WPEA Board creates member scholarship
The WPEA Executive Board is proud to announce the creation of the WPEA Scholarship, for WPEA members in good standing. For 2013, WPEA members can apply for one of four $500 scholarships to pursue their degree or professional certification.
Applications are due May 31 and the scholarships will be awarded in July 2013 for use in Fall 2013. View the application for more information.
On May 11, WPEA member Larry Brake passed away after battling cancer. Larry joined WPEA in 2005 and worked in the Facilities Department at Fort Vancouver Regional Library.
WPEA extends condolences to Larry’s family, friends, and coworkers. Larry’s obituary can be viewed on The Columbian’s website.
Legislature will decide budget in special session
On May 13, the state legislature began a special session. The House and Senate were unable to reach an agreement on the budget during the regular session. The House budget includes funding for state employee contracts, while closing tax loopholes in order to support public safety and services.
By contrast, the Senate budget, Engrossed Substitute Senate Bill 5034, does nothing to close tax loopholes, but instead erodes state employee benefits:
- Sections 135 and 716 would give state employees the option to switch to a 401(k) plan, weakening the existing pension system for those who remain enrolled in their current plans.
- Section 213 would impose a mandatory wellness incentive in state employee health care plans, while eliminating the right of state employee unions to negotiate over the incentive.
- Sections 504 and 715 would cut health insurance benefits for all currently covered seasonal employees, as well as part-time employees working less than 30 hours per week.
Tell your legislators to SUPPORT the House budget, HB 1057. You can leave a message on the legislative hotline at 800-562-6000 or email your comments to your legislators. Find your legislator.