director’s delegated authority.


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  • Boatyarddog

    Local 47b needs to get back to the table, they are not too busy to speak for themselves.

    Contract extensions and delays are old tactics used in previous times.

    Friday, March 1 Report this