“Wear Green” movement nets quick results at General Government Bargaining Table



ggbt60414jFederation members around the state turned out in droves to support a fair contract and their bargaining teams, with the latest being around the General Government Bargaining Team negotiations that took place Wednesday and Thursday in Olympia. That included a “Wear Green” hotdog barbecue event outside the bargaining site at the Davis-Williams Building – just down the street from the headquarters of Gov. Jay Inslee’s own management negotiators.

The reaction from your General Government Bargaining Team: “THANK YOU.”

“They are inspiring us to work hard,” the team said of the statewide showing of support.

The General Government team hit the ground running a long time ago – last summer — digging in to research, vetting members’ proposals and writing a solid contract proposal.

The “Wear Green” days around the state have created a momentum that management is very aware of. Also, it’s given your team a welcome boost to do the long, hard work for you. It’s often tough, locked away for days in negotiations, wondering if anyone even cares.

Obviously, you do!

22 tentative agreements reached! After a 14-hour day Wednesday, including a night work session after management left, the General Government Bargaining Team achieved agreement on nearly half the contract.

As of Thursday, they had reached tentative agreement on 22 articles with Gov. Inslee’s bargaining team. Many of these were articles both sides agreed are OK as is, some were housekeeping and some had some notable improvements.

We can’t give you a lot of details, but you can give us a lot of feedback

In these hotlines, we can’t talk in specificity about the issues being negotiated until the entire contract is resolved or impasse is reached. That’s because of a provision in the General Government contract that precludes divulging details as bargaining is in progress – an agreement negotiated several rounds ago in part so management doesn’t grandstand and poison the public against a strong contract we believe supports public services and efficiency.

That said we can say, the major issues with compensation at the top of the list, remain. And general communications as you’re seeing here on the status of negotiations are allowed. But nothing stops you from asking bargaining team members more specific questions one-on-one – we just can’t get as detailed in print, online and in social media.

The value of reaching tentative agreement on so many articles so early on is to leave time in the remaining bargaining sessions to do the hard work necessary on the major issues you’ve been talking about.

CALLS TO ACTION:

And after this latest successful round at the table, the General Government Bargaining Team has two more actions they invite you to take – or continue:

1.    “Wear Green Day III” June 24.

The next General Government bargaining date is June 24. The team has designated that as “Wear Green Day III” – keep up what you’re doing. Wear green to support a strong contract and your bargaining team. We’ll remind you as we get closer how to send your photos to us for posting on our Facebook page – and everywhere else we can.

See hot links to photos, video and a radio news report of this week’s job actions around the state: http://www.wfse.org/hot-links-for-this-weeks-wear-green-day/

2.    Watch for the General Government priorities survey

The team is wrapping up work on the priorities survey to get your feedback on the major, major issues important to you to guide the final months of bargaining. This is  your chance to say what issues are the ones we should go to the wall for and which issues might not be. There are only so many bargaining days and we don’t want management to run the clock out on us. Only with your help can we marshal our time to do you justice and win the strongest possible contract.

In a little more than a week, you should see the General Government survey at worksites and local meetings. We’ve found that the best place to start on something so important is one-on-one contact. And the FOX teams and other activists in the WFSE Spring movement to engage members in winning a strong contract will fan out across the state to have as many one-on-one meetings with you to get the best possible feedback. This is one piece of paper we don’t want you to relegate to the recycle bin.

In a couple weeks, the survey will be mailed to catch all those in General Government we couldn’t get to one-on-one. An online version will be available too.

So stay tuned. Much more to come.

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