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State

E
mployee
State Employee
INSIDE: Focus on Higher Education members - 3

VOL. 43 NO. 4

Workers Memorial Day at Western State, WSDOT - 6

www.discoverpass.wa.gov

MAY 2015

The official newspaper of the


WASHINGTON FEDERATION OF STATE
EMPLOYEES/AFSCME Council 28AFL-CIO

WASHINGTON

WASHINGTON

Now good on either


of two vehicles!

DSHS members of
Local 53 along 19th
Avenue in Tacoma
during May 6 Unity
Break.

STATEWIDE UNITY BREAKS MAY 20

See poster - 4
Your own

signs - 7 & 8

Focus on WFSE/AFSCME Fish & Wildlife members


One snapshot of Fish and Wildlife members in action:

Goldendale Hatchery members


doing the job for state fishers

n a recent visit to the Goldendale Trout Hatchery,


WFSE/AFSCME President Sue Henricksen
(at right with Shawn Magee, Local 2964) got
a rundown on the important work WFSE/AFSCME
members do there, like loading 12-pound rainbow trout
to stock our lakes for recreational fishing. These are the
people we should think about the next time we go fishing
and why we have to fight attempts in the Legislature to
close some hatcheries.

UPDATE: WorkForce
Optimization memo
issued
Washington State Labor
Council labor awards open
Each year at its annual
convention, the Washington State Labor Council,
AFL-CIO presents awards

More online about how


hatcheries members are
using their union strength
including to save hatcheries
in the state budget: http://
wfse.org/get-involved/fishwildlife-focus/

DSHS members
affected by the WorkForce
Optimization (WFO) program
have been waiting for this

the follow-up memo


memorializing agreements
made at demand-to-bargain
negotiations March 12. If you

havent seen it, you can see it


online: http://wfse.org/wfomemo-41315/

recognizing the efforts and


accomplishments of specific
union organizations and individual union members. The
2015 WSLC Convention will
be July 23-25 at the DoubleTree Hotel in SeaTac.

The awards are the


Mother Jones Award, the Elsie Schrader Award and the
Bruce Brennan Award. Nomination deadline for all three is
June 1.
For more details on the

awards and to download


nomination forms, go to:
http://www.thestand.
org/2015/04/submit-nominations-for-2015-laborawards/

Deadline for Summer Institute for Union


Women Scholarships extended to May 28
Theres still time to apply for
the Federations Summer
Institute for Union Women
Scholarships.

The deadline has been extended to May 28.


The forms are being updated

with the revised date.


But you can still use the form
in the March Washington
State Employee or online at:
http://wfse.org/summerinstitute-union-women-scholarship/

THE CORNER PAGE

SAFETY
CORNER
Know your
limits in heat

Another
in a series
of Safety
doesnt happen by
accident memes.

The WFSE/
AFSCME Health
and Safety
Committee has
these tips for
heat safety.

Take breaks often. Try to rest in


shaded areas so
that your bodys
thermostat will
have a chance
to recover. Stop
working if you
experience
breathlessness
or muscle soreness.

Even being out


for short periods
of time in high
temperatures
can cause serious health problems. Monitor
your activities
and time in the
sun to lower your
risk for heatrelated illness.
If youre outside
in hot weather for
most of the day
youll need to
make an effort to
drink more fluids.
Avoid drinking
liquids that contain alcohol or
large amounts of
sugar, especially
in the heat.

Pay attention to signs of


heat-related illness, including
extremely high
body temperature, headache,
rapid pulse, dizziness, nausea,
confusion, or unconsciousness.
Watch people
who are at higher
risk for heatrelated illness,
including infants
and children up

SAFETY TIPS or your QUESTIONS on


workplace safety!

Safety essay contest open

Please e-mail your questions or


tips to:
c28SafetyTips@gmail.com.

