Come celebrate 60 years with WPEA

This year, Washington Public Employees Association celebrates 60 years strong. Our big event will be the All-Member Meeting, held April 16-17 in Yakima. We are also hosting WPEA Shop Steward Conferences on May 21 in Olympia and June 4 in Yakima. The conferences will include training for new and existing shop stewards, as well as training on the contracts and labor history.

Events are open to current members-in-good-standing. Learn more and register now.


Welcome, Cammie

Cammie Pavesic has join the WPEA team to help with the new member outreach project. She has many years of experience working as an organizer, recently with SEIU 775 in Spokane.  Cammie will be meeting with members in Eastern Washington, identifying ways to strengthen the union.


flagSpread the word on WSLC Citizenship Clinic

On February 6, the Washington State Labor Council, along with One America and IUPAT District 5, will be presenting a workshop on naturalization. This one-day clinic is designed to help legal permanent residents (“green-card” holders) apply for U.S. citizenship.

This event will be open to the public but is primarily geared toward union members who are legal, permanent residents. And thanks to the generous donations from IUPAT DC 5, the State Building and Construction Trades Council, and UFCW 21, this Citizenship Day clinic will be FREE of charge! Learn more.


crab feedJoin WPEA at this year's crab feed

WPEA is sponsoring a table at this year's crab feed, hosted by the Washington State Democrats. It will be held on February 15 in Lacey. If you are interested in attending, contact Fawn Hacker ( or at 360-943-1121 x100).


Group Health nurses and healthcare workers support Kaiser acquistion

If your health insurance is through Group Health, you may have a vote in the proposed acquisition by Kaiser Permanente. SEIU 1199NW, which represents nurses and healthcare workers at Group Health, endorsed this acquistion. Ballots should arrive the first week of February. Read more.


Seamus and AbbieReady for session

On January 11, legislators headed back to work for the 60-day "short" legislative session. The 2016 session is expected to be quieter and less controversial than 2015's drawn out fight over funding COLAs for state employees. If you have questions (or complaints!) about the legislature, you can always contact your WPEA lobbyist, Seamus Petrie (pictured with legislative intern, Abbie Zulock) at or 360-943-1121 x116.


Gloria FentonGood luck, Gloria!

Gloria Fenton, a longtime member and chief steward at Grays Harbor College, retired at the end of 2015. She will be missed by the college and the union, although we know she will keep in touch.


Union strong!

HC custodians

Highline College custodians and longtime members David Abruquah, Wilfredo Adanza, and Tinh Pham.


Aimee at SVCCongratulations, Aimee!

On December 4, WPEA member Aimee Trout received an unexpected surprise: out of 1,332 entries from WPEA members, Aimee won tickets to the Seahawks-Browns game on December 20. The tickets were the grand prize as part our recent effort to update member emails and cell numbers.

Aimee is the only woman on a night maintenance crew of about 8 or 9 at Skagit Valley College.  This was a huge deal to the crew and they were all gathered around to see the handoff and to chat about their workplace. 

Aimee couldn't be more excited about her win and planned to take her dad to the game.  He has always been a die-hard Seahawks fan, and she always watches the games on TV with him – that is kind of their “father-daughter” time.  But they have never been able to go to a game before.

Congratulations again, Aimee!


Naomi KayClark member wins alumni award

In November, WPEA member and Clark alumna Naomi Kay was awarded a Rising Star Award from the college.  “It was very appreciated,” says Naomi of the award. “To even be considered was a great honor and privilege.”

Naomi started working at Clark in 2006.  As an eLearning program specialist, Naomi is devoted to mentoring everyone who walks through her doors.  She strives to model responsibility, respect, and community involvement.

Naomi received her degree in 2010 while working full-time at Clark.  She continued on to earn her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, all while working and raising her family. Congratulations, Naomi!


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Amercica Works Together

Family Strength Community (IBT 117)

What is the Freedom Foundation?

Freedom Foundation Facts (WFSE)

What is the Friedrichs case?

Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association is a lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court that could eliminate union security clauses and fair share requirements for all public employees.


Information is adapted from resources on
What are fair share requirements and union security clauses?

Our union is required by law to negotiate for everyone in a workplace. Employees who don’t want to belong to our union contribute to the cost of that representation through fair share requirements, instead of dues. It’s only fair that all workers help pay for the cost of securing those benefits and protections. Union-friendly states, like Washington, allow “fair share” requirements while union-hostile states (a.k.a., right-to-work [for less] states), like Idaho and Wisconsin, have eliminated them.

Union security clauses, also known as a “union shop” require employees covered by the contract to join the union, and pay dues or fair share requirements. Members decide if they want to have a union shop and vote to accept this as part of their contract. Union shops have better contracts and working conditions because everyone benefitting is also contributing.

What’s at stake for members of public employee unions?

If the Supreme Court eliminates union-security clauses and fair share fees, public sector union members lose their ability to have everyone pay their fair share. Employees could abandon their membership and not pay a dime towards the work of representation, but still get the benefits and improvements that others build and maintain. Members’ ability to improve their own contracts, wages, and benefits will be greatly diminished.



UFCW names new international Secretary-Treasurer