On Thursday, Governor Inslee released a proposed 2022 supplemental budget that would fund the pay increases WPEA members negotiated for, including a 3.25% COLA for all state employees and one-time payments for the lowest-paid state employees. The budget also dedicates funds for a number of job classes to receive targeted pay increases that did not go through the collective bargaining process.
These targeted increases are long overdue. In many cases, WPEA members asked for these pay raises at the bargaining table for years, and were repeatedly told no. We are glad that the governor’s office has come around and recognized the need to give pay raises to these hardworking people in public service. But it’s always a concern when an employer steps outside the established collective bargaining process – even to provide pay raises. Collective bargaining means that WPEA members are at the table when wages are determined. Bypassing that process risks leaving our wages up to arbitrary decisions by the employer. While we welcome these pay increases, we encourage the governor to follow the collective bargaining process and engage with employees next time he recognizes how underpaid state employees are.
The legislature will consider the governor’s budget, including these targeted raises, during the 2022 session.
Governor Inslee is suspending collection of the WA Cares Fund premiums until April, giving the legislature time to pass a bill to make improvements to the program.
What better gift to receive this holiday season than the UFCW Free College Benefit! The rising cost of higher education continues to put college out of reach for many of our hard-working families.
The UFCW offers a no out-of-pocket cost Associate and Bachelor's degree program for your members and their entire family.
Think of what that adds up to, and help us put those savings back under the tree this year for each and every UFCW family.
Click the button below for all educational opportunities
MONDAY -- The Washington State Labor Education and Research Center presents "Reducing Airborne Disease Threats: Tools for Workers" online training from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 13. Which masks are the safest? Who is responsible for providing them? What are the laws that cover this? Get answers by registering for this Zoom event.
WPEA would like to wish everyone a safe and wonderful holiday season! WPEA will be closed from December 24th through January 2nd. If you do need emergency help a rep will be available by calling the main line at 360-943-1121.
The Washington Supreme Court decided today to accept the work that had been done by the Washington State Redistricting Commission. This means that the Commission will be able to take advantage of the work and time they had already invested and to make permanent the new district maps that the Commission had voted upon, approved, and posted for the public to review. To learn more, access the links below.
Washington Supreme Court Decision on Redistricting Commission’s Letter
Website (and Maps) for the Washington State Redistricting Commission
Originally posted 10/4/2021 on previous WPEA website.
After 18 months of what feels like a never ending calendar of negative news, restrictions, and take-aways that culminated in radically altered work environments and furloughs, I am thrilled to report positive news of growth and financial benefit for our membership! At the same time that your member/steward/staff teams were working on the terms for the Vaccination MOUs, they were also negotiating to increase wages for our GG and HE membership and those terms were also solidified at the last possible minute on Friday. The MOUs for these wage increases are below so that you can read in detail how the terms will impact you personally but the two major items to note are these:
No one needs me to generate excitement over this one, it is the kind of news we have all needed for some time! It is also greatly needed as a reminder of how truly valuable you all are. Public employees give so much to their communities through their service, and fair compensation is an integral part of an employer acknowledging that value. WPEA is an amazing labor union because it is made up of amazing members. You guys are the best and we thank you all for what you do!
General Government Wage Increase MOU
Higher Education Wage Increase MOU
Highline Wage Increase MOU
*Yakima members have CBA language that ensure identical benefits to the Higher Education MOU. Read the HE MOU for exact terms.
Union members: If you and your family are experiencing hardship as a result of recent flooding in northwest Washington or some other natural disaster in Washington state, the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO urges you to apply for disaster relief from the Foundation for Working Families.
The FFWF is a nonprofit formed by the WSLC and its affiliated unions to assist union families in times of hardship or disaster. To apply for disaster relief, fill out and return this form.
Teamsters Local 174: Despite the cold, wet, windy Seattle weather, 34 dump truck drivers are still on an Unfair Labor Practice strike at Gary Merlino Construction. The workers are part of a larger group of construction Teamsters all covered by the Associated General Contractors Agreement, which is jointly negotiated to cover nearly 500 Teamsters at six different Teamster Local Unions. The only Employer refusing to agree to the terms of the joint agreement is Gary Merlino Construction, with Merlino subordinate Charlie Oliver in charge of the contract negotiations. Said one striking employee:
“I’m just so disappointed with this whole situation, after almost 25 years working for Gary Merlino. We’ve helped build his house, for God’s sake, and he’s still letting his lackey shove us all out in the cold wind during Christmas because of what, pride? It makes me more sad than anything else.”
Orginally from The Stand (Nov. 29) — Gary Merlino drivers’ ULP strike continues