The WFSE/
AFSCME
Health
and Safety
Committee is

running an essay
contest.

online from the


Centers for Disease Control:

http://www.cdc.
gov/niosh/topics/
heatstress/

Heat Stress:

Extreme Heat:

to four years of
age; people 65
years of age or
older; people
who are overweight; people
who push themselves too hard
during work or
exercise; and
people who are
physically ill or

who take certain


medications (i.e.
for depression,
insomnia, or poor
circulation).
Eat healthy
foods to help
keep you energized.

Safety-related
prizes will be

awarded to
winners at
the unions
convention
in October in
Seatac.

Submit a short
essay on How
do you keep
safe at work?
and submit it at:
C28safetyTips@
gmail.com.

http://emergency.
cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/index.asp

Keep Your Cool


in Hot Weather:
http://www.cdc.
gov/Features/
ExtremeHeat/

Safety Corner is a project of the WFSE/AFSCME


Health and Safety Committee.

More information

AFSCME retirees at center of retirement security debate


Last in a series of reports

Attendees at recent forum.

RPEC
CORNER
Online:
rpecwa.org

State Employee
WASHINGTON

Washington State Employee (USPS 981200) is published monthly, except February


and July, for $5.08 per year by the Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME
Council 28 AFL-CIO, 1212 Jefferson St. S.E.
Suite 300, Olympia, WA 98501. Affiliated with
the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the
Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.
Periodicals postage paid at Olympia, WA
and at additional offices. Circulation:
42,000.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to
Washington State Employee, 1212 Jefferson
St SE Suite 300 Olympia WA 98501-7501
Sue Henricksen, President
Greg Devereux, Executive Director
Editor Tim Welch
e-mail: tim@wfse.org Internet: www.wfse.org
Member, ILCA

Page 2

Americans have been told that


defined benefit pensions are a
thing of the past and 401(k)s are
the new norm, explains Ann
Widger, director of the American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Retirees. But the truth
is that the majority of people
have been moved from defined
benefit plans to 401(k)s, and then
from 401(k)s to nothing. The
new normal is that 50 percent
of Americans near retirement
age have no retirement, and that
is not only a travesty for those
individuals, but it is a disaster
waiting to happen for our public
services unless we act.

Widger was a speaker at


a forum held at the Machinists Hall on April 2 in Seattle,
focused on real retirement
security. The Retired Public
Employees Council of Washington (RPEC), along with the
Washington State Alliance for
Retired Americans (WSARA)
and the Machinists, hosted
this forum.
The forum was held
concurrently with the White
House Council on Aging
(WHCoA) Conference, which
was one of several invitationonly regional conferences
held across the country. The
conference focused on four
areas: Senior Fraud, Healthy
Aging, Long-Term Care, and
Retirement Security, though
retirement security only dealt
with reforming 401(k)s.
The real retirement security forum was open to
the public and emphasized
the three-legged stool of retirement: Defined Benefit
Pensions, Social Security,
and Savings. Our goal is to
challenge our government to
make retirement security a
priority for all Americans,
says Widger, and we need

to preserve and expand the


programs that have been
proven, like Social Security,
while fighting the misleading
messages that pensions are a
thing of the past.
The forum discussed the following legislative changes:
Scrapping-the-cap or
eliminate the cap on income
subject to the Social Security
payroll tax, currently set at
$118,500.
The Social Securitys
cost-of-living adjustment
should be measured by the
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
for the elderly (CPI-E), not
the CPI for middle age people
living in an urban area, as is
currently the case.
Medicare should allow
the federal government to
negotiate directly with drug
companies, to decrease costs.
Policies need to be
created to incentivize the offering of defined benefit pensions from employers.
Union retirees and community action organizations
that attended the WHCoA
worked together to ensure
that the issues above were
discussed. In addition, the
following issues came out of

