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.


VoteNovember election is crucial for public employees

The stakes are high in the upcoming general election on November 4, 2014.  In order to make progress on compensation, pension protection, and job security for WPEA members, it is essential that a majority of state legislators in both houses are supportive of labor and public employee issues. Visit the Legislative Action page for more information.


ComputerIt's PEBB open enrollment time

Be sure to check the PEBB website during the open enrollment period, November 1-30. There you can view changes in plans for 2015.

If your spouse or domestic partner is covered by your plan, you will need to re-attest to see if the surcharge applies in 2015. Read more.

Members approve contracts for 2015-17

WPEA members in General Government and Higher Education have voted overwhelming to ratify their contracts for 2015-2017. The General Government contract was approved by 94% of votes and the Higher Education contract by 95%. Highline College and Yakima Valley Community College also ratified their contracts by more than 90 percent.

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

WPEA members also voted to ratify the new health benefits agreement by 98%. The new 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.

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

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