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Attend Douglas County hearing Feb. 18 on open bargaining

WATERVILLE, Wash. — The right-wing anti-union Freedom Foundation is back at it.

Having failed to convince state lawmakers to open collective bargaining sessions to the public throughout Washington state, the group is trying to accomplish this goal one city and county at a time. And next week, union members will be out in force in Douglas County to oppose their latest attempt to politicize and hamper the collective bargaining process.

TAKE A STAND — Join fellow union members at the Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 203 S. Rainier St. in Waterville, where commissioners will consider a resolution to open all county collective bargaining sessions to the public. Wear your union colors and attend this hearing to oppose this bad policy.

Back in 2014 the Freedom Foundation pushed this idea, which was copy-and-pasted from “model policy” the corporate-financed bill mill, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). They failed. And ever since then, they have sought similar legislation at city and county governments across the state.

But the idea has been rejected for good reason.

“Nobody negotiates in public,” testified Dennis Eagle of the Washington Federation of State Employees, AFSCME Council 28 during a hearing on the 2014 bill. “The private sector doesn’t. The public sector doesn’t. The U.S. and Russia don’t. Nobody does. It doesn’t work. It’s a recipe for gridlock.”

“Opening these negotiations changes the dynamic, including inviting negotiators to spend more time grandstanding and mugging for the camera than actually trying to come to an agreement,” said Joe Kendo of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Join Central Washington union leaders and members at the Feb. 18 hearing in Waterville. For more information, call Paul Parmley at 509-667-7760.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!