the conference:
Social Security should
allow caregivers to have a
credit toward their Social
Security Benefits, instead of
taking $0 for their FICA contributions for that period of
time, which drive their benefit
down.
A new uniform standard should be set for financial advisors to have to do
what is best for their clients,
to replace the current standard of what is suitable.
Long-term care financing options need to be created
to keep seniors out of poverty.
Better training and pay
is required to increase the
quality and quantity of appropriate long-term care workers.
More education must
be offered to all Americans
regarding retirement savings
vehicles.
More education for
seniors to help them identify
scams.
While some of these issues may be sent to the final
White House Council on
Aging taking place in July,
it is important that we stand
together in supporting efforts
to maintain the programs
and policies that have kept so
many working families out of
poverty, while also addressing
new ways to deal with building up retirement security.

ELECTRONIC DELIVERY OPTION. If youd like to save paper and postage, you can receive this newspaper electronically. Go to www.wfse.org and hover
over NEWS & INFO, located in the top menu bar. Select from the drop-down list: WASHINGTON STATE EMPLOYEE - Newspaper. Use the form
on this page to register for the electronic version. Or e-mail us at info@wfse.org, or write: WFSE/AFSCME, 1212 Jefferson St. S.E., Suite 300,
Olympia, WA 98501. If youre a represented non-member fee payer and you dont wish to receive this publication in any format, e-mail us at contactus@wfse.org, or write: WFSE/AFSCME, 1212 Jefferson St. S.E., Suite 300, Olympia, WA 98501.

WFSE/AFSCME Washington State Employee

May 2015

MEMBERS IN ACTION: Higher Education members

150 members march on Green River CC president to end atmosphere of insecurity

In the wake of recent layoffs of classified staff at Green River Community College in Auburn, some 150 workers and members of WFSE/AFSCME Local 304
marched on the college president April 22 with a huge open letter (inset) calling
for an end to the atmosphere of insecurity.
Green River recently laid off two of our members and have announced plans

of future layoffs, WFSE/AFSCME Journey Organizer Vanessa Arpin said. We did


an open letter to administration demanding transparency around layoffs.
The lack of transparency that management has fostered has created an environment of distrust..., the open letter read.

Renton Technical College members gear up for bargaining

Community Colleges of Spokane members have voices heard on outsourcing


At the April 28 Community Colleges of Spokane Board of Trustees meeting at Spokane Falls
Community College, college members of Local 1221 packed the meeting in the SFCC Lodge
Building. WFSE/AFSCME Executive Director Greg Devereux spoke on behalf of the members and
raised their serious concerns with ongoing issues around outsourcing of members work.

The Renton Technical College Bargaining Team has been


participating in interest-based bargaining with management for
upcoming negotiations on the next collective bargaining agreement.
The WFSE/AFSCME RTC Bargaining Team (above) consists of Julie Pock, Karen Noble, Kimberly Loreen and Stacy
Hamilton.
The meetings have been going for several months and the
team hopes to finish sometime in May.
The RTC Bargaining Team has been busy elsewhere, too.
They hosted two different lunchtime meetings to meet with coworkers and discuss proposals, the legislative session and how
to bring about
change on
campus using the voice
they have as a
union.

UW members rally to support custodians


LEFT: Castillo with
the hundreds of
petitions.

University of Washington Local 1488 members


rallied May 1 in support
of custodians including
custodian Salvador Castillo,
who change.org said is being
unfairly targeted.
Some 75 Local 1488
members, students, other
union allies and community
supporters turned out in the
University of Washingtons
Red Square to continue their
call of support for custodians and the public service
they provide --- and against
retaliation.
Ongoing issues include
high workload caused by
unfilled vacancies.
They marched from the
square into the Administration Building and presented
hundreds of petition signatures and petition comments to the chief of staff for
Interim UW President Ana
Mari Cauce.
We are not slaves,
custodian Neghisdy Hab-

May 2015

BELOW: UW junior
Leila Asfari (left)
joins the rally.

Supporter speaks after Lukaszek (left) presented petitions to Johnson (right).

Habties
ties told the chief of staff Rolf
Johnson.

