Recently Settled
Updated On: Nov 18, 2021

Sudden Valley Community Association Ratify Historic First Contract

October 28, 2021:

Congratulations to the newest members of Teamsters Local 231! After nearly a year of negotiations, a group of 25 essential workers at Sudden Valley Community Association voted overwhelmingly to ratify their first-ever Agreement with Teamsters Local 231. The group had voted to become members of Teamsters Local 231 back in October of 2020. The workers who include Golf, Maintenance, Recreation, Accounting and Administration departments, will now enjoy the benefits of a strong Teamster contract that includes language normally found only in mature contracts. This agreement is an historic win, as it is the first group of Homeowners Association employees to be represented by Teamsters Local 231.

“We are extremely proud of the solidarity this entire group displayed throughout this process,” said Rich Ewing, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 231. “The new agreement will bring much needed stability, as well as many improvements to the working conditions and lives of these members.”

Wages will increase across the board, with guaranteed future increases built into the agreement. It also includes strong language governing non-economic issues like discipline, bargaining unit work protections and seniority.

Founded in 1909, Teamsters Local 231 represents 2,200 working men and women in Whatcom, Skagit, Island and Snohomish Counties.

Associated General Contractors: AGC 

Teamsters Local 231 is pleased to report that our coalition of local unions has ratified a three-year agreement with AGC. This agreement is historic. The total package increase is more than $10 per hour over the duration of the agreement. Among the many highlights that were achieved are: great wage increases on the check, full MOB including the RWT Plus XL, 8-hour guarantee for night shifts, and adding MLK holiday. There was a lot of hard work that went into this agreement by all parties involved and I would like to recognize our two union committee members, Barrie Salmonson and Michael Frickberg, I would also like to extend a big thanks to our Negotiations Chair, Rick Hicks (JC28 President), for a very well-orchestrated bargain. I believe this would not have been achievable without him at the helm.

Mount Vernon School District

On August 5th, Teamster bus drivers at Mount Vernon School District overwhelmingly ratified a two-year agreement. Highlights include language improvements, increased salary steps, and unprecedented raises of 7.5% the first year and potentially even more the second year!! Shout out to the amazing Bargaining Committee of Rose Flo-Banks (Teamster Local 231 Vice-President), Robin Paul, Laurie Hillman, Tamee Driver, and Tammy Force, and Bonnie Pierson. Strong contracts come from strong Bargaining Committees!

New 3-Year Contract at Americold Lynden:

On July 1, 2021, Americold-Lynden members unanimously approved a new 3-year successor agreement that provides substantial new pay raises, more paid time off, all while maintaining the solid health care package. A big thank you goes out to the Bargaining Committee of Shop Steward-Jerry Scholten, Business Agent-Jennifer Thompson, and Business Agent-Gunnar Birkeland for achieving the improved contract after a 7-month virtual negotiation.

Bellingham Cold Storage Teamsters Ratify Agreement

Teamsters Local 231 would like to thank the various community members and Union members that were out on the strike line with Bellingham Cold Storage (BCS).  Because of the support we received, we were able to emerge from this uphill battle with a fully executed collective bargaining agreement. There is no doubt that the goal of BCS and Doug Thomas was to bust the Union. Ultimately what BCS wanted most was to have a non-union facility, and we are proud to say that they failed in their goal. BCS used reprehensible tactics in an attempt to force the Union out and make it a non-union facility. Which proved to us that they had no intention of getting a contract and that our best option was to vote their package proposal that was presented on July 21st.When we met with the membership on August 25th, to vote the July 21st package proposal, we were still unsure if the Company would sign their own proposal. In fact, we continued to get emails with demands that we add more conditions to the July 21st proposal in the weeks preceding the vote, and for several days after the vote. We held firm in our position that the Company could not hold up the agreement over the illegal settlement offer that they were attempting to force the Union to sign. Finally, on Monday, August 30th we were notified that BCS would sign their own package proposal. They clearly realized that they could not explain away requiring the Union to sign an illegal settlement agreement and that they had no choice but to sign their own proposal.

