BTC, Teamsters union to request state help on contract talks

Both sides in an ongoing contract negotiation between Bellingham Technical College and the Teamsters Local 231 union, which represents college’s facilities and food services staff, are expected to declare an impasse in the talks and request the assistance of a state mediator, according to BTC.

After several months of bargaining, the Teamsters Union rejected an offer made by the BTC officials on May 4, according to a press release from the college.

Joint bargaining sessions to reach a new contract agreement began in October 2012. Approximately 15 meetings have been held, and according to BTC officials  the “talks have been amiable and have had a positive tone.”

Tentative agreements on several items are said to have been reached, according to the college. A union representative could not be reached for comment.

“BTC deeply values all of our staff members and we are very appreciative of the collaborative efforts on both sides of the table that have occurred so far. We will continue to bargain in good faith with the hope to come to a mutually beneficial agreement for both parties,” said Marni Saling Mayer, a public information officer at Bellingham Technical College, in a press release.

State mediators are overseen by Washington’s Public Employment Relations Commission.

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