They (custodians) are


tired (of the treatment)...,

Frustration -- and resolve.

Local 1488 President Paula


Lukaszek said.

WFSE/AFSCME Washington State Employee

This has got to stop.

Page 3

TAKE THE NEXT STEP MAY 20 UNITY BREAKS!

JOIN STATEWIDE UNITY BREAKS MAY 20


12 Noon Wednesday, May 20 All across the state

At noon on Wednesday, May 20, public employee union members across Washington
are taking a break at the same time to send a powerful message to the state Senate:
Do not cut our raises and health care. Fund our contracts because public service
matters!
For list of events: wfse.org (http://wfse.org/publicservicematters-coordinated-actions/)
Or call your nearest WFSE/AFSCME field office: http://wfse.org/contact/
Page 4

WFSE/AFSCME Washington State Employee

May 2015

THE FACTS: FUND OUR CONTRACTS

Time to act during special session

From left: Public Service Matters event April 18 in Centralia; Alanna Gehr (South Puget Sound CC) recording Local 443 Public Service Matters radio ad April 30; Local 1326 member David Gutierrez
(Employment Security) interviewed by Yakima TV station April 22; Local 1488 members step up for public services and our contracts at May 1 University of Washington rally.
At press time, legislators were in
the midst of their 30-day special session. They adjourned April 24 without
finishing work on a budget and
whether to fund our contracts.
But leading up to and into special
session, WFSE/AFSCME members
stepped up public pressure with a series of Public Service Matters events
around the state that started April 18.
Thousands of petitions signatures,
emails to legislators and sympathetic
newspaper editorials followed. Key
Republican senators appeared to be
getting the message.
Jobsite actions continued. Radio
ads started.
But more must be done.
Thats why its so important
to take part in the Statewide Unity
Breaks set for Wednesday, May 20. See
poster on page 4.
Why it matters: Our raises are at
stake unless we remind the state Senate that public service matters. The
Senate rejected our contracts including our first raises in seven years

Olympia Local 443 members Justin Goodwin (Health Care Authority), DeFrance Clarke (Labor
and Industries) and Sarah C. Wilson (Employment Security Department) went into the studio April
30 to record the locals ads about our contracts, which aired 100 times over the first two weeks in
May. After describing what they do and why its important, they conclude: Like all state employees,
this isnt just a job to me. Its public service that matters. It was the first phase of a radio ad campaign by WFSE/AFSCME and other state employee unions that expanded statewide the second
week of May.
and wants to remove 20,000 state
employee spouses off of their health
insurance.
Time for action: Members voiced
determination to keep up the high

road Public Service Matters series


of WFSE/AFSCME action events to
fund our contracts to keep good state
employees who provide those vital
services.

Local 843s Kevin Allen.


Id rather stand strong and
fight for what was agreed to, in good
faith, than grovel for scraps from the
Washington state Senate, David
Pintuff, a Local 443 member at the
Department of Natural Resources in
Olympia commented on wfse.org.
Lets keep the pressure on the
House and Senate, added Kevin Allen, a Local 843 member with DSHS in
King County.

Your actions are making a difference -- lets keep the momentum going
OBan endorses funding contracts as they were negotiated
In a sign your actions are
working, a key Senate Republican has publicly endorsed
legislative approval of the
contracts as they were negotiated.
Sen. Steve OBan of the
28th District in the Lakewood
area of Pierce County went on
the record with that thumbs
up at the annual Workers
Memorial Day commemoration April 28 at Western State
Hospital sponsored by Local
793.
OBan was one of six Senate Republicans who broke
with their caucus to vote for
the Hargrove Amendment
on April 3 that would have
fully funded the contracts in
the Senate budget. But Senate
leaders, including OBan, voted for a rule change so such
amendments needed 30 votes
to pass; the Hargrove Amendment got only 29.
OBans public comments
were the strongest indication that your Public Service
Matters messages in key
senators districts are getting
through and having an effect
in the unions blitz to fund
our contracts.