Because of the tactics used by BCS to try to bust the Union, the employees have had to endure a struggle that most workers will never understand. Instead of breaking the spirit and solidarity we will regroup and reaffirm the solidarity that we all witnessed on the picket line. The staff at Local 231 were honored to stand with each and every member as part of the BCS strike and we are happy that in the end we prevailed in our ability to come away with a Union contract intact.


Aramark Teamsters Ratify Agreement!

After a tense 9-month negotiation, Teamster’s locals 231 & 117 voted unanimously to ratify a historic successor agreement that will bring the commissions of our drivers up to the levels of our west coast brethren. This long process involved a unanimous strike authorization and getting our statewide Joint Council and Labor Councils down the I-5 corridor involved. Having such a united front both in our bargaining unit and the others, were critical to our success. United we stand, divided we fall! Special thanks go to your own Tyler Scott, Shop Steward and Bargaining Committee member for his tireless work to get this done.

City of Burlington

Business Agent, Gunnar Birkeland, is pleased to announce that Teamsters Local 231, representing the Clerical and Public Works employees at the City of Burlington, unanimously ratified a new 3-year contract on May 3, 2021, with 96% of the membership participating. Some of the highlights of the ratified documents are a transition to a 10-step wage schedule that provides a legitimate path to market wages, and significant language improvements in many parts of the contract. This has been a long, tough battle with the City and reaffirms that hard work and persistence is rewarded! A special thank you to the members of our Bargaining Committee Greg Ackerman, Paul Tingley, Brady Miller, Simeon Brown, Audrey Mattingly, and Katrina Kallio for their longstanding commitment to improving these contracts!!

City of Mount Vernon

We are pleased to announce that on March 23rd, 2021, the City of Mount Vernon voted to ratify a new one-year agreement for the Public Works Department. Some of the highlights are creation of additional positions in the Parks Department for weekend work, an increase in the hourly shift differential pay, an increase in the equipment allowance for the mechanic, and a 2% cost-of-living-allowance for 2021. We look forward to start bargaining on a successor agreement in the Fall to incorporate changes found in a comprehensive salary study that the City has committed to.

Whatcom County Corrections:

The Union and County reached consensus on a one-year extension agreement that was unanimously ratified by the membership and fully executed in February. The extension expires at the end of 2021 and we expect to start prepping for upcoming negotiations soon. The Union and County also reached agreement on a Letter of Understanding regarding COVID-19 exposures.

Local 231 Teamsters at Reisner Distributer Unanimously ratify a new 3 year Agreement:

On January 7, 2021, Teamsters at Reisner Distributer ratified a new 3-year agreement. This Agreement includes wage and pension increases that add up to over $5.00 per hour during the term of the Agreement. However, the greatest achievement for the group is that they maintain their Teamsters Medical and Dental plans that they have fought for over the years. Congratulations to the Members at Reisner Distributer on this incredible victory.

Peninsula Truck Lines Teamsters Unanimously Ratify New Contract

Freight workers across Washington State all vote to ratify Agreement

On December 20, 2020, seven different Teamster Local Unions across Joint Council 28 all voted unanimously to ratify a strong new Agreement with Peninsula Truck Lines. The group of workers includes drivers, dock workers, and clericals from Teamsters Locals 174, 231, 252, 589, 760, 763, and 839. The Union Bargaining Committee was led by Teamsters Local 231 Secretary-Treasurer and Teamsters Joint Council 28 Freight Division Chair, Rich Ewing, and included representatives from each of the signatory Local Unions.

The contract represents a victory for all involved. Workers will receive meaningful pay increases, pension increases, and will maintain their Teamster Medical coverage. We also achieved better holiday language and an extra personal holiday, and codified stronger overtime language into the contract. As for Peninsula management, this contract means they will be able to continue to meet customers’ needs as they navigate historic volume surges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This contract victory is what happens when a strong Bargaining Committee comes to the table with a management team that understands the sacrifices their workforce has been making,” said Teamsters Joint Council 28 President Rick Hicks. “The language and economic improvements in this contract will go a long way towards properly rewarding these Essential Services workers for everything they have been through during this pandemic. That the offer was unanimously ratified by every member in seven different Local Unions shows this is a great deal that the members should be proud of, from an Employer that recognizes their value and is not afraid to show them.”

