Lobbying: Fund our Communities and Contracts!

Our union is taking action during the 2023 Legislative Session to ensure funding for our contracts, which will benefit our communities, workplaces and families. 

Jump to Lobby Dates toSign Up for a Fun Day in Olympia!

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Bills We're Supporting

  • SB 5187 / HB 1140 Ratify collective bargaining agreements to ensure the state can hire and retain the workforce necessary to provide the vital public services we all depend on.

  • SB 5304 – Prevent DSHS from outsourcing testing and certification services for spoken language interpreters to a for-profit company. Any reduction in quality of interpretation puts patient safety at risk. Interpreters: see WFSE actions here.

  • SB 5385 – Provide modest increases to public works bid limits in higher education. Higher education bid limits have not been raised since 2009, and an inflationary adjustment is long overdue.

  • SB 5141/HB 1122  – Allow members of the WA Management Service to join a union and collectively bargain if they want to.

  • HB 1187  – Ensure communications between an employee and the union who represents them are privileged.  A unions’ duty of fair representation is diminished if employees are unable to have frank and honest dialogue with their exclusive bargaining representative.

  • SB 5273 /HB 1200 – Require public employers to provide employee information to exclusive bargaining representatives. It’s impossible for unions to fulfill their duties on behalf of their members if employers withhold the information necessary to do so.

  • SB 5015 – Reestablish the Productive Board to incentivize and reward proposals by state employees to make government more efficient and effective. We successfully secured funding for this program during the last Legislative session, and need to get it in the budget again to officially bring the program back. 

  • HB 1566 – Allow state employees to retain up to 280 hours of vacation leave, while ensuring no employee can cash out more than 240 hours of leave upon separation.

  • HB 1333 – Make it easier for victims of domestic violence and stalking to have their personal information redacted from public records requests.

  • HB 1388  Protecting tenants by prohibiting predatory residential rent practices and by applying the consumer protection act to the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act.

  • HB 1389 – Concerning residential rent increases under the residential landlord-tenant act and the manufactured/mobile home landlord-tenant act.

  • HB 1586 .Requiring the criminal justice training commission to establish a work group and grant program related to vehicular pursuits. There are many harmful attempts to change pursuit laws. There needs to be a unified and deliberate approach that evaluates the implications associated with changes in law relative to pursuit. To that end our union supports the establishment of a multidisciplinary committee to make recommendations to the Legislature.

Why Lobbying Matters

Our contracts are the written agreements negotiated by WFSE members elected to our bargaining teams.

This fall, WFSE members voted to ratify (accept) contracts that include much-needed raises that will positively impact staffing levels, workplace safety, and the Washingtonians we serve.

But we aren’t to the finish line yet.

Until our state Legislature votes to ratify and fund our contracts, they remain tentative. If the Legislature rejects our contracts, we go back to the bargaining table and start over, delaying our pay raises for a year at best.

Many elected officials will look at the size of our contracts and say, “No way! We can’t afford it.” It is our job to show them that our state cannot afford NOT to fund our contracts.

We must educate them that our contracts are not just about us; they’re about fixing years of understaffing, ensuring our state can attract and retain the best, and making vital services available to all Washingtonians.

That’s why we always say: No workforce has more at stake in the decisions made by elected officials than state employees.

The Governor and the Legislature control our wages, health care, pensions and job security. We need to make sure the voices of public servants are heard!

Download this page as a PDF to put up in your worksite or bring to a local meeting. 8.5x14 paper.

Population Outpacing State Workforce

As you can see, fewer and fewer public workers are available to provide Washingtonians with the services they depend on. State government has yet to recover from the Great Recession.

In 2002 there were just over 6 million residents with 63,975 general government employees serving them. In 2022, population has ballooned to 7.8 million residents but the state employee headcount has failed to keep pace, currently sitting at just 67,721.

These aren’t just numbers. They represent mandatory overtimes and burnout for dedicated public workers and fewer services for the most vulnerable Washingtonians.

WFSE’s 2023-25 contracts are a good first step in addressing this crisis.

Fixing Washington's Inability to Recruit and Retain the Best

The flipside of the staffing crisis is compensation. Washington is currently unable to attract and retain the skilled and dedicated public servants that Washingtonians deserve.

The state’s own 2022 salary survey found that the state’s overall compensation lags the market by over 16%.

This number is the average. The disparity is even greater in many job classifications.

To begin addressing this pay disparity and the resulting staffing crisis, our 2023-25 contracts include financial incentives that will make it easier for qualified applicants to choose public service.

This is the message we need to take to legislators.

Sign up for Your Lobby Date Below

  • Not sure what district you're in? Use this tool.

  • Travel & Food - WFSE will cover the cost of travel (mileage or airfare & rental car—carpooling is highly encouraged when possible) for members coming to Olympia for lobby days and if LPA requests that a member testify at a hearing. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. See full policy here.

  • Can't make it to lobby this year? Support those who can by becoming an AFSCME People member.

LD 3 (Spokane) - MLK Day, January 16 

LD 4 (Spokane) - MLK Day, January 16 

LD 6 (Spokane) - MLK Day, January 16 

LD 9 -MLK Day, January 16

LD 31 - January 17

LD 10, 40, 42 (Northwest WA) - January 18

LD 37 - January 19

LD 23, 26 (Kitsap) - January 19

LD 22 - January 20

LD 17, 18, 49 (Southwest WA) - January 23

LD 7, 12 (Northeast WA) - January 24

LD 1, 5 (Northeast King County) - January 25

LD 32 - January 26

LD 46 - January 26

LD 35 - January 27

Language Access Providers (Interpreter's Lobby Day) - January 27

LD 19, 24 (Coastal WA) - January 30 

LD 13, 14, 15 (Central WA) - January 30

LD 11 - January 31

LD 29, 36 - February 1

LD 30, 47 (South King County) - February 2

LD 20 - February 3

LD 8,16 (Southeast WA) - February 6

LD 39, 44 (East Snohomish County) - February 7

LD 34 - February 8

LD 21, 38 (West Snohomish County) - February 9

LD 43 - February 9

LD 28 - February 10

LD 41, 45, 48 (East King County) - March 9