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Like many DCYF workers in Washington, Taylor Andrews-Garcelon loves her clients but has felt her job get more stressful and dangerous in the last few years. 

Big decisions about our working conditions and livelihoods were made in Olympia during the 2024 legislative session. Through our union, we had a seat at the table and came away with major improvements for public employees.

UW Libraries Union members secured a tentative agreement early Wednesday morning, just three hours before their planned strike. At a celebratory rally on the Seattle University of Washington campus, WFSE members turned out to show their solidarity with fellow UW workers.

The following is adapted from remarks delivered by President Saunders at the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor’s Martin Luther King Day Breakfast on January 14, 2023.

Union family, it’s a great honor to spend this special day with you, as we celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as we reflect on his sacrifice and recommit to his work.

Child welfare workers in Washington came together for a major win this year: in addition to advocating for much-needed cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs), WFSE members led the charge in securing 10% assignment pay for the majority of child welfare field operations staff at the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

In this truly-member run campaign, the question was not “’What is the union doing for me?’ but ‘What are we working on accomplishing together?”

Turnover, Underfunding & Staffing Issues

In a rushed vote, the Tacoma Art Museum Board refused to voluntarily recognize TAM Workers United (TAMWU), which has over 80% support among employees.

At the University of Washington (UW), seven WFSE plumbers and pipefitters relied on the power of their union to stop their employer from hiring outside contractors to complete two large projects that were rightly their work. Thanks to solidarity and knowing their rights, they won the grievances they submitted.

When they received notice of the need to replace major machinery, WFSE members in the plumbing and pipefitting shop planned the two projects and coordinated with union steamfitters—but employer-side preparations for the project continued to lag.

Next action? Worker solidarity day at Tacoma Art Museum on Saturday, November 19 as 12pm.