County and City Employee
WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF COUNTY AND CITY EMPLOYEES  -  AFSCME AFL-CIO  - COUNCIL 2
County and City Employees
WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF COUNTY AND CITY EMPLOYEES - COUNCIL 2 - AFSCME AFL-CIO
...

First Major

by Council 2 Deputy Director Pat Thompson on March 23, 2015
The Legislature is designed around various cutoff dates. At a minimum all bills face at least seven hurdles before they become law. Each hurdle has a deadline attached to it. The first major deadline was the “House of Origin” cutoff. If a bill wasn’t voted on by the cutoff, it’s supposed to be dead, but dead is a relative term in Olympia. A wise man (Sam Kinville) once told me “They make the rules, they can change the rules.”
 
Generally speaking, the cutoff was good news for our Union.
 
The vast majority of really bad policy bills didn’t make it out of the Senate. Those bills include:
 
SB 5329 – Would require that all Union negotiations be done in public. That’s right, out of all the negotiations that are done by cities and counties only the labor negotiations would be subject to a public meeting requirement. It should be noted that all labor contracts are subject to public debate as part of the current process.
 
SB 5602 – Would prohibit release time for public employees who participate in negotiations or act as stewards for their local union. Most of our contracts have clauses that allow for employees to participate in certain union activities at no loss of pay.
 
SB 5045 – Would require a yearly vote on Union Security! This is a barely veiled right-to-work measure that would allow open shops and force the Union to recertify its membership annually.
  
UGLY PENSION BILLS GET HEARINGS
 
SB 5982 – (Senator Braun R – 20th District) Would increase the normal retirement age to 67 years for new employees (only because they can’t do it to current employees under our State’s Supreme Court Decision). Our Union has long advocated that 30 years should equal a career and this measure would force the normal retirement age beyond the reach for many of our members.
 
SB 6005 – (Senator Braun again) Would cap the pension calculation at the State’s average annual wage currently $52,635. Again for all new hires. This is completely arbitrary

and would dramatically cut pension benefits for thousands of public employees. Not surprisingly, it’s aimed only at PERS, TERS, PSERS, and the Higher Education plan, not the Legislators themselves, Judges, Fire or Police.
 
HOW CURRENT EMPLOYEES ARE AFFECTED:
 
Both these bills undermine the health of the entire system, currently the 4th best managed system in the Country. The money that the above bills will take out of the system will lower the investment returns. Remember, 80% of the benefits paid out are due to investment returns of the contributions.
 
Please contact the following Senators and ask them NOT to support SB 5982 or SB 6005.
 
Andy Hill                                andy.hill@leg.wa.gov
John Braun                            john.braun@leg.wa.gov
Bruce Dammeier                   bruce.dammeier@leg.wa.gov
Jim Honeyford                       jim.honeyford@leg.wa.gov
Jim Hargrove                         jim.hargrove@leg.wa.gov
Karen Keiser                         karen.keiser@leg.wa.gov
Kevin Ranker                        kevin.ranker@leg.wa.gov
Barbara Bailey                      barbara.bailey@leg.wa.gov
Randi Becker                        randi.becker@leg.wa.gov
Andy Billig                            andy.billig@leg.wa.gov
Sharon Brown                      sharon.brown@leg.wa.gov
Steve Conway                      steve.conway@leg.wa.gov
Karen Fraser                        karen.fraser@leg.wa.gov
Bob Hasegawa                    bob.hasegawa@leg.wa.gov
Brian Hatfield                       brian.hatfield@leg.wa.gov
Mike Hewitt                          mike.hewitt@leg.wa.gov
Jeanne Kohl-Welles             jeanne.kohl-welles@leg.wa.gov
Steve O’Ban                         steve.oban@leg.wa.gov
Mike Padden                        mike.padden@leg.wa.gov
Linda Evans Parlette            linda.parlette@leg.wa.gov
Christine Rolfes                    christine.rolfes@leg.wa.gov
Mark Schoesler                    mark.schoesler@leg.wa.gov
Judy Warnick                        judy.warnick@leg.wa.gov
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