OLYMPIA — All union members and supporters are urged to attend a Labor Rally to Protect Striking Workers on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at noon on the State Capitol Steps in Olympia. Participants will be standing together to support HB 1893, which would allow striking workers to access limited Unemployment Insurance benefits. This bill has passed the Washington State House of Representatives, but has yet to get a vote in the State Senate. Read more.
TAKE A STAND — RSVP today to attend this important rally to send a message to state senators that we want them to vote YES on HB 1893! Participants will begin gathering on the Capitol Steps at about 11 a.m. and a brief program will start at noon. Talk to your Local Union about participating to make sure your Union is represented! Wear your Union colors and work gear, and bring Union signs and banners. Download and share this flyer to help spread the word.
Without HB 1893, intransigent employers can use the threat of evictions, repossessions, and other extreme economic hardships as a bargaining strategy. In particular, this harms low-wage workers who can never afford to exercise their right to withhold their labor. Under HB 1893 as approved by the House, workers on strike would have a 14-day waiting period before they could apply for unemployment benefits, which would be limited to four weeks. Now, even with its limitations on benefits, lobbying groups representing some of the biggest corporations in Washington are fighting hard to kill this bill. They don’t want striking workers to have any lifeline at all.
WPEA Scholarship Program is now accepting submissions for the 2024 Scholarships!
WPEA Scholarships will be open from February 20 - April 30, 2024. Awards will be announced June 1, 2024. For flyer and submission information please visit: https://www.wpea.org/wpeascholarship
These scholarships, which will be awarded for use this fall include:
1 - $5000 WPEA Future Labor Leader Scholarship
1 - $3000 WPEA Lifetime Labor Leader Scholarship
In memory of Earl Kalles, former WPEA Secretary-Treasurer
and long-time member at the Liquor Control Board
1 - $3000 WPEA Lifetime Labor Leader Scholarship
In memory of Patti Pollardo, former WPEA Vice President
and long-time member at Edmonds Community College
4 - $1000 WPEA Scholarships
Sign petition, attend Feb. 20 board meeting in Vancouver
VANCOUVER, Wash. — Librarians at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library District (FVRL) serve residents across southwest Washington in rural, suburban, and urban settings in Klickitat and Skamania counties, most of Clark County, and parts of Cowlitz County. But these hard-working librarians are struggling to get a fair contract that pays livable wages. Their union, Washington Public Employees Association/UFCW 365, is calling on all union members and community supporters to join them in sending a message to FVRL administrators that raises for librarians are OVERDUE. Read more.
TAKE A STAND — If you live in southwest Washington, please attend the FVRL Board meeting at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20 in the Columbia Room on the first floor of the downtown Vancouver Community Library, 901 C Street to support library workers in getting the dignity of a living wage. Also please sign this petition in support of FVRL librarians.
In issuing this call, U.S. unions are joining the efforts of 13 Congressmembers and others who are calling for an immediate ceasefire.
The basic rights of people must be restored. Water, fuel, food, and other humanitarian aid must be allowed into Gaza, power must be restored, and foreign nationals and Palestinians requiring medical care must be allowed out of Gaza.
The Israeli hostages taken by Hamas must be immediately released. Both Hamas and Israel must adhere to standards of international law and Geneva Convention rules of warfare concerning the welfare and security of civilians.
There must be a ceasefire in Gaza.The cycle of violence must stop so that negotiations for an enduring peace proceed.
The U.S. must act. We call on President Biden to immediately call for a ceasefire.
The road to justice cannot be paved by bombs and war. The road to peace cannot be found through warfare. We commit ourselves to work in solidarity with the Palestinian and Israeli peoples to achieve peace and justice.
Many of you are aware of the issues at bargaining specifically around the states inability to use the salary survey. Seamus, WPEA Lobbyist, has asked that we act today or tomorrow!
If you have questions about this action or want to plug into future legislative actions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org!
Message from Seamus:
SB 5694 is a bill that will allow the state's salary survey to be used in bargaining and give state employees more of a voice in the salary survey itself. Right now, the bill is in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, and it needs to be scheduled for a hearing as soon as possible.
5694 is the bill to tell OFM that they can, in fact, use their own salary survey when considering which job classes should get targeted pay increases. It also gives state employees - the folks actually doing the work - a voice in how the salary survey is structured.
CALL TO ACTION: It would be a big help if, today and tomorrow, Senator June Robinson got some friendly reminders to schedule the bill for a hearing and a vote.
Please send her an email at June.Robinson@leg.wa.gov asking her to schedule SB 5694 for a hearing and a vote. There are talking points at the bottom of the email. You can also email the member of the Ways & Means committee who represents your district, or the district nearest you. I've included some of the most important and/or likely to be sympathetic here:
Dear Senator Robinson [or whoever],
I am a member of the Washington Public Employees Association and I work at _________________. As a state employee / union member / steward / bargaining team member, I am asking you to pass SB 5694 out of committee.
SB 5694 allows the Office of Financial Management more flexibility at the negotiating table and gives state employees - the folks doing the work - some shared responsibility in crafting the survey itself.
Every two years, the state conducts a salary survey that demonstrates just how far behind market rate many state employee salaries are. But at the bargaining table, OFM says they can't use the salary survey as a reason to raise salaries.
A labor/management workgroup the legislature created last year to address the problem found that changing the way the salary survey is used at the bargaining table would require a change in law. 5694 will make these important changes.
After years of neglect, the state is facing a massive staffing crisis [include an anecdote from your own worksite]
Please pass SB 5694 out of Ways and Means by this Monday, to help reduce the turnover and vacancy rates in state service and improve the state’s collective bargaining process.