Together we can make a difference for the more than 38M Americans who experience food insecurity every year.
Donate nonperishable food during the #StampOutHunger food drive on Sat. May 14th by placing them in a bag next to your mailbox!
Participating is simple and easy: Just leave a bag of nonperishable items such as canned goods in a bag next to your mailbox and your letter carrier will handle the rest.
More info: https://www.ufcw.org/stampouthunger/
On April 28, Workers’ Memorial Day is observed. The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 was signed into law on April 28 that year to address the grievous working conditions that were harming far fewer American workers then than are harmed today. The anniversary of that signing is now Workers’ Memorial Day. “Workers’ Memorial Day is a solemn but important time to reflect on the lives lost at worksites throughout Washington state,” said Larry Brown, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO. “COVID-19 has awakened many to the harm that workers face on the job every day when they are not protected from known hazards. It’s never been more clear that workers need to join together in unions and demand safer working conditions if they want that to change.” Read more.
This year is an election year, so there are candidates in your area and around the state who want your vote. But which candidates truly care about the hardworking folks who provide public services?
The WPEA political committee our members’ chance to make sure we elect candidates who will stand up for the rights of public employees. Come join your fellow WPEA members to meet the candidates and help decide which ones deserve our members’ support.
Click here to join
For the past few months, Olivia Muzzy and Lisa Longmire (KRL/WPEA) have been involved in planning this workshop opportunity with the Washington State Labor Council, the Kitsap Central Labor Council and the Olympic Labor Council - we now have a date/time for this workshop, and a poster to share with you! "Courageous Conversations on Race and the Labor Movement" is a (free) workshop intended to provide a practical toolkit to identify the impacts of racism in the workplace and how we can build union solidarity through recognizing and responding to instances of racism. This is a hybrid style workshop, with an option to attend via Zoom as well as two in-person locations (in Silverdale and in Port Angeles). The workshop is scheduled for Thursday, May 19 from 5:45-7:45pm.
You can learn more about WSLC's Race and Labor initiatives here: https://www.wslc.org/race-and-labor/
Workshop information and registration here: https://tinyurl.com/wslcMay192022 and when registering, it will ask for the International Union affiliation - you will choose "United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW)", as that is WPEA's parent organization.
A HUGE thank you to our outstanding members that have worked so hard to put this together! We thank you for all you do!
Here are some of the budget details:
Department of Natural Resources
The legislative session is almost over, but there are two important things that aren’t done yet – and we need your help to get them over the finish line.
First, the House and Senate have released their budgets, which include the 3.25% COLA and negotiated one-time lump sum for state employees. Unfortunately, they left out the governor’s proposal of pay increases for some of the lowest-paying and hardest-to-fill positions in state government. The Senate failed to include them at all, and the House restricted them to General Government employees only. These pay increases will help address the staffing crisis that is spreading across state government and provide much needed relief for state workers struggling to make ends meet.
The Senate needs to hear from you. Tell your Senator to include the targeted recruitment and retention pay increases in the final budget!
Click the link: https://app.leg.wa.gov/pbc/bill/5693
Fill Out the form with your information
Submit this message:
Please support the governor’s proposed targeted pay increases to help The state of Washington is in the midst of a growing staffing crisis. It is getting harder and harder to recruit and retain skilled employees dedicated to providing the services Washingtonians depend on. Governor Inslee’s proposed budget included targeted pay increases for some of the hardest-to-fill and lowest-paid positions in state service, including custodians, food service employees, maintenance mechanics, and office assistants. Unfortunately, the Senate budget left these pay increases out entirely. State employees have worked hard to serve the public during the pandemic, despite facing furloughs and no COLAs – and the staffing crisis has forced us to do more with less.
Help support hardworking public service employees by passing a budget that includes all of the targeted pay raises for state employees.
Help Protect Against Workplace Injuries
Second, House bill 1837, a bill to restore Washington state’s ability to address work-related musculoskeletal injuries and protect workers, passed the House of Representatives on a 50-48 vote last month after a marathon 9-hour all-night attempt by a few Republicans to filibuster and kill the bill. The bill addresses ergonomic injuries – those caused by using muscles, tendons, and ligaments in awkward positions or in frequent, repetitive actions, that can cause pain and injury over time. Many of these injuries can be prevented, but the state Department of Labor & Industries is prohibited from requiring employers to take steps to protect workers from repetitive motion injuries.
Now the bill is in the Senate, and union members across the state are raising their voices to help pass the bill.
Urge your state senator to take action on HB 1837 and to stand strong with working families (as the House did) and vote “yes.”
You can learn more about HB 1837 at The Stand.
We are very excited to begin bargaining our next contract. The teams have been selected, but we still have some units not represented at the table. If you would like to volunteer to represent your unit, please let us know! Click here.
Higher Education: First team meeting scheduled for March 26, 1 - 5
Clark College – Joey Hicklin
Big Bend Community College – Nancy Rakoz
Edmonds Community College – Fredrick Pieters
Bellevue College – Amy West
Tacoma Community College – Rich Langhorn
Pierce College – Kelly Gardner
Walla Walla Community College – Keenan Failing
Highline College – Tessa Bowen
Olympic College – Margret Hodun
Grays Harbor College – Cara Beth Stevenson
Skagit Valley College – Lance Levesen
Cascadia College – Vacant
Wenatchee Valley College – Vacant
Columbia Basin College – Vacant
General Government: First team meeting scheduled for March 19, 1 – 5
DNR – Noah Messing and Jacob Peterson
DOR – Kriss Aker (still trying to fill one more seat for DOR – so we have one vacant seat open)
Military Department – Tim Shimp and Jim McNealy
DoA – Pending Response
LCB – Pending Response
DoL – Vacant
WSP – Pending Response
CDHY – Diedre Curle
WSSB – Pending Response
WPEA is currently finalizing the candidates for the Contract Bargaining Teams and will be releasing the final teams tomorrow. Stay tuned!
We’re in the 7th week of the 2022 legislative session. Only two weeks to go until the legislature adjourns sine die on March 10.
The House and Senate have released their budgets, which include the 3.25% COLA and negotiated one-time lump sum for state employees. Left out of the legislative budgets was the governor’s proposal of pay increases for some of the lowest-paying and hardest-to-fill positions in state government. The Senate failed to include them at all, and the House restricted them to General Government employees only. These pay increases will help address the staffing crisis that is spreading across state government and provide much needed relief for state workers struggling to make ends meet.
The Senate needs to hear from you. Tell your Senator to include the targeted recruitment and retention pay increases in the final budget! Article Here for Instructions.
Both the House and Senate budgets make important investments in our community colleges, including paying a higher share of staff salaries and financial aid outreach for underserved communities. And the Senate budget clarifies that DNR can use fire suppression money for the vital “indirect” costs of fire suppression, including investigation, IT support, and payroll.
Legislative Staff Collective Bargaining
The bill to grant collective bargaining rights to employees of the legislative branch died at last week’s cutoff. But after more than 100 legislative staff called in sick in protest, the bill is back and is included as part of the House’s budget. WPEA testified in support, of course, because every employee who wants to join a union should be able to join a union.
WPEA Bill Tracker
Our WPEA Bill Tracker is live, where you can see which bills affect WPEA members, what our position is, and where they are in the legislative process. The bill tracker will be updated at the end of each week throughout the session.