Wear green to be seen next Tuesday, May 20

General Government Bargaining Team met May 12 and 13 to finish work on the initial contract proposal going to management May 20.

General Government Bargaining Team met May 12 and 13 to finish work on the initial contract proposal going to management May 20.

General Government Bargaining Team wants your involvement to win a strong contract

Five of the Federation’s bargaining teams start face-to-face negotiations with their respective managements next week.

And General Government, representing about 30,000 state agency workers, is the largest.

The team met for its final two-day prep session Monday and Tuesday (May 12 and 13). The major piece of work was finishing work on the union’s initial contract language for the next, 2015-2017 collective bargaining agreement.

That contract article language covers non-economic issues. This initial proposal will be presented to management at the first bargaining session that starts at 9 a.m., next Tuesday, May 20, at the Thurston County Fairgrounds – Thurston Expo Center, 3054 Carpenter Road in Lacey. The team invites members to come during the noon hour in the lobby area and at the scheduled end of each day’s bargaining session to show support for the team and ask questions of the team. (Later in this message, some ways you can ask questions of the General Government Bargaining Team.)


The General Government Bargaining Team is asking members to do a simple action that will show statewide support for a strong contract:

Please wear an AFSCME Green shirt or any green shirt next Tuesday, May 20, to show that the contract matters all across the state.

The quiet act of wearing AFSCME Green will also support your elected representatives on the bargaining team as they do the important work of negotiating a contract as good as our members.

• Language on economic issues such as compensation will be presented later, likely after the state’s next revenue forecast. The bargaining team will meet at least a full day to discuss articles on compensation to be presented later; that team meeting is being scheduled now.

• Bargaining on the health care article that covers such things as what percentage of your health insurance premium you pay will also come later at the Federation-led Health Care Coalition of all state employee unions. All state employee unions negotiate on health care at one time and the final agreement applies to all unions and all contracts.

But on General Government, that bargaining team has worked since last summer to prepare as no other team has prepared since full-scope bargaining first started in 2004. The team has meticulously vetted all bargaining proposal ideas submitted by General Government members. The initial contract proposal the Federation team unveils next Tuesday to the governor’s bargainers will reflect all that input from members and the hours and days of research, compiling data, debate and vetting put in by the bargaining team with the expert knowledge of the Federation’s bulked-up Negotiations Department.

And the General Government Bargaining Team has taken the bold step of saying as long and as hard as negotiations will be, they will commit to reaching out to members to get feedback and answer questions throughout bargaining.

Here’s how you can get feedback and questions to the General Government Bargaining Team:

• The General Government Bargaining Team, like all of the Federation’s bargaining teams, has a dedicated webpage for regular updates and to contact the team. Go to wfse.org, click on COLLECTIVE BARGAINING in the green bar at the top of the page. That will give you a drop-down menu of all bargaining teams; you can scroll down to GENERAL GOVERNMENT to get the page with bargaining updates and the form to get questions to the bargaining team. (The direct URL is: http://www.wfse.org/collective-bargaining/general-government/)

• That webpage also has a link to sign up for e-mail updates on bargaining.

• You can also e-mail feedback and questions to contactus@wfse.org.

• For regular text updates on bargaining on your mobile devices, text GGBT to 69866.

• SURVEY COMING. The General Government Bargaining Team is preparing a bargaining priorities survey to go to all state agency members. Watch for that in coming weeks.

So……for General Government, a new union bargaining team negotiating with a new governor — and Federation members with a reinvigorated mission after six years of recession and its after effects.



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