skip to main content

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

play newscast audioPlay

Alabamans urge a grocery tax reduction, a tape shows Trump knew about a classified document on Iran, Pennsylvania puts federal road funds to work and Minnesota's marijuana law will wipe away minor offenses.

play newscast audioPlay

Democrats say a wealth tax would help alleviate some national debt, lawmakers aim to continue pandemic-era funding for America's child care sector, and teachers say firearms at school will make students less safe.

play newscast audioPlay

Oregon may expand food stamp eligibility to some undocumented households, rural areas have a new method of accessing money for roads and bridges, and Tennessee's new online tool helps keep track of cemetery locations.

WA State Workers Challenge Senate Budget "Suggestions"

play audio
Play

Monday, April 13, 2015   

OLYMPIA, Wash. - It would be back to the drawing board for state workers and agencies if the Washington Senate GOP budget proposal is adopted. The proposal suggests that state employee contracts, ratified last fall, be renegotiated. Supporters of the proposed budget say the changes would cost the state less.

Greg Devereux, executive director, Washington Federation of State Employees, says under the state's collective-bargaining law, the changes would be illegal. He says legislators can accept or reject the contracts, but proposing alternatives isn't in their purview.

"The Senate has rejected the contracts and then said, 'Here's an alternative pot of money - go negotiate within those parameters,'" says Devereux. "That, in any scheme, is an unfair labor practice. You cannot do that, and we've been saying that for weeks."

The current state contracts provide pay raises of 4.8 percent over two years, the first increases in seven years. The Senate's alternative caps pay increases at $1,000 a year for two years, and removes 20,000 spouses from state workers' health insurance plans.

The Republican Senate leadership says the idea is only a recommendation intended to save money, and that the unions and state would have to hammer out their own terms. Devereux thinks it was meant to start a late-session fight and up-end the budgets already approved by the House and the governor.

"It was designed to cause disruption among union members, and in many ways, I think it's backfired," he says. "We're going to go to town halls, we're going to go everywhere we can to alert the public to what's happening in the state legislative budget process."

Union members say one of the ways they'll make their case is with a series of actions in six key districts around the state called "Public Service Matters." Those will take place on Apr. 18 – about a week before the scheduled end of the legislative session.


get more stories like this via email

Human rights advocates point out in 2023, North Dakota adopted nearly a dozen laws targeting the LGBTQ+ community. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Human rights voices are calling attention to new North Dakota laws deemed hostile toward LGBTQ+ individuals, saying it is part of a movement led by …


Social Issues

play sound

In eastern Kentucky, advocacy groups are expanding summer learning opportunities for families. Isolation and learning loss plague many rural …

Social Issues

play sound

In 1968, Congress passed a law requiring the Food and Drug Administration to minimize people's exposure to wireless radiation, but the agency dropped …


Environment

play sound

Nevadans will have the opportunity to learn more and weigh in on a proposed public lands rule that shifts the Bureau of Land Management's focus to pri…

A recent U.S. Census Bureau analysis found South American (46%) and Cuban (35.9%) groups had higher levels of bachelor's degree attainment than all other Hispanic-origin groups in 2021 and for the entire 16-year period.(AdobeStock)

Social Issues

play sound

In Tennessee and across the country, the rapidly growing Hispanic population made remarkable strides in college enrollment and educational attainment…

Social Issues

play sound

The moment Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a sweeping elections bill into law last week, several voter-advocacy groups filed lawsuits against it…

Health and Wellness

play sound

An Indiana licensing board has fined a local physician $3,000 and handed her a letter of reprimand after she went public about a 10-year-old Ohio pati…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021