Legislative update, Week 3
We’re in the 3nd week of the 2022 legislative session. This is a short (60-day) session.
Long Term Care Passes Senate
On Wednesday, the Senate passed the two bills that improve the state’s Long Term Care act (WA Cares) and those bills are headed for the governor’s desk for signature. WPEA testified in support of both bills. Here’s what the bills do:
Public Service Loan Forgiveness
Last week, the Senate Higher Ed & Workforce Development Committee heard SB 5847, which would require state employers to provide new employees with information about how to qualify for the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. WPEA steward Tessa Bowen submitted testimony about how difficult it can be to navigate the PSLF requirements:
“I’ve been part of Washington State’s workforce for 20 years now, and for 50% of my career I have been employed in some of the LOWEST paying positions in Washington State, because I don’t do what I do for money, I do it for the people I help… Because the months that had a $0 repayment (due to my low income) don’t count, I’m nowhere near able to apply for forgiveness. Please pass SB 5847 so that others can get the extra information and hand holding that I didn’t get.”
Senate Bill 5847 needs to be voted out of committee by February 3 in order to move through the legislative process.
Raising the Cap on Annual Leave
The House State Government & Tribal Affairs committee heard HB 1992, a bill that would, among other things, raise the cap on annual leave for state employees from 240 hours to 280 hours. This is a good time to remind state employees to use your annual leave! You work hard serving the people of Washington and you have absolutely earned your vacation. The bill is scheduled to be voted out of committee on February 1.
If you believe a meeting or discussion could result in disciplinary action, download this card and bring it with you! You have a right request a union representative and can decline to answer questions until that representative is present. The Weingarten Rights button is now available on the Info Page or available below.
American Income Life
Those of you who have filled out beneficiary cards with American Income Life may be receiving calls from them over the next few weeks. They usually will leave a message indicating that the are with Local 277 and that they work with our local. This is normal and they are just attempting to get your beneficiary information and give you the coverage certificate for your AD&D policy. Additional information about this organization is here, under Info>Member Benefits on our website.
Legislative update, Week 2
We’re in the 2nd week of the 2022 legislative session. This is a short (60-day) session.
This session the legislature is considering a supplemental budget that includes a number of pay raises for WPEA’s state employee members:
Long Term Care
This week, the House passed two bills to improve the state’s WA Cares (Long Term Care Insurance) program.
The WPEA was advised this morning that this information has also been sent to all organizations to share out with employees. Once you verify that your leave is as described below, please ensure that you are communicating with your HR Department if you continue to have any issues with this leave day or other MyPortal problems. If your leave does not report as outlined below, please let your Leadership Team, your Rep, and the HR team know of the lack. See the information below for an explanation of how you should see your PLD display.
Additional MOU PLD in MyPortal
At the beginning of January, the additional Personal Leave Day (PLD) granted through the MOUs in response to the vaccine mandates were populated in MyPortal for agencies who use MyPortal for time and leave. OFM has received questions in regards to how these are displayed within the MyPortal My Leave Request – Entitlement section.
If an employee is entitled to more than one PLD, the most current quota date range for the PLD will display in the Validity date field on the Entitlement display even though eligible employees received a new quota effective January 1, 2022:
Though the employee has 2 Quotas, MyPortal defaults to read only the most current Validity period of the quota whether it is used or not.
This is true even if the employee uses their 7/1/2021 to 6/30/2022 PLD quota, the Validity Date will not update, however the Quota will reduce to 1 Day:
The employee still has until Dec 31, 2022 to use the additional PLD added per the MOUs on Jan 1, 2022.
Please note: This behavior will repeat again when PLD eligible employees receive a new PLD Quota on July 1, 2022. After July 1, 2022, as represented employees eligible for the next Personal Leave Day receive the 7/1/2022 to 6/30/2023 quota, MyPortal will update Validity date to 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2022, as this would move to being the most current PLD quota validity.
Normal view of PLD Quota will return on January 1, 2023 unless another PLD is added for any reason. This is not system issue or broken feature, this is functioning as designed.
Calendar Updates - New Location
Thank you all for your input on our new website! We now have moved the calendar of events to it's own page and made is accessible through the menu at the top of the screen. We have experience a delay in data from the move but should have that information available by the end of the week. We appreciate your patience as we work out the bugs.
The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO invites all leaders, staffers and rank-and-file members of its affiliated unions to register for the 2022 WSLC Legislative Conference to be held virtually via Zoom on Friday, Jan. 28 starting at 9 a.m. Under the theme “Building Our Future,” the conference will explore and explain priority legislative issues and give participants the opportunity to engage with their legislators on those issues. More Information Here
WPEA will cover the attendance cost for the first 20 members that would like to attend. If you would like to attend please email us.
WSLC announces 2022 legislative agenda
From The Stand: https://www.thestand.org/2022/01/wslc-announces-2022-legislative-agenda/
OLYMPIA (Jan. 10, 2022) — The Washington State Legislature begins its 2022 session today at the State Capitol with another hybrid session of mostly remote hearings, debate and floor action amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Much attention will be paid this year to supplemental adjustments to the 2021-23 budget, but Washington’s working families will also be supporting a number of policies to improve economic opportunities and protect workers amid this ongoing crisis.
With that in mind, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO — the state’s largest union organization, which represents the interests of approximately 500,000 rank-and file members in more than 600 different unions — today released its Workers’ Recovery Agenda for the 2022 legislative session. (Download a printable PDF.)
From UFCW President, Marc Perrone
Announcement from UFCW President, Marc Perrone:
Effective January 14, 2022 International Vice President and Region 7 Director Kate Meckler will be transferred to Region 2 as the new Director due to the resignation of International Vice President and Region 2 Director Al Vincent, effective January 31, 2022.
International Vice President and Director of Organizing Todd Crosby will be temporarily appointed to acting Director of Region 7 effective January 10, 2022.