EPL FEED Teamsters approve 3 year Agreement

On December 5, 2020 the rank and file members at EPL feed voted unanimously to approve a new 3 year agreement. The new contract includes a 3 year commitment to the Teamsters Medical, Dental and Vision plans as well as strong wage increases over the term of the Agreement. Congratulations to the Members at EPL Feed!

Darigold Contract Update:

On September 10th, 2020, a ratification meeting was held for Local 231 & 252 Darigold members to vote on the company’s “Last, Best, and Final” contract offer. The members at both Locals overwhelmingly voted to ratify the offer. Moving forward over the next couple weeks, we expect to obtain a fully signed and executed contract to print and distribute to our Darigold members in  Lynden, WA.

This particular negation ended up being very long and difficult for all. A big thank you goes out to all our 231 Darigold members for their patience, support, and steadfast perseverance during this arduously long process.

Skagit County Juvenile Corrections:

Skagit County and Teamsters Local 231 recently reached a settlement extending the current Collective Bargaining Agreement for the Juvenile Corrections group. It was ratified by the membership on April 14, 2020, and was fully executed by the County on May 4, 2020. The extension package secured medical at the current levels and will provide wage increases in each year, of the 2 year extension. In addition, the package also secured premium pay for the Juvenile Corrections Officer in charge of a shift, in the absence of a shift supervisor. We would like to recognize and extend a big thank you to our committee member, Mike Keeler, for his steadfast commitment on behalf of the membership during negotiations!

Commercial Cold Storage Teamsters vote to approve a new 3 year agreement!

On February 26, 2020, Teamsters at Commercial Cold Storage voted to approve a new three year agreement. Contract improvements include large wage increases, pension increases and a reduction in medical insurance costs for the members.  Congratulations to all the Employees at Commercial Cold Storage and a big "thank you" to the Bargaining Committee Members, Sandi Granberry and Scott Wallawine, for your dedication and all the hours you volunteered during this process.

4-Year Contract for the Town of La Conner

January 28th marked a great day. The Public Works Teamsters at the Town of La Conner ratified a new four-year contract creating a new on-call system, they maintained their great health care, and will receive great cost-of-living adjustment every year of the contract. Our Negotiating Committee of Kevin Palaniuk, Secretary-Treasurer Rich Ewing, and Business Agent Gunnar Birkeland held the line and made significant improvements to the existing collective bargaining agreement.

Cascade Ambulance Teamsters vote to approve a new 3 year agreement!

On January 22, 2020 Teamsters at Cascade Ambulance voted to approve a new three year agreement. Language improvements include a new guarantee on pre-scheduled transports, more opportunities for OTEP training, an increase in PTO accrual as well as improvements in uniform and meal reimbursement. The wage increases range between 3% and 14%! Congratulations to all the Employees at Cascade Ambulance and an enthusiastic thank you to the Bargaining Committee Members, Dwight Worden, Ian Taylor-Mixon and Sean Fouts, for your dedication and all the hours you volunteered during this process.

New Contract at the City of Blaine!

On January 8th, 2020, a new two-year contract was overwhelmingly ratified by the membership. Some of the highlights are: significant language improvements, increased vacation accruals for newer employees, an additional personal holiday for 2020, and a solid cost-of-living adjustment. Special thanks go to the Negotiating Committee made up of Brenna Sartain, Steve Hrutfiord, Frank Arnett, and Jeanie Mayotte-Davies (alternate).

City of Ferndale Clerical unanimously approve a new 2-year contract

The City of Ferndale Clerical Bargaining committee, Toni Segerman, Todd Anderson and Kim Martin went above and beyond for their fellow Teamsters during the recent contract negotiations. With their dedication and solidarity, we were able to accomplish a Collective Bargaining Agreement that the entire group is proud of.

The City and the Union utilized the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC) to work together through Interest Based Bargaining (IBB) to achieve a contract that both sides could be proud of. This new approach helped us work through several complex issues including the disciplinary procedures, flex-time and the establishment of a Labor Management Committee. Economic Improvements include the reclassification of 8 out of 15 employees as well as a 3.5% increase the first year and 3.25% the second year.

