News and Updates

Washington Federation of State Employees Releases Statement on Vaccine Mandates

Olympia, Wash. – The Washington Federation of State Employees (AFSCME Counc

Please visit for important information on the vaccine mandate.

Dear WFSE members,

In order to slow the spread of increasing COVID-19 cases in our state, Governor Inslee has made the difficult decision—in coordination with medical experts—to implement restrictions effective Monday, Nov. 16 at midnight (12:01 a.m. Tuesday). 

On April 27, 2020, WFSE President Mike Yestramski, Vice President Andrea Vaughn, Treasurer Paula Lukaszek, and Executive Director Leanne Kunze hosted an all-union tele town hall to discuss our union's response to the COVID-19 pandemic, answer questions from members, and share what we've won so far. If you weren't able to participate, the audio recording with subtitles is now available. 

Last week, Governor Inslee announced a four-phase approach to a partial re-opening of Washington State's businesses. COVID-19 remains a dire threat to Washingtonians' health, our economic security, and the public services our state relies on. Governor Inslee is moving forward with caution, and we must all remain committed to not only our own safety, but the safety of our immune-compromised, elderly, and otherwise vulnerable neighbors and friends.

As before, the quickest way for Washington's economy to re-open is to control the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Tonight, Governor Inslee announced his Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, similar to orders that other governors have issued. Our hope is that this order will buy time to slow the spread of COVID-19, so our health systems and front-line workers are able continue providing quality services to Washingtonians in need.

These are unprecedented times that require bold action. The COVID-19 pandemic has interrupted our daily lives, and most Washingtonians are concerned not only about their safety, but their economic security as well.

As public employees, we are uniquely positioned to lead during this crisis. Across all departments/agencies, we are doing what we can to keep ourselves and the public safe while continuing to do our jobs. 

South Seattle College’s main campus has transitioned to remote operations starting Tuesday, March 10 due to a confirmed case of COVID-19. No employees were identified as exposed or potentially exposed. The campus will keep this status through Winter Quarter (March 25). During this time, the main campus in West Seattle will be closed. Students will continue with online instruction.

WFSE members are on the front lines of the battle against COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus), and that's why our union has taken proactive steps to protect workers and their families.

From Local 1488 President Paula Lukaszek and Local 3488 President John Frazier:

You should have received a notice from UW that starting Monday, March 9, classes will no longer be meeting in person until the quarter concludes on March 20. This is NOT suspended operations. UW is still fully operating and your work schedule is not affected at this time.