Governor Inslee: It’s time for a fair COLA!

Below is the text from a petition to Governor Jay Inslee, initiated by Washington Public Employees Association. Other unions representing state workers are also planning actions, and strategizing on how to stop the austerity and concessions that the Washington State Legislature has imposed on public employees, since at least 2008. State workers are being told to tighten their belts at a time that huge corporations are raking in record profits. Let’s remember that Gov. Inslee helped Boeing get $8 billion in tax breaks! Please go to the link at the bottom of this page and sign the petition.


The facts are clear: Classified state employees have not received an across-the-board salary increase in more than six years, and during part of that time they sustained a 3% salary reduction. Also during this period, health care premiums were increased by 25% and the Consumer Price Index rose by more than 12%.

The conclusion is obvious: Classified state employees need a fair cost of living adjustment (COLA) along with stable health care costs.

Governor Inslee: It’s time for a fair COLA along with stable health care costs for classified state employees.



Familias Unidas por la Justicia — On the March!

July 11Farm workers at Sakuma Brothers Berry Farms in Skagit Valley are marking the one-year anniversary of their formation as a worker-led, independent union. In that time, they have won several crucial victories. Sakuma Brothers CEO’s were forced to back off plans to hire “guest workers” as a means to illegally replace the 400-plus union members. A Skagit County Judge awarded $850,000 to the workers as a result of retaliation they had suffered — all of it illegal on the part of Sakuma in response to strikes held by Familias Unidas last year to win better wages and conditions. And in late June, a judge ruled that Sakuma Brothers can’t dump family housing they have long provided, in favor of sex-segregated housing that is designed to keep union members and their families out. Also, Sakuma can’t refuse to rehire those workers who were active in union organizing last year. Now Familias is fighting for a first union contract. Be part of this historic labor organizing. If you aren’t already on the OWLS email list for updates, just write to — and see you Friday, July 11!

Gather at Burlington, WA, Cook Road Exit 232 at 10am. Head East and look for the banners!