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
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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’re in the 4th week of the 2022 legislative session.
This week brought us “policy cutoff,” the deadline by which bills must be voted out of their policy committees if they are going to continue forward in the legislative process. Bills must then be voted out of their fiscal committees by Monday, February 7.
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.
Our 2022 Legislative Session Bill Track is now available here. Stay up-to-date with bills that effect our members and the labor movement!
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.