Vienna Cleaners approve new 2 year agreement

On January 8, 2020 all the Teamster members at Vienna Cleaners unanimously approved a new two year agreement!

One-year Contract Extension for the City of Mount Vernon

A one-year contract extension was ratified by the City of Mount Vernon on January 2, 2020. A nice cost-of-living increase was achieved and the process of bargaining a longer term agreement will begin shortly. Thanks to the Bargaining Committee of Rich Block, Sean Corcoran, Serge Derrick, Daryl Hornbeck, and Chad Tesarick.

SSC Recycle Drivers Ratify Groundbreaking New 4-Year Agreement!

Teamsters Local 231 members employed at Sanitary Service Company in the Recycle Division met on December 30th at the Union Hall to review and vote on a new 4-year agreement. This new agreement has improvements to language covering vacation, daily guarantees, seniority, discipline, use of technology, sick-leave, and safety. It also has significant improvements to health & welfare contributions and the addition of the new Retirees Welfare Trust XL Plan in 2023.

The negotiations were led by Business Representative Heather Ewing, with committee members Rainger Harris and Justin Best. This contract follows the Sanitary Service Company Shop and Garbage Division contracts that were ratified earlier in the year. All of  these contracts built off of the historic multi-local solid waste agreement with Waste Management and set the new standard for the solid waste industry in the Pacific Northwest.

City of Ferndale Public Works approve a new 3-year contract

On November 19, 2019, the City of Ferndale Public Works, Parks and Water Department ratified a new 3 year contract agreement. The City and the Union worked together with a representative from PERC to try a different approach to the Collective Bargaining process called Interest Based Bargaining (IBB). Through this process we were able to collaborate on issues of joint concern, including flextime, labor-management committee meetings as well as how to handle inclement weather in a safe and efficient way and defining essential personnel. With this approach we were able to define the problems and address them in the Collective Bargaining Agreement when appropriate.

Based on a wage study, we were able to re-classify about a third of the positions in the group to a higher grade. Additionally, we were able to get cost of living increases of 3.5, 3.25 and 2% while keeping the medical cost split the same for the duration of the contract. We also added an additional Holiday and improved the Deferred Compensation Match.

The solidarity of the group helped us achieve the goals that we set at our proposal meeting. A huge thank you to the committee members, Jason Valley, Jesse Pagnossin, Bo Westford and Jim Slaughter; they spent countless hours at the bargaining table and beyond working on behalf of their brothers and sisters!

City of Bellingham

On December 12, 2019, members of the City of Bellingham Supervisory and Professionals Unit overwhelmingly ratified a three (3) year successor agreement.  The agreement includes improvements to the salaries of several positions based on a compensation study and in addition, provides each position with a 3.25% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) each year of the agreement. Other improvements include clarity in the use of “flex time”, as well as accrual of vacation and sick leave based on compensated hours verses hours worked.

Morse Distribution

On November 1, 2019 the bargaining unit at Morse voted to ratify a four (4) year successor agreement which includes language improvements, significant wage rate increases, and an increase in the employer/employee matching contributions for the Company 401K plan. Congratulations!

Bellingham School District Teamsters

Business Agents Heather Ewing and Gunnar Birkeland are proud to announce Bellingham School District Teamsters overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year agreement on July 22, 2019 This new contract represents significant language improvements and unprecedented wage increases for the group. It couldn’t have been accomplished without the huge commitment from the Negotiating Committee of Dave Vanderyacht, Vicki Bradford, Betsie Upton, Staci Michaelson, Patty Johnson, and Joel Barker. Great things can be accomplished when we stick together and speak with one voice!

EPL Feed Teamsters Ratify a new contract!

On June 30, 2019, the members of EPL Feed members met and ratified a new one year agreement that included a move to the Washington Teamsters Health and Welfare plans in January of 2020, as well as historic wage improvements. “The Company is looking at the future of the industry and working toward preparing the workforce for modernization, and with that they are making large investments in their employees,” said Heather Ewing, Lead Negotiator and Business Representative at Teamsters Local 231.

