Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget office just announced an impasse in negotiations with about two-dozen state-employee unions over health-care benefits. The announcement comes as a flurry of unions has begun voting on contracts for pay only – including a landslide ratification vote this afternoon by members of the Washington Federation of State Employees.
State budget director Stan Marshburn said in a telephone interview that the unions have not technically agreed they are at an impasse but that is in fact where the parties are. They all face a Monday deadline in law to identify costs for the …