General Government Bargaining Updates

Tentative Agreement RATIFIED at GG! 

Congratulations! Your General Government 2023-2025 contract has been ratified with 96% of voters voting YES. 

Your fellow public workers serving on your bargaining team fought hard for this agreement, but it wouldn’t have been possible without WFSE members in every worksite standing up, getting involved and demanding a fair contract.

Strong worksites = strong contracts. 

If funded by the legislature, this contract will become effective July 1, 2023. You can review the contents of the agreement below. 

Stay tuned for ways you can get involved in pressuring the Legislature to fully fund this agreement. But for now, celebrations are in order!

Note to Dept. of Corrections Members: In an effort to address serious pay disparities between the same job classifications, your Corrections Bargaining team opted to bring your compensation package before an impartial arbitrator. The decision in that case, which is final and binding, supersedes the compensation gains detailed below. Review details here. 

Summary of Agreement

Major goals achieved include:

Below find an expanded summary of the agreement and the full agreement.

Questions about the GG Tentative Agreement?


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2022 Bargaining Dates 

  • May: 5 & 24
  • June: 7, 14 & 30
  • July: 7 & 28
  • August: 4, 18 & 31
  • September: 8, 15 & 22

Bargaining Updates (2023-2025 CBA)

September 16

We continued our fight for a fair 2023-25 contract yesterday and were informed, the state does not believe you “are a priority” and continues to show up with lowball compensation offers. They seem to think it is ok to:

  • Run our state agencies with critically low staffing levels
  • Skimp on public safety
  • Accept hazardous workplace conditions
  • Not recruit and retain the dedicated public servants Washingtonians deserve

Remember this, these decisions made by the state harm not only us as workers, but the citizens who rely on us as well.  We are asking for a general wage increase for the people of Washington. An investment in us is an investment in the kind of state we all want to live in. 

With just one more bargaining date scheduled, a gap remains between what is fair and what the state is offering. We still have time, but we need to act now.

We need to let our neighbors, friends and family know that their public services are at risk. Our communities do NOT deserve:

  • Limited access to vital services
  • Compromised public safety
  • Unsafe roads
  • Contaminated water
  • Dangerous workplaces
  • Unsafe fish and wildlife

Washingtonians deserve a vibrant public sector that supports the strong communities, innovation, and natural beauty our state is known for.

The state can’t run without us, and your bargaining team can’t run without you behind them. Your job actions at worksites and out in the community are a constant source of inspiration.

But there is a lot of work yet to be done. We need to put the pressure on. Get vocal.

Let Governor Inslee know why you deserve to be compensated fairly. Remind him that public employees provide services the citizens of WA rely upon, and we deserve a living wage.

Give Inslee a Call

To make an even greater impact, give him a call at 360-902-4111. Leave a message explaining the work you do, how Washingtonians benefit from it, and why we deserve a fair compensation package.

Other Ways to Take Action:

  • Contact Kelly Woodward, 360-688-3905, Deputy Director of State Human Resources, and let her know where you work, the importance of your work, and why we deserve a strong contract.
  • WFSE members are sending in videos to help us win at the bargaining table. Watch the playlist here. Send in your own video or picture and quote telling the public where you work, the importance of the work you do, and why we deserve a strong contract.
  • Not a WFSE member? Join here. We're stronger together!

September 12

We continued our fight for a fair 2023-25 contract yesterday.

Unfortunately, the state appears to have made the dangerous decision to:

  1. Run our state agencies with critically low staffing levels

  2. Skimp on public safety

  3. Accept hazardous workplace conditions

  4. Not recruit and retain the dedicated public servants Washingtonians deserve

With just a few more bargaining dates scheduled, a wide gap remains between what is fair and what the state is offering. We still have time, but we need to act now.

We need to let our neighbors, friends and family know that their public services are at risk.

Tuesday, 9/13: Join us for an Overpass Rally Near You

  1. Olympia, Eastside St. I-5 Overpass, 5:30 pm --> RSVP HERE

  2. Tacoma, 72nd Street I-5 Overpass, 6:00 pm --> RSVP HERE

  3. Spokane, West Broadway Ave Overpass Over Maple/Ash, 5:30 pm --> RSVP HERE

  4. Tri-Cities, Columbia Center Boulevard I-240 Overpass, Richland, 5:30 pm --> RSVP HERE

  5. Seattle, NE 92nd Street I-5 Overpass, Northgate, 5:30 pm -- RSVP HERE

  6. Bellingham, Illinois Street I-5 Overpass next to Memorial Park, 5:30 pm -- RSVP HERE

In solidarity,

Your WFSE General Government Bargaining Team

August 18

Your General Government bargaining team met with the state for a critical session of negotiations today.