Sanitary Service Company (SSC) Shop Ratifies New 5 year Agreement: June 11, 2019

The SSC Mechanic Bargaining Unit unanimously ratified a 5 year agreement that included several major language improvements as well as historically large wage increases.  There were also significant improvements to health & welfare contributions and benefits, including a move to the new Retirees Welfare Trust XL Plan. “This contract was only possible due to the solidarity and strength of these Teamster members and the support of their Brothers and Sisters in the Solid Waste Industry. We are excited about the developments in the Waste industry and look forward to negotiating a strong contract with the Recycling group at SSC later this year” said Rich Ewing, Principle officer at Teamsters Local 231.

Twin City Foods contract ratified-

Congratulations to our last two employees of Twin City Foods in Stanwood! On May 28th, 2019, they ratified a one-year contract extension with a nice Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA.) Back in their

heyday, Twin City Foods had over 125 employees processing pees in downtown Stanwood. With the disappearance of farm land on the west side of the cascades, Twin City Foods moved most of

their operations to Pasco but the last two folks just got a new agreement!

May 27th, 2019: LTI Freight and Mechanics overwhelmingly ratify a new 4 year contract

Teamsters Local 231 is happy to announce a new contract with the LTI freight and mechanics at the Lynden facility. Negotiations  were very positive and collaborative. The group was able to achieve the goal of moving from the Washington Teamsters Z medical plan to the B plan, an achievement that was long overdue. They also received improvements in their retirement plans and large wage increases.  “Both parties realize that the work needs to get done and the members needed wage and benefit improvements,” said Business Representative Heather Ewing. The Bargaining Committee, including John Van Wingerden, David Ahrens, and Jeff Davis, worked closely with Heather to come to an agreement that satisfied the members’ and the company’s needs.

SSC Garbage Drivers Overwhelmingly Ratify Extraordinary New 5-Year Agreement

34 Teamsters Local 231 members employed at Sanitary Service Garbage Division met on April 30th at the Union Hall to review and vote on a new 5-year collective bargaining agreement. This new agreement has improvements to language covering vacation, daily guarantees, seniority, discipline, use of technology, sick-leave, and many other areas. It also has significant improvements to health & welfare contributions and benefits, including a move to the new Retirees Welfare Trust XL Plan. The agreement contains economic improvements that are nothing short of astonishing. A full-scale driver will see wage and pension increases of ten dollars per hour by the fifth year of the contract! “These language and economic improvements are not only life-changing for the Teamsters driving the trucks”, said Teamsters Local 231 Secretary-Treasurer, Rich Ewing, “but also will allow the Employer to be able to retain and attract the best drivers in the industry, and continue to provide first class service to the local communities.”

These negotiations, led by Business Representative Heather Ewing, with committee members Don Hughes and Dean Simpson, built off of the recent historic multi-local Solid Waste agreement achieved by Teamsters Locals 174 and 231. This is further evidence that we truly are stronger together.

Now these Teamsters Local 231 members are ready to stand in solidarity with their sisters and brothers working under the SSC Shop and Recycle agreements, as they too negotiate agreements that meet the new standards for the Solid Waste industry in the Pacific Northwest.

Northwest Farm Foods Contract Ratified,

On April 28th, 2019, with Secretary Treasurer-Rich Ewing and Business Agent-Gunnar Birkeland presiding, Northwest Farmed Foods Co-op Teamsters ratified a new three-year agreement which increased the starting wage by $1.43 per hour and provides increases of $1.25 for 2019, $0.90 for 2020, and $0.90 for 2021 for the senior employees. This represented a huge improvement over the last three-agreement! The members also bargained in significant language improvements in the document. Congratulations NWFF Teamsters!

Whatcom County Master Contract Approved:

We are pleased to announce that the Whatcom County Council has approved the Teamsters Master Bargaining Agreement. Secretary-Treasurer, Rich Ewing and Business Representative, Daron Smith were in attendance at the Council meeting on the evening of April 23rd to witness the members of the County Council vote unanimously to approve the new agreement. It will now go to the County Executive and the Union for signatures. The payments for retroactive wage increases and H&W contributions will be made to the members of the Bargaining Unit in the very near future. The unwavering solidarity of the Teamster membership and the hard work done by the Bargaining Committee during the difficult negotiation process were the keys to achieving this agreement.

