The final 2017-2019 operating budget details are out, with just hours to go to avoid a state government shutdown. This compromise budget fully funds and approves our state employee collective bargaining agreements. It includes the COLAs, the increased vacation accrual, and the specific increases for targeted job classes that our bargaining team negotiated last summer.
The budget still must pass the Senate, pass the House, and be signed by Governor Inslee before midnight tonight in order to avoid a shutdown.
The budget also includes:
- A 6% cut to the number of management positions in General Government.
- A reduction in the B&O tax rate for manufacturing
- A fund shift transferring money from the budget stabilization account (rainy day fund) to fund pensions.
More details are still emerging. Stay tuned for updates.
Thousands of state employees are facing potential temporary layoffs because the Senate has failed to take action on funding a real state budget. The House passed a budget that fully funds our state employee contracts months ago. But the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to fund our contracts. In fact, every single Republican senator voted to reject our contracts and cut funding for higher education and other vital public services. Now, despite getting a 4% pay increase, they’re refusing to negotiate as a potential state government shutdown looms.
Call your Senator TODAY and tell them it's time to come to the table and pass a budget that supports public service and invests in Washington.
Here's a sample script:
“I work as a ______ (job) at _______ (agency) and I’m a member of the Washington Public Employees Association. I’m one of thousands of state employees who provide critical services for the citizens of Washington. I’m proud to do this work, even though the state pays a salary that is below market rate, according to the state’s own salary survey. Now the Senate has released a budget that plays political games with the collective bargaining agreements we negotiated in good faith. Don't play games with public services and public employees. Vote to enact the House budget and invest in Washington.