Unionized Washington state employees want a pay raise. They plan to rally Wednesday at the state Capitol.
The unions representing state employees point to a recent salary survey that shows 99 percent of state job classes pay below market rate. State workers did get a nearly 5 percent pay hike in their last contract, but they want a more significant bump in their next two-year deal. Bargaining is currently underway.
Imelda Ang sits on the bargaining team for the 32,000-member Washington Federation of State Employees. She knows the state is already under court order to fully fund public schools.
“School kids or state employees -- it’s a delicate balance, isn’t it?” Any said. “Because a majority of state employees who live in this community do have children that are going into the state school system and we want them to have a great education. But I think we can do it.”
The governor’s office negotiates state labor contracts. The legislature can only vote yay or nay to fund them.