The 2019 Legislative Session is Underway

by Council 2 Deputy Director J. Pat Thompson on February 13, 2019
This year’s Legislative Session began on Monday, January 14th and a slew of Bills have been introduced that affect public employees.
Among the Bills your Union is following include:

HB 1575 / SB 5623:  Strengthening the Rights of Public Employees.
This omnibus bill addresses the rights of public employees under the Janus Decision. It provides clarity and certainty for union workers to ensure their rights to collective bargain and maintain their contractual rights. It also mandates that employers honor the terms and conditions of duly signed union authorization cards.

Our Union is working in collaboration with several other public sector unions and the State Labor Council.

The Freedom Foundation strongly opposes these bills as their main goal remains:
Eliminating Pensions
Privatizing Public Jobs
Stripping Health Care Benefits   
Lowering Worker Wages

These Bills were heard in the House and Senate Labor Committees and are waiting Executive Action.

HB 1333:  Expanding Collective Bargaining Rights to King County Bailiffs.
This measure would eliminate the statute that was misapplied to the Bailiffs in King County denying them the right to form a Union. Over 75% of the Bailiffs wish to be represented by Council 2. The bill was voted out of the House Labor Committee with 4 Yes’s, 1 No and 2 without recommendation. It is now scheduled to be heard by the House Appropriation Committee.

HB 1390:  Increasing Benefits to PERS Plan I Members.
This bill would provide a one-time 3% increase up to $62.50 per month to all Plan I Members. It should be noted that Plan I does not contain an automatic COLA and all increases must be authorized by the Legislature.

SB 5618:  Increase City Bid Limits.
This bill makes minor adjustments to the amount of work that can be done by in house employees in 2nd Class Cities. Your Union is trying to increase these limits and apply them to all cities.

SB 5240:  Authorizing the State Investment Board to manage the assets of the Seattle, Tacoma and Spokane Pension Systems.
This bill would allow the City Councils to transfer all the investment funds from their City’s Pension System to the State Investment Board. As in the past, your Union opposes this bill due to the lack of employee participation in the decision.

HB 1337:  Adding Code Enforcement Officers to assault in third degree provisions.
This Bill would increase the penalty for assaulting a Code Enforcement Officer to 4th Degree assault. It was heard in the House Public Safety Committee and is awaiting executive action.

SB 5360 / HB 1308:  Changing Pension Default.
This bill would change the default from Plan 3 to Plan 2 for those employees who do not make a decision within 90 days of employment.