May 2015

Sen. Hargrove steps up pressure for contracts

Hargrove

Sen. Steve OBan (left) with WFSE/AFSCME President Sue Henricksen after
his April 28 speech to Local 793 members endorsing funding of our contracts.
I did vote
for the contracts
and I expect
that the Senate and House
when we get
our budgets
together the
contracts will be
OBan adfully approved
as they were ne- dresses Local
gotiated, OBan 793 members.
said at the Local
793 event.
Thats as near a guarantee as youll get from a politician. But I am near confident
if not certain we will approve
those contracts by the time
were done.

And despite OBans


pledge, there is some wiggle
room. The Senate moved its
bad budget on a vote of 26-23.
Even if OBan voted with the
23 Democrats, his vote would
still not be enough.
That is why his words to
the Local 793 audience dont
diminish the harsh reality that
we still face an uphill climb
to get the votes to fund our
contracts.
OBans prediction and
vote alone wont be enough.
Thats why its important to
keep the momentum going
during the Legislatures 30day special session now in
progress.

Sen. Jim Hargrove, sponsor of the proposed amendment to fund our contracts
that fell one vote short in the
Senate a few weeks back,
stepped up the public pressure to fund our contracts.
In a guest editorial in
the April 30 Olympian (Ingredients for bipartisan budget
include revenue, pay raises),
Hargrove identified funding
our contracts as one of the
Gov. Jay Inslee shakes
hands with Maria Pedersen
and other Local 443 volunteers at the Public Service
Recognition Week (PSRW)
event May 6 in Olympia.
There he concluded his
remarks saying public
employees deserve a 4.8
percent raise. He reinforced
his long-held endorsement of
the contracts.

WFSE/AFSCME Washington State Employee

top three issues that must be


a priority in the final compromise budget.
Hargrove wrote: I believe civil servants deserve
their first general wage increase since 2008. That raise
was negotiated in good faith
with the Governors Office
and needs to be honored in
our budget.
The Republicans, however, passed a budget that
instead reduced the wage
increase and took a swipe at
health benefits for spouses....
As we double down
on our efforts to find common ground in Olympia, we
know the public is waiting
and watching. Its up to us to
deliver.

Page 5

UNION NEWS
SHARED LEAVE
REQUESTS
Paige Groner-Himes, a research analyst 2 with the Washington State Patrol in Olympia
and a member of Local 443,
has been approved for shared
leave. Contact: Lt. Chris Sweet
at (360) 704-2390, or your human resource office.
Tracy Kelley-Rios, a social
services specialist 3 with DSHS
in Forks and a member of Local 1463, is in need of shared
leave to cover time she is missing while recovering from a
cancer surgery. She will need
shared leave to cover the time
she will miss during chemo and
recovery from reconstructive
surgery. Contact: DSHS Human
Resources or your own human
resource office.

Just for you -- your very own


Public Service Matters signs
On pages 7 & 8:
Cut out. Use. Send us your photos: photos@
wfse.org.
You can also download those signs:
http://wfse.org/publicservicematters-signs/

We must do better

Tex Sullivan, an information


technician specialist 3 at the
Department of Ecology in Lacey
and a member of Local 872,
has been approved for shared
leave as she undergoes a total
ankle replacement. Contact:
Logan Thuet at (360) 407-6182,
or your human resource office.

Local 793 President


James Robinson leads
somber procession at the
locals annual Workers
Memorial Day commemoration at Western State
Hospital.

Nadine Griggs, a
WorkSource specialist 3 with
the Employment Security
Department in Everett and
a member of Local 1020, is
still in need of shared leave
to cover time she is missing
while recovering from a serious
illness that is requiring a
lengthy recuperation. Contact:
Felicia Wright in ESD Human
Resources at (360) 902-9532
or your own human resource
office.

