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:
More details are still emerging, stay tuned for updates.
This week, WPEA welcomes a new staff representative for members in Eastern Washington, Frank Prochaska.
Frank represents members at Big Bend, Columbia Basin, Walla Walla, and Wenatchee Valley colleges. Frank also represents members at the Washington Military Department and Department of Revenue in Eastern Washington. He represents Department of Natural Resources members in the Southeast region.
Frank has spent the last 30 years in the labor movement, the last 18 years as full-time staff. Originally from Ohio, Frank spent most of his life in Washington state in the Everett area. He spent 13 years on staff representing pulp and paper workers in Washington State and the last five years representing public employees in Illinois. Frank has a degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in Global Development and Social Justice.
The Office of Financial Management has officially informed WPEA of the potential for temporary layoffs of state employees, should the legislature fail to reach agreement on a budget by June 30. We’ve been in this situation the last two budget cycles as well.
You can read each agency’s contingency plan at http://ofm.wa.gov/contingency.
Under our 2015-2017 contract, the employer may temporarily lay off an employee for lack of funds, revenue shortfall, lack of work, or other unexpected reasons. If the temporary layoff occurs, it would begin on July 1. If you are temporarily laid off, you will still receive your health care benefits, and you will continue to accrue vacation leave and sick leave in accordance with the contract. Under a temporary layoff, you cannot cash out your accrued leave balance, bump to another position, or be placed on an internal layoff list. You can read more in each contract:
The best way to prevent a shutdown is to call your Senator and tell them it’s time to come to the table and pass a budget that supports public employees.
Read the letter from OFM