State employees to walk out in unison over stalled raises

UPDATE — See news coverage of the WFSE May 20 “unity breaks.”

The following is from the Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28:

In the largest coordinated job action since their successful strike 14 years ago, thousands of state employees will walk out of more than 70 worksites Wednesday, May 20 to call on the Legislature to end the stalemate on state workers’ negotiated 4.8 percent pay raises.

The coordinated Unity Breaks come a week after a salary setting board OK’d 11 percent raises for legislators while the state Senate continues to reject the modest raises for state employees — 3 percent on July 1, 2015, and 1.8 percent on July 1, 2016. These would be the first pay raises for state employees in seven years. For two of those years, state workers took 3 percent pay cuts, furloughs and layoffs.

Most Unity Breaks will start at noon in dozens of cities and towns including Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Yakima, Vancouver, Tri-Cities, Everett, Bellingham, Lakewood and Olympia/Tumwater.

They’re coordinated by the 40,000 member Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME.

The entire list of Statewide Unity Breaks is posted here. Major Unity Break sites will be:

North Seattle Community College
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Courtyard• 9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA 98103

Spokane (Developmental Disabilities)
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Front of building • 1611 W Indiana, Spokane, WA 99205

Tacoma (Department of Social and Health Services [DSHS])
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Centennial Buildings• 1949 S State Street, Tacoma, WA 98405

DSHS Yakima
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Sign waving on 16th Ave• 1002 N 16th Ave, Yakima, WA 98902

DSHS Vancouver
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Location TBA• 13600 NE 9th Street, Vancouver, WA 98684

Tri-Cities Morain Complex (Corrections, Developmental Disabilities, Home and Community Services, Vocational Rehabilitation)
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
TBA• 500 N Morain, Kennewick, WA 99336

Everett Community College
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Two locations: Broadway (in front of Liberty at new red sign); and between Jackson and Greywolf• 2000 Tower Street, Everett, WA 98201

DSHS & WSDOT Everett
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Front of DSHS building• 840 N Broadway, Everett, WA 98201

Bellingham – Children’s Administration
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
Front of building• 1720 Elis Street, Bellingham, WA 98225

Lakewood – Western State Hospital
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
WSH Flagpole• 9601 Steilacoom Blvd SE, Lakewood, WA 98498

Tumwater – Labor & Industries
May 20, 2015• 12:00 Noon
L&I HQ• 7273 Linderson Way SW, Tumwater, WA 98501

Other cities with Unity Breaks: Aberdeen, Auburn, Bellevue, Buckley, Centralia, Cheney, Clarkston, Colville, Ephrata, Kelso, Kent, Lacey, Longview, Lynnwood, Medical Lake, Moses Lake, Mount Vernon, Okanogan, Omak, Port Angeles, Port Angeles, Port Orchard/Retsil, Renton, Salkum, Selah, Shoreline, Silverdale, Spokane Valley, Tukwila, Walla Walla and Wenatchee.

The Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME represents about 40,000 state agency, higher education and public service workers across Washington. These workers make Washington work, such as: law enforcement on state college and university campuses, in state Parks, Community Corrections and the Liquor Control Board; direct care for veterans, disabled, mentally ill and at-risk children and adults; keeping our roads safe and maintaining our highway infrastructure; safeguarding health and safety in the workplace and public utilities like drinking water; keeping state colleges and universities safe, clean and healthy; and protecting our natural resources.

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