Well, it looks like the Freedom Foundation is at it again. Many of you may have recently received notice from your employer that your union status and the day of the month you were born, were being released through a public records act request. It has happened before and will happen again. Just know this, when those requests come through, that is all they can get. They don't get your full date of birth. Not the month, and not the year. That information is protected. How?
Because the WPEA has your back on this! The amazing activist members of the WPEA worked with our law firm and our legislative staff to make WPEA a primary player in the legal action and subsequent legislation that ensured that your full date of birth wasn't subject to public records disclosure to agencies, like the Freedom Foundation. We've had your back on this for years.
The Freedom Foundation, and other union-busting agencies like them, will keep doing this same thing. However, that is all they are ever going to get. They can keep asking this same tired question, and they will get the same answer, but they aren't getting your personal information! No email, no physical address, no phone, and NO full date of birth.
Although the information given out is so limited, many of us want to see change and protect ALL of a member's information. If you want to see the change happen, email Seamus@wpea.org to participate and help create even more protection for the members of the WPEA.
All DOR Auditors who reside outside of Washington State and those that reside in non-contiguous states will see an increase to their facilities stipend. This increase is the first since 2015 and a welcome change that we are glad to see come into effect for our members!
Tier Cost Area Current Rate Increased Rate
Tier 1 High Cost $1,200 $1,500
Tier 2 Medium Cost $900 $1,100
Tier 3 Low Cost $700 $900
If you have specific questions about this stipend and how to claim it, please contact your employer. As always, please reach out to your Staff Rep, Stacie Leanos, or anyone on staff at the WPEA if you have additional questions or need representation.
Every year from May 1 through September, employers in Washington State are required to take steps to protect employees working outdoors from heat illness.
Physically demanding work, heavy clothing, and dehydration can put even the healthiest workers at higher risk for serious heat illness like debilitating heat exhaustion and life-threatening heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can make workers more susceptible to falls, equipment-related injuries, and other on-the-job safety hazards.
Prevention is the best approach to protect workers. Follow safety requirements in applicable rules and use the resources on this page to plan, prepare, and train for prevention.
In addition to requirements in the permanent rule, as of June 15, 2022, additional temporary requirements go into effect for cool water, shade, cool-down rest periods, and observing and communicating with workers about signs and symptoms of heat illness.
For all of L&I Outdoor Heat Exposure Emergency Rules Click Here
If your employer has not established a plan for heat exposure or you are experiences issues, please let us know.
Visit our contact page for your representative or main office information.
We have been made aware that we have two colleges under this MOU that did not process the lump sum payments in this July 25th paycheck as we had anticipated. We have 15 colleges in the WPEA family and at present we know that Olympic College and Edmonds College did not process these timely. We are working with these two organizations but can tell you this, both have informed us that they will have these paid out in the August 10th paychecks. (Direct communication from your employer should have been sent out today as well.)
As ‘coding’ was listed as the problem for both organizations that did not process today, we are also currently verifying that these lump sums are all being taxed properly and will report those findings to all once we verify.
If we have any Higher Education WPEA bargaining unit employees, that were hired on or before July 1st, that work at any other college besides Olympic or Edmonds but did not receive this payment, please contact us at WPEACommunications@wpea.org and let us know.
On July 1, 2022, Governor Inslee announced that the state will be requiring employees to have recommended boosters consistent with CDC recommendations. This change is intended to take effect on July 1, 2023 for represented staff. Non-represented staff and staff who are exempt from Union membership will be required to be fully vaccinated, including recommended boosters, in the Fall of 2022.
The Governor's directive impacts all of our General Government bargaining units with the exception of the Department of Natural Resources. The Governor is encouraging other state agencies (for example, DNR who has a separately elected official) as well as Higher Education institutes to adopt the same policy.
WPEA is currently bargaining for the 2023-2025 collective bargaining agreement. We expect to receive proposals at all of our state tables to incorporate this policy into the contract. As bargaining progresses, we will know more about what this change is and any impacts to membership.