Over the next month, a contract deciding our pay, working conditions and safety on the job for the next two years will be decided.

While we reached tentative agreements in several areas, including a telework agreement, one thing is now clear:

Compensation is going to be a fight. (Take action here.)

Public sector workers like us — the very people who have risked their lives to get us through this pandemic — are being treated like we’re expendable, not essential.

We know that’s not true.

The state’s lowball compensation proposals are disrespectful to us but more importantly to the Washingtonians we serve.

We are asking for a pay raise for the people of Washington. An investment in us is an investment in the kind of state we all want to live in. Remember that.

Washingtonians don’t deserve:
  • Limited access to vital services
  • Compromised public safety
  • Unsafe roads
  • Contaminated water
  • Dangerous workplaces
  • Unsafe fish and wildlife

Washingtonians deserve a vibrant public sector that supports the strong communities, innovation and natural beauty our state is known for.

The state can’t run without us, and your bargaining team can’t run without you behind them. Your job actions at worksites and out in the community are a constant source of inspiration.
But there is a lot of work yet to be done. We need to put the pressure on. Get vocal.
 

Please join us in calling on Governor Inslee and the Office of Financial Management to Invest in Washingtonians.

Other ways you can take action:

AUGUST 4

Negotiating our 2023-2025 contract with the state continued today.

Your General Government Bargaining Team was able to reach several tentative agreements on select contract articles. There are several others we are fighting hard for.

We are making slow and steady progress and are steering the discussion toward monetary issues, and will focus our attention there in the next bargaining session.

To date, we have been educating the state about what our members are facing at worksites, about the recruitment and retention crisis, about staffing shortages at almost every agency.

Our message to the state is this: This is the reality of the labor market in 2022. It’s your job to staff state agencies. Our members are trying to fulfill the vital mission of serving the public — keeping our roads safe, protecting public safety, caring for those in need. But we can’t do it if the state won’t invest in us.

We know how important our work is and how we deserve to be compensated for all we do. Will the state listen?

COVID Booster Directive: Survey Due Tomorrow, 8/5

As we mentioned in our last bargaining update, feedback from members is critical as we prepare to bargain the impacts of the governor’s recent COVID booster directive.

While booster shots will be required for all new employees at state agencies as well as for non-union-represented employees beginning July 1, 2023, the state must negotiate with us over the impacts of this directive before any decisions are made. That’s the union difference.

Management seems to be listening to our concerns. We are still bargaining and need to hear from as many members as possible to ensure a good outcome.

❗Can’t find the booster survey link?❗ Look for an email that was just sent to you with the subject line 'Reminder: Input Needed on Gov's New Vaccine Directive' from AFSCME Council 28/WFSE.

Note: The survey will not be delivered to members from the Office of the Attorney General, Secretary of State, or Department of Natural Resources. Those agencies have their own elected officials that can set vaccine policy and are not subject to the governor’s directive.

Next Bargaining Session 8/18: How You Can Support Us

Our next session with the state will be critical in determining our compensation, our staffing levels and our safety on the job.

Let us know you’re behind us and wear your green shirts on August 18th!

WFSE members are sending in videos to help us win at the bargaining table. Watch the playlist here.

Send in your own video or picture and quote telling the public where you work, the importance of the work you do, and why we deserve a strong contract.

Other ways you can help how you can take action:

Useful links:

July 28

Your General Government Bargaining Team met with the state again today.

The theme of today’s talks was how barebones staffing levels create unsafe working conditions and mandatory overtimes. Our members know the solution to this vicious cycle: pay us what we deserve.

We have submitted a strong compensation proposal to the state that honors the work we performed throughout the pandemic and will improve our standard of living in the face of rising inflation. We are waiting for their reply while we work our way through many non-monetary contract articles.

Our next bargaining session will be held on August 4th. Let us know you're with us! You can help keep the pressure on and support your team by taking the actions at the bottom of this email.

COVID-19 Booster Shots -- Members, Watch for Survey Tomorrow

Another important area of discussion today was how the Governor’s recent COVID-19 booster directive will impact our members.

While booster shots will be required for all new employees at state agencies as well as for non-union-represented employees beginning July 1, 2023, the state must negotiate with us over the impacts of this directive before any decisions are made. That’s the union difference.

Keep an eye on your personal email tomorrow for a survey seeking your opinion about the new vaccine directive.

Note: The survey will not be delivered to members from the Office of the Attorney General, Secretary of State, or Department of Natural Resources. Those agencies have their own elected officials that can set vaccine policy and are not subject to the governor’s directive.

