Sign WPEA’s online petition for COLAs
The facts are clear: Classified state employees have not received an across-the-board salary increase in more than six years, and during part of that time they sustained a 3% salary reduction. Also during this period, health care premiums were increased by 25% and the Consumer Price Index rose by more than 12%.
The conclusion is obvious: Classified state employees need a substantial cost of living adjustment (COLA) along with stable health care costs.
WPEA’s bargaining teams have been making this argument all summer, but management still doesn’t get it! You can help send a clear message by signing our online petition to Governor Inslee, calling for a substantial COLA along with stable health care costs. Sign the petition now.
Supreme court rules against gainsharing
On August 14, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of lawmakers in two pension cases. The rulings stated that lawmakers were within their rights when they repealed gain-sharing and cost-of-living increases for some retirees. The ruling maintained the Early Retirement Factor that replaced gainsharing.
WPEA and other unions have argued that state used gain-sharing to lure employees to the cheaper PERS 3 plan. The plan promised additional money when investment returns on pension funds exceeded expectations. Read more in The Seattle Times, in The Spokesman-Review, or on the DRS website.
WPEA prepares for officer elections
Every three years, WPEA members have the opportunity to nominate and elect union officers. Nomination meetings were held around the state in July. For this year's election, there are two contested positions that require an election: WPEA president and secretary-treasurer. View the voters pamphlet.
Here are the candidates:
The positions for WPEA recorder and the district vice presidents were not contested, so the nominees were elected by affirmation. Several positions remain open and will be appointed by the 2015-2017 WPEA President, including the vice presidents for Districts 2, 8, 10, and 11.
The following are the vice presidents for the 2015-2017 term: District 1, Carl Sofie; District 3, Frank Akerley; Disctrict 4, Larry Pasco; District 5, Roger Montanez; District 6, Shannon Clark; District 7, Patti Pollardo; District 9, Becky Turnbull. Fawn Hacker was elected as WPEA Recorder.
Timeline of nominations and elections:
June 20--Notice of nominations and election mailed to members
July 12 and 13--Nomination meetings held at 16 locations statewide
August 8--Ballots mailed to eligible members
September 4--Ballots must be received at WPEA PO Box by 5pm
September 5--Ballots counted and candidates notified by phone
With the help of DNR members, Washington is currently fighting the largest wildfire in state history. Public employees can help out by donating through the Combined Fund Drive. The Fund has put together a special campaign involving current CFD member charities that have provided written account of their efforts on the ground. Learn more.
Contract bargaining focuses on COLAs
Contract bargaining is currently underway for WPEA’s Higher Education and General Government contracts, and employee compensation continues to be the highest priority for both bargaining teams.
In December, Governor Inslee was quoted as saying, “State employees have also gone without COLA increases since 2008. That is just too long to wait.” WPEA intends to hold Governor Inslee to his word.
Contract bargaining started in the second week of June and will continue through the summer. Be sure to attend member meetings in your local area and check the WPEA website for bargaining updates.
Below are the bargaining team members: