I’m pleased to announce that the General Government Bargaining Team has concluded negotiations on the 2019-21 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
The next step in getting a new CBA is yours! As a member in good standing of WPEA, you get to vote on whether or not to accept this contract.
On this site, you’ll find a summary of changes between our current CBA and the new CBA that your bargaining team negotiated this summer with the State of Washington.
After the longest summer of negotiations since we gained the right to bargain salaries in 2004, your bargaining team (a group of WPEA members from across the state) has put together a strong contract.
For the first time, members will be voting online. This allowed the team to continue bargaining for an additional week in September while still leaving time for you to vote. During that week, the State increased their COLA offer to what you now see in the summary. The instructions on how to vote are being sent to you by both email and mail. If you have questions about the voting process, please call the main WPEA office at 360-943-1121.
Voting will be open from 10 am Tuesday, September 25 until 5 pm Sunday, September 30.
Please review the proposed changes and vote! This is your contract and it’s one of the most important things your union does for your rights as a state employee. Sincerely,
Kent Stanford WPEA President
Summary of Changes WPEA General Government Collective Bargaining Agreement 2019-21
Cost of Living Increases: 6% over the life of the contract: 3% on July 1, 2019 and 3% on July 1, 2020
The 2017-2021 contracts together total a 12% across the board increase, the largest gain in two back-to-back contracts since we won the fight to bargain wages in 2004. That’s also the largest four-year gain since 1990-1993.
Class-Specific Increases for Proven Recruitment & Retention Issues: *
Budget Analyst 4
Communications Officer 3
Environmental Planner 2 and 3
Equipment Tech 2
Fiscal Analyst 4 and 5
Fiscal Technician 2
Maintenance Mechanic 1, 2, and 3
Management Analyst 3, 4, and 5
Natural Resource Specialist 3
Revenue Agent 1
Security Guard 2 and 3
Truck Driver 3
Warehouse Operator 2 and 3
Assignment Pay for Natural Resources Police Officers as Law Enforcement Employees who are assigned on a 28-day work schedule. Base pay plus 4 ranges. * This is the last step in a 9-plus year effort to get these members parity with Dept. of Fish and Wildlife police officers.
Assignment Pay for Program Manager A’s at the Military Dept. who are required to carry a firearm while on duty. *
A $14/hour “Minimum Wage” for all employees. * All members at salary range 29 or below will be moved to salary range 30 or 32.* Members in a job series with those moved up will go up in salary range to keep distance between salaries. * Current salaries will change July 1 for people making under $14, everyone else affected will have more annual step increases before maxing out.
Moving above $14 on July 1, 2019:
Custodian 1 and 2
Forest Nursery Laborer
Office Assistant 2
Warehouse Operator 1
Moving up in Range:
Administrative Assistant 1,2, and 3
Customer Services Specialist 2
Fiscal Technician 3 and Lead
Forest Nursery Lead
Grounds & Nursery Services Spec 2
HR Consultant 4
HR Consultant Assistant 1
Natural Resource Worker 2
Office Assistant 3 and Lead
Office Support Supervisor 1
5% Premium Pay for all bargaining unit members with a permanent duty station in King County. The State had previously claimed it was legally unable to provide members with locality pay. We will continue to try expanding this to other counties.
*The charts of exact range moves for these increases are included with the voting materials.
For an electronic copy of the targeted increases please click here.
Together, these increases cover 20% of bargaining unit positions.
HEALTHCARE The cost of premiums will continue to be split 85%/15% between the state and the employee. Employees making under $50,004 base pay per year (not including the King County premium, assignment pay, or any earned OT) will receive a $250 per year flexible spending account to be used for healthcare costs.
To see a pdf of the chart for the cost of premiums for the 2019 calendar year, please click here.
OTHER WAGE ISSUES OT-exempt employees required to work on a holiday will be paid at time and a half for time worked instead of receiving exchange time.
OT-exempt employees will earn $25/day for standby any full or partial day in standby status.
For OT-eligible employees, overtime pay is the default and comp time will be offered only at the employee’s request and the agency’s approval. This is part of a continuing effort to give employees a true choice in overtime pay vs comp time, rather than being offered extra hours only if they agree to take comp time.
All shift premium pay, regardless of being for a permanent or temporary shift assignment or for a full or partial shift, will be $1/hour.
If the $14 minimum and any applicable King County premium pay is less than the minimum wage required by a local wage ordinance, an employee with a duty station in that local area will be placed on a step equal to or higher than the local minimum wage.
When an employee is promoted, the Appointing Authority has discretion to give a larger pay increase than the minimums required by contract.
LEAVE ISSUES Expanded access to sick leave for overtime-eligible employees who are on leave without pay for part of the month. If leave without pay exceeds 10 days, they can still accrue sick leave at the rate of 1 hour for every 40 hours worked, up to 8 hours.
Access to sick leave if an employee’s child’s school or care facility has been closed for public health reasons.
Dept. of Revenue OT-exempt employees accrue extraordinary or excessive hours due to a legislative session may earn exchange time up to a 110-hour limit.
Expanded definitions for Shared Leave eligibility, to include pregnancy-related medical conditions and parental leave to care for a newborn or newly placed foster or adopted child. An employee is not required to completely exhaust their other leave to get shared leave for these situations; they can still have 40 hours each of sick leave and vacation leave.
A change and clarification of how a “severe or extraordinary” health condition is defined for Shared Leave eligibility. This is to fix the misinterpretation by some agencies that the condition has to be life-threatening.
OTHER ISSUES All members assigned to a duty station in King, Pierce or Snohomish Counties will receive an ORCA card for travel on public transportation, excluding ferries. They are also eligible for a $50 subsidy towards the monthly cost of a Van Pool operated through the ORCA program.
Employees may now make requests for accommodations if they or a member of their family has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Accommodations may include but aren’t limited to schedule changes, moving workstations, and leave. Employees may now make requests for accommodations related to pregnancy. Accommodations may include but aren’t limited to changes in break schedules, temporary transfer, job restructuring, and assistance with manual labor.
The agency must determine within 30 days of filing if a discrimination complaint warrants investigation, and must continue to meet other existing timelines in performing the investigation.
If a member has been in a project position that was filled through a competitive process for at least 6 months, and the position is converted to a permanent position, the employee will not be required to serve a probation or trial service period.
An employee will be given a week after receiving a performance evaluation to review and respond.
If an employee requests a flexible work schedule and is denied, that denial must be in writing.
When medical verification or certification is required for sick leave purposes, it will be provided to HR not to a supervisor.
The agency may allow shop stewards to flex their schedule in order to attend grievance meetings.
Employees have the option to make contributions to the WPEA PAC Fund or other WPEA program funds via payroll deduction.
An employee who receives discipline that is recorded in their personnel file may authorize the Union to track timelines and make the request for them that out+dated discipline records be removed from the file. This is instead of the employee needing to track and request removals. Clearer language for dues deduction authorization and cancellation, bringing the CBA process in-line with the WPEA Executive Board’s approved process.
New hires may meet with a representative of the Union on the clock for at least 30 minutes within the first 90 days of hire to discuss the Union and this contract. This may occur either at a formal orientation or informally.
The Union and the Dept. of Natural Resources have agreed to continue discussing the Pack Test, alternatives to the test, and allowing members in the Wildfire Division work time for physical fitness. Discussions will occur over the winter.
The Union, the School of the Blind and Center for Childhood Deafness and Hearing Loss have agreed to continue discussions on how new Vancouver School District salaries will be implemented and on issues of prep time and calendars. Discussions will occur within the next few weeks.