Nellie Williams (left)


and Kelsey Williams
(center) with WFSE/
AFSCME Lobbyist
Matt Zuvich after
Gov. Jay Inslee April
22 signed HB 1977,
which waives fees for
tuition, services and
activities of children
and surviving spouses of highway workers who lost their lives or became
totally disabled in the line of duty. The sisters lost their dad, Sam Williams,
a Highway Maintenance member of Local 1290 on Feb. 22, 2000, when a
motorist hit him in a work zone along Highway 12 in Lewis County.

Rene Whittington, an
office assistant 2 with
the Employment Security
Department in Olympia and a
member of Local 443, is still in
need of shared leave to cover
time she is missing during
her recovery from a serious
back injury. She may need
surgery to ensure a complete
recovery. Contact: ESD Human
Resources at (360) 902-9532,
or your own human resource
department.

Rebecca Moore, an
investigator 2 with the Human
Rights Commission in Olympia
and a member of Local 443,
has been approved for shared
leave. Becky is to undergo
surgery and will miss at least
three weeks of work recovering.
She has used all her available

Page 6

The event was a time for fellowship at the most dangerous


worksite in the state. Clockwise form lower left, members
from WSH Health Information Management Services: Koreena Brazil, Vy Yun, Debra Nixon, Barbara Thompson and
Inocencio Estrera.

Governor signs life-changing law


dedicated to families of Fallen 59

John Alspaw, a financial


recoverY enforcement officer
3 at Western State Hospital in
Lakewood and a member of
Local 793, has been approved
for shared leave. contact your
human resource office.

Rebecca Ashby, a social


service specialist 3 with DSHS
in Seattle and a member of
Local 843, is still in need of
shared leave to cover time she
is missing during her treatment
for an ongoing serious health
issue. Contact: Sandy Gump
at (206) 341-7246, or your own
human resources office.

Western State Hospital Local 793 held its annual Workers Memorial Day event April 28 at the
states most dangerous worksite to send the message statewide that we mourn for the dead but
fight for the living.
Dozens of members, other union allies and
two senators made the somber procession past
markers representing the nearly 300 Western State
staff injured in the past year.
No one should have to come to work and be
hurt, Local 793 President James Robinson said.
We must do better.

Inslee signed the DOT survivors


bill at the start of the agencys
annual Worker Memorial event
to honor the Fallen 59 the 59
Washington State Department of
Transportation members killed on
the job since 1950. Its life-changing, Nellie Williams said.
Larry Flue (Local 378) and Kate Rogers (Local 1060) pay respects at the
memorial to fallen Highway Maintenance co-workers

sick, vacation and personal


leave. Contact: Kristan Kaphan
at (360) 407-9218, or your
Human Resource office.
Orson Williamson, a high
voltage electrician at Seattle
Central Community College
and a member of Local 304,
has been approved for shared
leave. He has been diagnosed
with severe medical illnesses.
Orson has used all available

sick, vacation and personal


leave. He will be out for an
undetermined length of time.
Contact: your human resource
office.
Julie Johnson, an attendant
counselor 2 at the DSHS State
Operated Living Alternative
(SOLA) in Spokane and a
member of Local 573, is in
need of shared leave. Contact:
Enola Kaplan at (509) 299-

Its going to relieve unspoken fears of my co-workers, said Kate Rogers,


a Highway Maintenance member of Local 1060 in Greenbank who testified for the bill during the regular legislative session.

1800, or your human resource


office.
Bernie Tyacke, an auditor 4
with the Department of Labor
and Industries in Vancouver
and a member of Local 313,
is in need of shared leave
while he has knee surgery and
recovery. Bernie will be off the
job five to six weeks. Contact:
your human resource office.

WFSE/AFSCME Washington State Employee

Shared leave requests online:


http://wfse.org/shared-leave/
To place approved shared
leave requests: tim@wfse.org,
or 1-800-562-6002. Online:
http://wfse.org/shared-leave/

May 2015