COLAs included in Governor's budget

In his newly-released budged, Governor Inslee includes funding for the 2015-2017 state employee contracts. His budget provides funding for the negotiated cost-of-living increases and maintains the current 85/15 health-care premium split. Read the budget highlights.

The increases passed the first hurdle when the Office of Financial Management certified that were financially feasible. Read more about the OFM finding in The Olympian.

Despite these positive signs, it is still up to the Legislature to approve the contracts. It's important to continue to fight for the first cost-of-living increases since 2008.


Members approve contracts for 2015-17

The contracts include two across-the-board increases: a 3% raise in July 2015 and approximately 1.8% in 2016.

The new health benefits agreement maintains the 85/15 premium split and limits out-of-pocket cost increases in the UMP Classic plan.


Thank you to the bargaining team members!

The General Government team included Frank Ackerly (DOR), Paul Baldwin (WSSB), Jeff Freshley (WSDA), Joe Hubbard (DOL), Tim Lynch (WSLCB), Frank Marshall (DOR), Larry Pasco (WSP), and Kent Stanford (DNR).

The Higher Education team included Candace Alvarez (OC), Jaleel Brown (TCC), Rafe Carroll (WVCC), Billie Garner (CC), Linda Gulbransen (PC), Randy Karnath (GHC), Mindy Neissl (WWCC), Jan Ng (BC), Patti Pollardo (EdCC), and Alex Swidergal (CCC).

The Highline College team included Dana Rollins, George Babcock, and Gary McCune.

The Yakima Valley Community College team included Jeff Morrow, Lisa Rice, Marie Kennedy, and Pam Moon.

In Memoriam In memoriam

On October 22, former WPEA negotiator Antonia Bohan passed away after a long battle with cancer. Toni was the chief negotiator for the WPEA General Government and Higher Education contracts in 2012. She had a long career in contract negotiations with SEIU before she retired in 2011.

On October 8, WPEA member Theresa Duggins passed after a long illness. Theresa was an excise tax examiner in the Department of Revenue's Tumwater office.

WPEA extends our condolences to the family, friends, and coworkers of Toni and Theresa.


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  The rulings stated that lawmakers were within their rights when they repealed gain-sharing and cost-of-living increases for some retirees.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.



News links

Labor news and links from WSLC

Gov. Inslee's budget office says $583 million of pay adjustments for state-paid workers are "financially feasible" The Olympian, 12/5/2014

Nearly half of the middle-manager class in state government got raises last year
The Olympian, 10/26/2014

Agreement reached that keeps state worker share of health premium at 15 percent
The Olympian, 9/23/2014

State worker pay drought over? State employee union deal offers raises of 3%, 1.8%
The Olympian, 9/18/2014

Supreme Court Ruling on Union Fees Is a Limited Blow to Labor
The New York TImes, 6/30/2014