Greetings, WPEA Members!
The next district meeting of 2020 will take place on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, at different locations around the state. As a member, you may attend any meeting which is convenient for you. Or, you may choose to take part in a conference call. Meetings will be held at:
April 14 May 12 June 9 July 14
You will be notified of meeting places and times as soon as they are available.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact WPEA at 1-800-544-9732 x100 or (360) 943-1121 x100. Looking forward to seeing you or hearing you at the District Meeting on March 10th!
Over the past three years, UFCW has launched several programs to help members of our union family build a better life through continuing education.
Unfortunately, one of those programs—the free foreign language program—changed its terms and UFCW was forced to end their contract with that company.
However, UFCW is happy to announce that, starting March 9, members will have access to a replacement foreign language program that will provide even more value. While the old program offered classes in five different languages, the new program will offer classes in 70 languages, including 20 different ESL courses.
Much like the previous program, members will register through the UFCW’s website. Once our membership office can verify in our records that an applicant is a current member, in good standing, they will be able to sign up and start taking classes.
Seats in this program are limited and will be given on a first come, first serve basis. If a seat sits unused for 90 days, we will open it up to allow another member to apply.
Again, the program will start on March 9.
Thank you for all you do to support our union family.
In its current form, it will give all public employees the same protections for birthdates that law enforcement employees get (the day of the month is disclosable, but the year and month are disclosable only to news media organizations). It will also prohibit disclosure of demographic details (e.g. race, sexual orientation, veteran status) when attached to an individual.
The bill also requires disclosure of a request for personal information to folks whose info has been requested.
On February 7, the House State Government committee passed HB 1888 (the bill to protect public employee birthdates from disclosure) with a bipartisan majority. After hundreds of union members rallied and urged their legislators to pass the bill, lobbyists for the newspapers and public employees came to a compromise. Under the current version of the bill, public employee birthdates would be exempted from disclosure to everyone except media organizations. This would give public employee birthdates the same protections that currently exist for law enforcement.
While the bill just cleared an important hurdle, it has a long way to go before becoming law. Lawmakers still need to hear from public employees. Learn more and send a message to your representatives at www.wpea.org/exposed.
Other good bills that are moving through the process:
House Bill 2654 will require community and technical colleges to report their finances in a standardized, transparent way. Too often, colleges make it difficult for their employees, unions, and the public to get a clear picture of the college finances. Obscuring college finances can lead to confusion around shortfalls and mistrust when fiscal crises happen (like the one at Wenatchee Valley College). A standardized reporting requirement will help build mutual trust and make sure that the public knows what’s happening with the colleges’ finances. The bill passed out of the House College and Workforce Development committee with a unanimous vote.
House Bill 1521 (the bill to increase accountability and transparency when agencies contract out state employee work) passed out of the House of Representatives. This bill requires state agencies and local governments to evaluate the cost of outsourcing work to private contractors, and to follow up to ensure contractors meet their obligations. It also calls for accountability if companies fail to perform their duties.