Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

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Tag: state workers

Jan.
14th

Gov’s budget writer tiring of the second-guessing

Victor Moore, the governor’s budget writer, is frustrated with all the Monday-morning quarterbacking of his negotiations with state employee unions last year. “There’s a lot of 20/20 hindsight going on,” he says.

Moore, director of the state Office of Financial Management, called today in response to yesterday’s post detailing the Republicans’ charge that the governor (and, by extension, Moore) had put the Legislature in a bind by signing new contracts with state workers last year. The GOP argues that the collective bargaining law would have allowed the state to set its own terms and conditions of state employee had the governor let the contracts lapse.

Moore disputes that. He says he can’t stonewall the unions. He’s required to bargain in good faith and argues that the state would probably be in court right now trying to fight an unfair labor practice lawsuit had he done differently.

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Jan.
13th

An out that state budget writers could have had

During the editorial board’s visit with Republican leadership last week, Sen. Joseph Zarelli mentioned several times that Gov. Chris Gregoire had put the Legislature in a bind because she negotiated new contracts with state workers after lawmakers adjourned their session last year. His charge was news to us – and frankly befuddling since we hadn’t heard anyone previously raise that concern.

Republicans lodged the same complaint yesterday in the Republican response to Gov. Chris Gregoire’s State of the State yesterday. Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, said:

It was premature for the Governor to renegotiate labor agreements following the

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Dec.
15th

Past time for state to get tough with unions

This editorial will appear in Wednesday’s print edition.

A Seattle Democrat earned a heaping of derision earlier this year for suggesting that people would die if the state didn’t send a tax increase to the ballot.

We were among the eye-rollers, but there’s something to be said for speaking the language of those in power.
So, at the risk of indulging hyperbole, let us suggest an amendment to state Rep. Eric Pettigrew’s good little reproach: People will die if the state doesn’t take on its employee unions.

Gov. Chris Gregoire, in releasing a plan to bridge a $2.6 billion gap in state revenues last week, argued that she had been unable to wrangle additional concessions from state workers. The result was an intolerable budget proposal that visits suffering on the poor and vulnerable without commensurate sacrifices from the state’s workforce.

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