Peer support, shared leave pass Senate

Priority DOC peer support, shared leave bills pass Senate - unanimously

The state Senate Wednesday morning (Feb. 28) passed our priority bill (HB 2611) that would give Community Corrections officers and specialists the same post-incident privileged communications protections as other law enforcement officers when talking to peer support counselors.

“We should be able to talk to a counselor as soon as possible and those statements should be protected,” Local 443 member John Tulloch testified earlier this session.

HB 2611 passed the Senate 49-0. There were no amendments, clearing its way to the governor’s desk for signing into law.


The Senate on Tuesday (Feb. 27) also passed another priority bill, ESHB 1434, to expand the shared leave program to include pregnancy-related disability or illness, or for parental leave to bond with a new child. The vote was 49-0. This is an idea that came from the bargaining table in 2016.

Continue calls to legislators

These bills have a lot of corporate opposition. They need to pass by this Friday, March 2.

2SHB 1851: Bringing accountability and transparency in state outsourcing (the Taxpayer Protection Act). 2SHB 1851 is now on the Senate’s Second Reading Calendar.

  • CALL TO ACTION on outsourcing transparency bill - 2SHB 1851:  Dial 1-800-562-6000. Share your experience with outsourcing gone wrong and ask your Senator to SUPPORT 2SHB 1851, the Taxpayer Protection Act!

2SSB 6245: Interpreter services bill. 2SSB 6245 is now on the House’s Second Reading Calendar.

  • CALL TO ACTION on interpreter services bill – 2SSB 6245:  Dial 1-800-562-6000. Urge your House members to SUPPORT 2SSB 6245 to spread the successful interpreter program demonstrated by WFSE/AFSCME Interpreters United Local 1671 members to other agencies.

SB 6079 to keep our dates of birth private to protect state employees’ safety and security did not make it out of the House State Government Committee. But there is some chatter about reviving it.

  • CALL TO ACTION: Continue to call your legislators at 1-800-562-6000 to support SB 6079; revive this bill to protect state employees’ privacy, safety and security.

House passes new employee orientation access bill

The House on Tuesday night (Feb. 27) passed a good bill that strengthens the new employee orientation program.

It’s important that new state employees get access to a wide range of information, including their contract rights.

That value is strengthened with House passage of ESB 6229 guaranteeing that exclusive bargaining representatives have access to new employee orientations, at least 30 minutes within 90 days of a new employee coming on the job. The contracts we negotiate can exceed those minimum standards. For instance, the WFSE/AFSCME General Government contract Art. 39.11 covers new employee orientations.

More details: Public employers must provide the exclusive bargaining representative reasonable access to new employees of the bargaining unit for the purposes of presenting information about their exclusive bargaining representative. The presentation may occur during a new employee orientation provided by the employer, or at another time agreed to by the employer and the exclusive bargaining representative.

The House passed ESB 6229 on a vote of 58-40. The bill now goes to the governor for his signature into law.