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Tag: Washington Federation of State Employees


More radio ads on state budget, this time from state employees’ union

From Washington Federation of State Employees website

The Washington Federation of State Employees, the largest state worker union, said today it is airing ads for the next three weeks to pressure lawmakers to close tax loopholes.

The advertisements are airing on the radio in nearly every part of the state, according to the union, which said it is running cable television ads in areas that lack commercial radio stations. The federation released this transcript:

There’s a good plan in Olympia to close two percent of Washington’s 640 tax loopholes to fund schools and

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Teamsters 117 ratifies ahead of today’s deadline; top 4 state labor contracts are done

About 5,690 Washington state employees belonging to Teamsters Local 117 voted late Sunday night to ratify a new two-year labor contract. The vote was nearly two-to-one in favor, according to the union, which represents employees at the state Department of Corrections.

The agreement comes as talks on a health-care agreement affecting 26 different bargaining units are still stuck, though technically an impasse has not been called between the union and Gov. Chris Gregoire’s bargaining team.

Terms of the Teamsters deal are similar to one ratified Friday by the Washington Federation of State

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Teamsters Local 117 strikes pay deal with state; ratification next

Teamsters Local 117 struck a deal with negotiators for Gov. Chris Gregoire late last night, assuring a deal that mirrors one struck two weeks ago by the larger Washington Federation of State Employees.

According to this summary, the Teamster deal reverses the 3 percent reduction in pay and hours worked for all 5,690 covered workers; it adds a new pay “step” for experience worth 2.5 percent; and it allows a 1 percent pay increase in July 2014 if the state’s revenues hit a target.

Paul Zilly, spokesman for the Teamsters, said a ratification vote is taking place

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Washington Federation of State Employees rallies in Olympia

State lawmakers are arriving in Olympia today for the start of the legislative session, and the union for state workers is here too, ready to fight for their benefits, their salaries and, in some cases, their jobs.

About 75 members of the Washington Federation of State Employees met this morning and plan to come to the capitol building at noon in an effort to persuade lawmakers not to make deeper cuts to their benefits than those they’ve negotiated with Gov. Chris Gregoire and to protest some of the state service cuts Gregoire proposed in her budget.

“The Washington Federation of State Employees is really under the gun right now,” said Daniel D’Haem, who chairs the union’s internal organizing committee. “We are a target during a time like this for all the politicians who don’t like the labor movement in general.”

Tim Welch, a spokesman for the union, said the WFSE has two main objectives during the session: hold on to the salary and benefit cuts negotiated with Gregoire when she wrote her budget proposal and fight some of her proposed cuts to services such as Basic Health, programs for the disabled and juvenile rehabilitation.

He said that the Legislature would be able to save many of these programs by closing tax loopholes, though he acknowledged that Initiative 1053, which requires a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes, could make this difficult. Read more »


Protesters want veto of Maple Lane School closure

About 80 protesters marched up and down the steps of the Legislative Building today demanding that Gov. Chris Gregoire save Maple Lane School from shutting down.

Gregoire plans to sign the state’s operating budget next week. One of Washington’s largest state-employee unions wants her to veto the section of the bill that would start the three-year phased closure of Maple Lane, where about 200 juvenile offenders are confined in Grand Mound.

Workers, their families and Evergreen State College students chanted, “Veto” and “Save Maple Lane” today. Union officials said none of the workers were on the clock during the protest.

Supporters said no other facility has the means to handle Maple Lane’s unique population of youth with mental illnesses and addictions.

“The state has spent tens of thousands of dollars to train us at Maple Lane,” said counselor Michele Davis, of Olympia.

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