Aside from the fact that workers employed by the state of Washington have their union contract negotiations in secret (which many are not happy with), now it appears the state is playing extreme hardball.

   Sources say the state is lowballing, disrespecting, and even being dangerous

According to information from the Washington Policy Center's Jason Mercier, as well as the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) who represents the bulk of the state's workers, the state is being very difficult.

Since this summer, according to WFSE, there have been ongoing contract negotiations with the "Governor."  Now, Inslee does not himself sit there all day, it's mostly his representatives but they convey the view of him and the state.

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According to Mercier and WFSE in their latest update from September 16th:

"We continued our fight for a fair 2023-25 contract yesterday and were informed, the state does not believe you “are a priority” and continues to show up with lowball compensation offers. They seem to think it is ok to:

  • Run our state agencies with critically low staffing levels
  • Skimp on public safety
  • Accept hazardous workplace conditions
  • Not recruit and retain the dedicated public servants Washingtonians deserve"

Mercier added this from a release he put out Tuesday, September 20th:

“Dangerous.” “Hazardous.” “Lowball compensation.” “Disrespectful.” “Unsafe.” “Public services are at risk.” These are just some of the descriptions state government employee unions have used to describe the progress of the secret contract talks now happening with the Governor for the 2023-25 pay increases for state employees."

Mercier added that we have no idea what specifically is going on with these negotiations as they are done in 'secret,' but it appears Inslee and the state are taking a hardline stance with a group that he normally relies upon for political support.

To read more about the negotiations, click here.

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