Thursday, September 16, 2021


Hundreds of wealthy Americans back the Biden Build Back Better Act; Roger Stone is served with a warrant on live radio; and family caregivers are in need of assistance.


Virginia gubernatorial candidates debate; former federal prosecutor Michael Sussmann indicted for lying to FBI; lawmakers set to question oil industry over climate disinformation; and FDA scientists express skepticism over booster shots.


Lawsuits stall debt relief for America's Black farmers; Idaho hospitals using "critical care" protocols; grant money boosts rural towns in Utah and more conservation acreage could protect the iconic sage grouse.

WA's Largest Public Union Reaches Pact on Vaccine Mandate


Monday, September 13, 2021   

SEATTLE - Washington state's largest union of public workers has reached an agreement with the state on Gov. Jay Inslee's vaccine mandate.

The deal ensures access to and education about the shot on work time as well as an additional day of leave so workers can get vaccinated. The Washington Federation of State Employees filed a lawsuit in August to compel the state to negotiate in good faith on the details of the mandate.

Union president Mike Yestramski said the agreement is a win for public health and due process.

"This entire bargaining process and that lawsuit that we had filed," said Yestramski, "all of that was about impact bargaining and the fundamental right of unions to bargain workplace conditions."

The Washington Federation of State Employees is withdrawing that lawsuit.

The agreement also includes options for people near retirement and a consistent and equitable process across workplaces for employees seeking a medical or religious exemption.

More than 80% of members voted in favor of the agreement.

Yestramski said the union has continued to push for safety measures in the face of this virus.

"We've been pretty vocal," said Yestramski, "pretty open from the beginning of this pandemic that vaccination, masking, social distancing, all of those things are incredibly important pieces to end this pandemic and to keep our communities safe."

The Washington Federation of State Employees' includes 47,000 public service workers in state agencies, higher education and behavioral health.

Disclosure: Washington Federation of State Employees - AFSCME Council 28 contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
Oregon's Hispanic population grew 30% from 2010 to 2020. (Gstudio/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Hispanic Heritage Month began this week, and will be celebrated through Oct. 15. Oregon has a rapidly growing Hispanic population…

Social Issues

SILVER SPRING, Md. -- As the Biden administration challenges a Texas law restricting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, Planned Parenthood for …

Social Issues

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- Social Security, the program credited with lifting 15 million older residents in Wyoming and across the U.S. out of poverty…

Arkansas' rental-assistance program has distributed funds to more than 3,200 households in the state. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas has made some changes to its state rent relief program to make it easier to distribute assistance to residents…


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The historic clean-energy bill signed into Illinois law yesterday includes measures from closing coal and natural gas plants by 2…

Indiana ranks 44th out of 50 states for bankruptcy. (Andriy Blokhin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

INDIANAPOLIS -- A new coalition is forming to push back against predatory lending and urge state lawmakers to take action to protect consumers…

Social Issues

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- More than 200 high earners have written a letter urging Congress to raise taxes to help support social safety-net programs that …

Health and Wellness

LINCOLN, Neb. -- Limiting women's access to abortion and other reproductive health care can have a devastating impact on state economies. According …


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