Milky Way Contract Ratified!

On December 11, 2018 the Milky Way Teamsters Local 231 members ratified a new 3 year contract agreement that included a company paid 401K planthat is in addition to the current Teamsters Pension Plan, a reduction in the costs to the members for the medical plans, protection of the current sick leave benefits and the largest yearly wage increases that the group has seen. In November the group had unanimously authorized an unfair labor practice strike. The company was not bargaining in good faith and refused to add any additional money to retirement. The solidarity of the group allowed them to make several Important gains in this contract. Congratulations to the Teamsters at Milky Way!

AGC Contract Ratified!

All AGC local Unions held their ratification meeting on October 21st. After a productive meeting with Local 231s AGC members, the membership present unanimously voted to ratify the offer presented to them. This was the trend of the day throughout our Joint Council, as the offer was overwhelmingly ratified by the AGC membership.

Aside from very significant pay increases in wages and pension over the next three years, this group will also see an improved medical plan in 2019 with any future increases being picked up by the employer for the duration of the agreement. A lot of hard work went into getting us to this point and we would like to thank our negotiations committee and the membership for staying the course throughout the long process in bringing this to a positive and fruitful close.

ABF Contract Ratified!

The last supplement to the ABF NMFA has now been ratified. Consequently, the new collective bargaining agreement has been approved and will take effect. Pay increases will be retroactive to July 1 as per the new agreement.

It is the union’s understanding that the company will actually implement the new agreement on Sunday, July 29. Also, pay for week ending 7-28-2018 will be processed at the pay rate that includes the July 1, 2018 increase.

Retro pay for weeks ending 7-7-2018, 7-14-2018 and 7-21-2018 will be paid by a separate check processed on or about 8-2-2018, and distributed with the paychecks for the week ending 7-28-2018. The ratification bonus will be processed and distributed within the next 30 days.

On June 13th Lynden Public Works members unanimously ratify a four year contract with, among other gains, 3.25% increases in each of the four years and improving certified premium language. A special thanks goes out to Phil and first time committee member, Josh, for their instrumental and steadfast service to the members throughout negotiations and mediation.

On June 14th Lynden Public Safety members unanimously ratify a four year contract with 3.25% increases in each of the four among other contact specific gains. A special thanks goes out to first time negotiations committee member, Holly, for her invaluable and committed service to the members throughout negotiations and mediation.

On June 13th Lynden City Hall members unanimously ratify a four year contract with 3.25% increases in each of the four years among other gains. A special thanks goes out to first time negotiation committee member’s, Linda and Dave, for their invaluable and dedicated service to the members throughout negotiations and mediation.

Bellingham Technical College Teamsters                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  On Friday, May 11th, Teamsters at Bellingham Technical College overwhelmingly voted to accept a five year Agreement. Many thanks to the members of the negotiating committee: Antonio Coniglio, Tim Hawkins and Kurt Kraft.


May 5, 2018: Local 231 Drivers at Associated Petroleum Products in Anacortes unanimously ratify a new four-year agreement. The newly-ratified contract secures improvements to wages and pension, as well as improved Seniority language and preservation of Bargaining Unit work. Over the term of the agreement, wage parity for all drivers was achieved under this contract. There were also improvements in vacations, holidays, sick leave and jury duty. The strong solidarity from the group allowed them to reach the goals that were set out in the proposal meeting.

Skagit County: Courthouse, District Court & Parks Membership-

The PERC mediated settlement was ratified by the bargaining unit yesterday. We had the largest turnout in recent memory (maybe ever) and I’m glad so many wanted their voices heard. It was also great to see so many members exercise their right to vote on a contract. It has been a long and arduous road to get to this point, but we are finally here. Now, the numbers….

We had about an 88 to 89 percent voter turnout.



$700.00 HRA-VEBA Contribution

$600.00 CASH





Thank you all for your support and solidarity during negotiations and through mediation! 

Daron Smith

  • Teamsters Local 231

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