WFSE members are sending in videos to help us win at the bargaining table. Watch the playlist here.


Here's how you can take action:



July 7
GG Bargaining Team Update #5 (2023-2025 biennium contract)
Not a member? Join WFSE here.

What's on the table?
This Thursday, our team began negotiation of compensation as well as sharing proposals on important topics like telework.

We are fighting for the significant across-the-board wage increases that Washington's public employees need and deserve—but to succeed, we need you fighting with us.

We do critical work. Our members have kept Washington going through the COVID-19 pandemic at great personal risk and sacrifice. When economic forecasts during the pandemic were dire, we pulled together and did everything we could to continue supporting our communities.

Invest in public service
Now, the revenue for the next two-year budget period is forecasted to increase by $1.46 billion—but many state employees' wages continue to stagnate. As inflation soars, more and more public employees are struggling to make ends meet.

That leads to increased turnover, staffing shortages, heavier caseloads, mandatory overtime—and the burnout and safety issues that accompany them. Choosing public service shouldn't mean committing to subpar wages.

We've shown that when we stand strong together as a union, we can win the strong contracts our members need. In just a few weeks, members will receive the first paycheck reflecting the raises we won in our last contract bargaining cycle. But we still have work to do.

Our next bargaining session will be held on July 28.

Are you with us? Here's how you can take action:

Useful links:

June 14
GG Bargaining Team Update #4 (2023-2025 biennium contract)
Not a member? Join WFSE here.

We want to update you on the progress of 2023-2025 contract negotiations with the state. Tuesday, we held our fourth bargaining session and continue to exchange counter proposals on a variety of topics, including discipline and grievances, travel policy, and privacy and off-duty conduct.

Our next session will be held on July 7, and it’s very likely that we will begin discussing compensation.

In preparation, we want to hear from you about your experience as a state employee. Click here to submit a short video testimonial. Tell us about the value of your work and why the state should continue investing in public services.

It’s no exaggeration that we’ve been through a lot over these past couple years. Along with inflation, the cost of living continues to rise in Washington. Housing prices are climbing, and many state workers are forced to seek employment elsewhere.

Strong Contracts, Strong Worksites

While our union has been very successful in securing raises that will kick in this July, we need to make sure our state continues to be an employer of choice by investing in our future. Click here to assist our team in securing a strong 2023-2025 contract.

The rising expenses have put a strain on workers and the people we serve. Many of our departments are experiencing staffing shortages, high turnover, increasing caseloads and mandatory overtime.

We love the work we do for Washingtonians—and we want to afford to continue doing this work for the long term.

Together, we can secure a strong contract for our future.

Will you take just a few minutes to tell us why your job is important and why the state should invest in public services? Click here to submit your short video.

And please, reach out to your coworkers about the value of our union. Our strength is in our numbers, so encourage them to join our efforts. (Direct link: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/wfse-member-card-2)

Quick Links:
Miss a bargaining update? Visit wfse.org.
Members-only benefits

WFSE shared leave
WFSE news
View current union agreements

June 7, 2022
GG Bargaining Team Update #3 (2023-2025 biennium contract)
Not a member? Join WFSE here.

We want to thank everybody who showed their support yesterday in WFSE green as we proceeded with our third day of 2023-2025 contract negotiations with the state. Your membership and collective display of solidarity is what helps us move the ball.

Not a member? Click here to join our efforts. Strength in numbers is how we win. Let’s show the state how unified we are as we advocate for our jobs, families, and the communities we serve.


Topics discussed: Tuesday, we submitted ten articles to the state addressing everything from our bid system and hiring to contracting out, staffing shortages, and language translations of our agreements. Additionally, we walked through the multiple memoranda of understanding (MOUs) that accompany our General Government agreement.

Compensation: We’re unlikely to discuss compensation until sometime after the revenue forecast is released in late June. Again, the state knows how unified we are based on our membership.

How you can help: Every month, we welcome new hires to state employment. It’s critical for us to reach out and talk to our new co-workers about the value of our union and what we can achieve together.

Will you commit to reaching out?

  1. Encourage your co-workers to sign up by sharing this link: https://actionnetwork.org/forms/wfse-member-card-2.

  2. Let your co-workers know they can follow bargaining updates here: https://www.wfse.org/general-government-bargaining-updates.

  3. Join your local's member action team (MAT) to support bargaining efforts through organizing and sharing critical updates. Our union's strength begins with our worksites (https://www.wfse.org/mat).

Together, we can continue to strengthen our union as we get closer to discussions on compensation.