On July 8, 2022, the State implemented a "Data Privacy MOU" and "Data Privacy Attestation" to the CTCLink log-in process. Our contracts require the State to give the Union notification at least 21 days in advance of any change that impacts members' working conditions. In this case, they did not do that and made the change without negotiating or meeting their obligation under the law. Failing to following this process puts our members in a terrible situation because they are being required to attest to the State's Data Privacy Attestation in order to access CTCLink. WPEA has filed a Demand to Bargain and notified the Office of Financial Management that we do not believe that any of our represented members have been provided the adequate training on the policies and procedures around data privacy, or have been allowed the opportunity to ask questions or seek clarification.
At this time, WPEA is giving the following advice to our members:
If you have already agreed to the attestation: If you have not been adequately trained and allowed ample opportunity to answer any and all questions that you have, then you have attested to something that is not true or accurate. This attestation is threatening you with civil/criminal litigation, or termination of your employment, and the WPEA recommends that you immediately notify your Human Resources Office, as well as your chain of command, of this discrepancy. That notification should be in writing. Here is an example of what that notification should include:
I was required to attest to the CTCLink data privacy agreement today. I could not complete my assigned work duties without doing so. My Union has advised me that I need to let both HR and my chain of command know that I have attested to something that is not true and accurate. I have not been provided adequate training on all policies, procedures and guidelines, nor have I been given an ample opportunity to have any and all of my questions about my responsibilities answered.
If you have not agreed to the attestation: This attestation is threatening you with civil/criminal litigation, or termination of your employment, and the WPEA cannot advise you to agree to it until your College has met its obligation to adequately train you on ALL policies, procedures and guidelines, as well as give you ample opportunity to ask questions. We recognize that this puts you in a difficult position if you need to regularly access CTCLink to complete your work duties. If you run out of "Skip" options (you can skip a total of 5 times), and you are not comfortable attesting to this, we are recommending that you send the following email to your HR department and your chain of command:
CTCLink is asking me to attest to something that is not true and accurate. I am not comfortable doing so until I have been adequately trained on all polices, procedures and guideline for data privacy, as well as given ample opportunity to answer any and all of my questions. Until I have been adequately trained and afforded the opportunity for questions, I'm unable to log in to CTCLink and complete my work duties. Please advise me on how to proceed with this.
If you have specific circumstances you would like to discuss with your Union rep, please reach out to them directly. WPEA will keep you informed on the status of our bargaining around this issue.
As of 2:30 today, we were informally notified that the implementation of this is being pushed back to December. We strongly advise all members to continue as described here, until such time as this is documented and the change goes effective in CTCLink.
Dear Fellow WPEA member:
Ballots have been sent for the 2022 primary election. Yours may already be in your mailbox!
WPEA members have an opportunity to help elect a solid working families majority this year. Check out the candidates who WPEA has endorsed below, or see the full statewide list of candidates endorsed by the Washington State Labor Council here.
18th LD: John Zingale - https://www.electjohnzingale.com/
22nd LD: Beth Doglio - https://www.bethdoglio.com/
28th LD: Dan Bronoske - https://www.danbronoske.com/
35th LD: James DeHart - https://www.dehartforlegislature.com/
Remember to turn in your ballots by Tuesday, August 2.
Volunteer to inform your fellow union members which candidates have earned labor's endorsement for the 2022 Elections — and why.
Labor Neighbor, the Washington State Labor Council’s grassroots member-to-member political action program, engages union members to inform fellow union members and their families about the candidates and ballot measures that have earned labor’s endorsement — and why they earned it.
UNION VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED for neighborhood walks, phone banks, and other Labor Neighbor efforts. Even if you live outside the targeted districts, you can help in that area and/or phone banks.
Will you help us elect pro-labor candidates this year?
Fill out the Labor Neighbor Volunteer Form and folks will work with you to find the best opportunity for you to help.
Many of our members recently received notice that the Seattle Times filed a public records request for certain personal information, including birthdates, for all state employees. The Times files the same request roughly once a year.
In 2020, WPEA helped change the law to prevent disclosure of public employees' complete birthdates to members of the general public. However, complete birthdates are still disclosable to legitimate news organizations. This exemption was part of a compromise that was necessary to pass the law.
WPEA is committed to protecting members' personal information. On multiple occasions we have gone to court to prevent disclosure. But this request, and similar requests from legitimate news organizations, are allowable within the current law.
If you have additional questions or concerns, contact Seamus Petrie, your WPEA lobbyist, at 360-463-7602 or Seamus@wpea.org.
Hey there WPEA!