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.