In solidarity,

Your WFSE General Government Bargaining Team

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May 24, 2022
GG Bargaining Team Update # 2 (2023-2025 biennium contract)
Not a member? Join WFSE here.

Let’s show the state we’re united. Will you join us in wearing green on June 7?

Today, we resumed negotiating our 2023-2025 union contract with the state. We exchanged proposals, and it’s clear that we have a difficult road ahead. Negotiations are tough, but we’ve shown we can win, and we can do it again. Here’s how you can help us reach a good deal for our jobs, families and communities:

  1. Solidarity: Wear green on June 7 in support of your union bargaining team.

  2. Democracy: Complete your bargaining priority survey by May 31 if you haven’t already done so.

  3. Strength in Numbers: Join WFSE if you’re not a member, and encourage your co-workers to do the same.

Let’s be clear: Washington works because we do. State workers showed up through the pandemic and made sacrifices during the subsequent economic recession. And because of our work, Washington’s economic future is looking brighter.

We’ve shown what we can win together: Thanks to your help, our bargaining team covering the current 2021-2023 biennium secured significant raises and lump sums that will show up on July 25th paychecks. Not only that, our 2021 lobbying efforts funded the buy-back to eliminate monthly furloughs this biennium—and our 2022 lobbying efforts locked down additional raises for several job classifications that will also take effect in July.

Help us secure a strong contract for our future. These current negotiations will determine what the 2023-2025 biennium will look like for state workers. We want your help to ensure every state employee is paid fairly and treated with respect. It’s about attracting and retaining employees, so we can provide the best possible services to Washington’s residents. Our interests are Washington’s interests. Strong worksites. Strong contracts.

Be ready: While we continue to review the state’s proposals, let’s show the state we’re united across every worksite. On June 7, we’ll meet with the state’s negotiators again. Please join us in wearing WFSE green for our jobs, families and communities.

In solidarity,

WFSE General Government Bargaining Team

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May 5, 2022
Not a member? Join WFSE here.

On Thursday May 5, your GG bargaining team met with management for the first time. During this meeting, we shared our union’s initial proposals.

Please stay tuned for upcoming news from future sessions. The more engaged and active we are as union members, the more solidarity and power we will have at the bargaining table.

During COVID-19, we saw the power of our union in action. Our combined strength brought management back to the table to negotiate an across-the-board raise as well as lump sum payments. These increases are happening thanks to you. You shared your stories and lifted up the sacrifices public employees have made to keep supporting folks during the pandemic—the way we do every day.

Here are some ways to keep building connection and solidarity as we begin negotiations:

We are grateful for all that the previous bargaining team and union staff accomplished, particularly making our upcoming July 1 increases a reality.

Our current team are already hard at work for the next budget cycle. We will be meeting with management again on Thursday, May 24. At this next session, we will hear management’s responses to our initial proposals, as well as hear their proposals.

Your elected team members look forward to representing you and advocating for the best contract for our jobs, families and communities.

Stay tuned and stay strong.

In solidarity,

Your General Government Bargaining Team:


AFSCME Council 28/WFSE Officers:
President Mike Yestramski (DSHS BHA), [email protected]
Vice President Ashley Fueston (ESD), [email protected]
Secretary Kodi Gaddis (DSHS ESA), [email protected]

Corrections:
Don Malo, [email protected]

DCYF:
Anne Hinojosa, [email protected]
Riley Ingram-Sowell, [email protected]

Employment Security:
William Kinyon, [email protected]

Human Services:
DCYF: Kizzy Andreason, [email protected]
CSD: Jeremy Ayres, [email protected]
DCS: Shannon Barry, [email protected]
HCS: Cynthia English, [email protected]
At-Large: Steve Segall, [email protected]

Institutions:
BHA: Dianne Womack, [email protected]
JR: Nate Wilson, [email protected]
DVA: Barbara Holbrook, [email protected]
DDA: Steven Yates, [email protected]
DDA: Cindy Hall, [email protected]

Labor and Industries:
Chuck Pirtle, [email protected]
Anthony Newbauer, [email protected]

Legal Services:
Angela Guadamuz, [email protected]

Natural Resources:
Jeff Wheeler, [email protected]
Jade Monroe, [email protected]

Transportation:
Georgina Willner, [email protected]
Dave Hurlburt, [email protected]

Unified State Agencies:
Susan Butz, [email protected]
Tony Kennish, [email protected]

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Previous Cycle Final Bargaining Update-September 29, 2020

Voting concluded on September 20, 2020.

Download the 21-23 contract here: WFSE General Government 2021-2023 Collective Bargaining Agreement.

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