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Spokane city, county workers picket for fair bargaining

The following is from AFSCME Council 2:

SPOKANE (July 13, 2021) — Workers from across Spokane county and city government held an informational picket last Friday at the County Courthouse to speak out about being asked to work for months — some more than a year — without a contract. They demanded that both county and city officials bargain in good faith and in accordance with state law.

“For decades Spokane’s public employees and local governments have negotiated fair contracts, supporting working families and making sure services were provided and protected,” said Chris Dugovich, President and Executive Director of the Washington State Council of County and City Employees/AFSCME Council 2. “The commitment of union workers to the people of Spokane has not changed, but now — during a pandemic — a handful of special interest politicians are breaking the law to try and harm workers. It’s not only illegal, it’s unethical.”

The union has publicly criticized the actions of County Commissioners Josh Kerns and Al French, along with Spokane City Councilmember Michael Cathcart, as leading the efforts to ignore longstanding laws governing collective bargaining.

“Kerns, French, and Cathcart are putting their ideology over the needs of the people they serve,” Dugovich said. “They should be focused on helping local economic recovery — not taking orders from special interests and wasting time and money on an illegal effort to avoid negotiations.”

The union hopes to raise awareness through this informational picketing event and will continue pressuring officials to come to the bargaining table.

“All these employees want is a fair process,” Dugovich said. “Public employees are committed to the recovery and success of the communities where they live — all of Spokane is in this together. We need the politicians to stop breaking the law and help us all move forward.”

For more information about the Washington State Council of County and City Employees/AFSCME Council 2, visit the union’s website.


► From the Spokesman-Review — Spokane city, county union workers rally amid controversy surrounding public labor negotiations — Spokane city and county union workers held a demonstration Friday amid stalled negotiations on new labor contracts due to disagreements over negotiating the deals in public.


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