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Archives: June 2013


UPDATE – Budget deal to use ‘pilot projects’ to let some part time employees get healthcare via Obamacare exchange

Senate Ways and Means chairman Andy Hill says the handshake budget agreement reached with the House negotiators at 10:40 a.m. Thursday does not force part time state or K-12 employees into the Obamacare health exchange to get their health coverage.  Instead, the goal is to try pilot projects that a limited number of unions could opt to consider, Hill said.

The Republican budget writer spoke shortly after Gov. Jay Inslee announced the budget agreement in a minute-long press conference.

Labor unions including the Washington Federation of State Employees had been strongly opposed to any mandatory push that created a two-tier

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State workers in ‘wait-and-see’ mode as layoff warnings go out

As state employees began receiving notices Monday that they could be furloughed starting July 1, worry and uncertainty prevailed at many offices.

Some state workers remained optimistic that lawmakers would pass a budget in time to avoid any temporary layoffs, while others expressed frustration that the Legislature, which is in the middle of a second 30-day overtime session to finalize a two-year spending plan, still hadn’t completed its work.

Should lawmakers fail to pass a budget before June 30, a government shutdown will begin July 1, completely closing 34 state offices and partially shutting down 24 others, state officials said last

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Gov. Inslee’s budget office puts out list showing how agencies are affected if state government shuts down July 1

Gov. Jay Inslee‘s budget office put out a preliminary plan this morning for shutting down state agencies in the event the Legislature’s budget stalemate prompts a government shutdown next month. July 1 is when the new budget cycle begins and most state agencies will lack legal authority to spend, incur debt or keep running.

Obvious exceptions are state prisons and hospitals that will continue operating under partial shutdowns, as will all of the state treasurer’s operations. Community colleges and universities also will continue operating in the short term but state parks would close completely. The Department of Corrections would also

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Former Wash. state investment leader Joe Dear stepping back from California pension system role

Joe Dear, the former aide to then-Gov. Gary Locke and later executive leader of the Washington State Investment Board, is in the news for less than happy reasons. Bloomberg reported over the weekend that prostate cancer has forced Dear, executive leader of the California pension system, to step back from his day-to-day role managing the largest pension system in the country.

Dear, 62, is chief investment officer at CalPERS and continues to work from home, according to Bloomberg’s report.

Dear hsd roots and enjoyed a public profile in Olympia as a graduate of The Evergreen

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State officials telling labor unions that July 10 paychecks will go out – even in a government shutdown

Gov. Jay Inslee’s budget office and lobbying team are working to win a budget deal in the Legislature that prevents a government shut down on July 1. But if no budget jells and a shutdown ensues on July 1, paychecks based on work done in June should go out to employees on July 10 as usual, unions say they are being told.

Several labor groups were briefed by Office of Financial Management director David Schumacher on Thursday and Friday, and they reported that OFM’s team  made clear the July 10 pay date will be honored. Money would come from taxes collected

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Secretary of State Wyman names 8 members including Pam Toal to charitable-group advisory panel

Secretary of State Kim Wyman said Friday she has named eight new members to the Charitable Advisory Council, which advises her agency on issues related to charitable organizations. Pam Toal, former United Way of ThurstonCounty leader, is among the appointees.

Wyman’s office put out a press release that says:

OLYMPIA…A state council tasked with identifying emerging issues and trends affecting Washington’s charitable organizations has eight new members.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman has appointed the following people to the Charitable Advisory Council: Nola Grier of the United Way of Clallam County, Port Angeles; Alma Navarro of The Nonprofit Coalition, Yakima;

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UPDATE: Evergreen student-support workers ratify first-ever contract; includes grievance process, 1 percent pay bonus on July 1

UPDATE: The Evergreen State College has clarified details of the contract and issued a statement from college president Les Purce.

ORIGINAL June 12 POST: Members of a new labor union at The Evergreen State College ratified their first-ever contract Wednesday on a 52-2 vote, according to the Washington Federation of State Employees. The federation is the umbrella organization for the more than 55-member Evergreen Student Support Services Staff Union, which went on strike for one day last month after failing to strike a deal after 17 months. 

The federation put out a statement to its members that

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Workers say they reached tentative contract deal with Evergreen college administration

Workers who went on a one-day strike last month over failed contract talks at The Evergreen State College have reported reaching a tentative agreement with the four-year liberal-arts school near Olympia. Neither the college nor workers were revealing details but a ratification vote for the 57 union members is set for June 12.

The parties had been in mediation before and after the May 27 strike – with major differences on the college offer of pay increases and rules governing discipline and “just cause” firings. Our last story on the dispute – touching on the college decision to cancel an

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