When WFSE Members Lobby, Washington Wins

State employees will see pay increases, job improvements, and expanded bargaining rights this year thanks to the efforts of WFSE members during the 2019 state legislative session.

“There is no workforce in Washington with more at stake [in legislative decisions],” said Cody Cohan, a care resource manager for the Developmental Disabilities Administration. “We are stronger together when working to improve the lives of all Washingtonians.”

Cohan is one of more than 500 WFSE members who visited legislators in Olympia this year to talk about the value of public service. In addition to face-to-face meetings, thousands of members called, wrote, and emailed their legislators. Their efforts paid off.

The victories were numerous.

For the full WFSE legislative report, click here.

Rick Hertzog, a mental health technician at Western State Hospital (WSH), knows that lobbying is a crucial part of making sure we can provide the services our citizens depend on.

“Lobbying is important for state employees because we need to protect the services that we provide to the citizens of the state of Washington,” he said.

Hertzog and his co-workers met with legislators about the need for additional staffing to curb workplace violence at state hospitals. Although more staff are needed, the state’s budget provides over 300 additional full-time employees to improve safety and reduce resident to staff ratios.

WFSE members like Hertzog never quit advocating for working people and the vital services they provide to communities across Washington. When so much is at stake, sitting on the sidelines is not an option.

Advocacy doesn't just help members. It helps lawmakers get to know our work, strengthens our state, and helps to protect our environment, too.

“Washington deserves clean water,” said Lynn Doremus, a hydrogeologist for the Department of Ecology. “Our elected representatives need to know what we are doing for Washington and why it’s important.”

Jennifer Riedmayer knows legislators need to hear from workers like her.

“Meeting our state representatives is extremely important so that we can express the positive side of our work,” she said.

Glorianne Bora agrees.

“Everyone has a story,” she said. “We need to get to know our leaders in our districts so we can tell them our stories.”

Do you have a story to tell? Sign up today to advocate for working people, our families, and our communities. (Email [email protected] for more information.) Lawmakers need to hear our stories and understand the work we do so they can make good decisions for all Washingtonians. It’s what’s right.

More than 500 WFSE members visited the state capital this year to chat with legislators about the value of public service.