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Category: Employment/Workplace

June
12th

Washington workers earning an annual average above $50,000 for the first time; unemployment benefits will increase

Washingtonians, you’re rich. Well, maybe you’re just middle class – but for the first time, the Employment Security Department says you earn an average wage above $50,000.

Washington’s average annual wage grew by 3.4 percent in 2012, to $51,595, surpassing $50,000 for the first time, the department announced Wednesday. The average weekly wage rose from $959 to $992.

These figures include those wages that are covered by unemployment insurance. Much of the increase was driven by a 6.1 percent increase in the number of insured workers earning more than $75,000, the department said in a release.

Overall, the average number

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June
10th

Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System expands its reach to Bonney Lake with new medical pavilion

Tacoma’s Franciscan Medical System has expanded its reach in Eastern Pierce County with the opening of a new, three-story, 45,000-square-foot medical pavilion in Bonney Lake.

The new building’s occupants will provide family medicine, internal medicine, digital x-ray, urgent care, pharmacy and labratory services on site.

“We are pleased to be able to bring Franciscan’s mission of healing to residents of Bonney Lake, Sumner and Eastern Pierce County, “said Franciscan Medical Group President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen Spare  “The pavilion is the result of Franciscan’s mission to create healthier communities by offering high quality care in a calming environment

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June
10th

Cranes drawing extra scrutiny from feds after string of fatalities in the Northwest

Federal inspectors will be conducting a round of enhanced inspections of cranes  at construction sites and ports beginning this week in an effort to reduce injuries and fatalities from cranes mishaps in the Northwest.

Officials from the federal Occupational Health and Safety have investigated 13 crane-related fatalities in the last five years in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Idaho.

The latest crane-related fatality  in Pierce County happened  March 12 when a longshore union crane mechanic was killed on a crane at the Port of Tacoma’s Pierce County Terminal.  Jeff Surber, 46, of Bonney Lake died while adjusting machinery atop one of

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June
10th

Pierce County, Economic Development Board hosting second Aerospace Summit July 17

Aerospace industry leaders and government officials will receive updates on the health of the aerospace business in the South Sound  and tips on how to attract more business in mid-July at Pierce County’s second Aerospace Summit.

The summit will be held July 17 at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.  Participants can register at www.edbtacomapierce.org.

Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and the Economic Development Board for Tacoma-Pierce County are so-sponsoring this year’s event.

“Pierce County is home to a Boeing plant and more than 80 companies that work in the aerospace supply chain,” said McCarthy. “We will continue to connect

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June
6th

Alaska pilots reach tentative accord on five-year contract

The union representing pilots flying for SeaTac’s Alaska Airlines said Thursday it has reached a tentative agreement on a new five-year labor contract.

The Airline Pilots Association International leadership is sending the proposed agreement to the union’s membership with a unanimous recommendation for approval.

The union’s members at Alaska will vote on the proposal in the near future.

“It is common for airline negotiation to last for years beyond the contract amendable date,” said ALPA official Chris Notaro, an Alaska captain.  ”The fact that we were able to reach an agreement so close to our amendble date is indicative of

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May
30th

Port of Tacoma Commission raises member salaries to $1,800 monthly

The Port of Tacoma Commission raised salaries for future commissioners Thursday to $1,800 a month, more than triple the $500 monthly commission members now receive.

The salary increase is the first in 21 years for commission members.  The higher salary won’t apply to present commission members unless they successfully run for re-election this fall.  Three of the commission’s five members, Connie Bacon, Dick Marzano and Don Meyer, are running for re-election.

The new salary would apply to them or their successors beginning in January when their new terms begin.  Two other commission members, Clare Petrich and Don Johnson, whose terms

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May
28th

Boeing to lay off 253 more workers

Boeing continued culling its Puget Sound workforce this summer, sending layoff notices Tuesday to 253 workers due to be laid off by mid-July.

This week’s layoff notices were the third set of workforce reductions Boeing has scheduled thus far in 2013.  The company earlier this year issued layoff notices to 939 workers for layoffs effective June 7 and to 99 workers for layoffs effective June 21.

The company has said it is trimming its workforce of extra engineers, technical workers and others made redundant by cutbacks in work on the 787 and 747-8 airliners.

Boeing had hired hundreds of workers

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May
28th

Foss Waterway Development Authority elevates interim director to permanent status

The municipal authority that promotes and governs redevelopment of downtown Tacoma’s Thea Foss Waterway has named Su Dowie as its executive director.

Dowie had served as the authority’s interim director for three and a half years since executive director Don Meyer retired. Dowie joined the authority in 1998. Before her appointment as interim director, she was the authority’s second-in-command.

The authority delayed naming a permanent replacement for Meyer, now a Port of Tacoma commissioner, because the authority’s finances were hit hard by the recession.  Development activity along the formerly industrial waterway ground to a halt in 2008, impacting the authority’s

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