Washington Works, Building a Competitive System

Negotiating Fair Labor Contracts

Collective bargaining is expanded and now the focus is where it should be—on salary and benefits. In the past, bargaining with state union organizations precluded critical wage-and-benefits issues, which resulted in discretionary management rights winding up on the bargaining table. Now, a unified collective bargaining system for wages and benefits will focus negotiations on critical employee issues, simplify the bargaining process and reduce the number and complexity of contracts.

  • Our goals in collective bargaining are fair and affordable labor agreements that improve workplace performance and service delivery.
  • There will be one master agreement with each union with 500 members or more. Unions with less than 500 members will be consolidated into one bargaining unit for the purpose of establishing a master agreement for their members.
  • Each master agreement will apply to all agencies with employees represented by a union.
  • The Legislature must approve the fiscal terms of the contracts.
  • Mandatory subjects for bargaining include wages, hours, other conditions of employment and the dollar amount expended for health insurance benefits.
  • Subjects prohibited from bargaining include pensions, management rights, the financial basis for layoffs, supervision of staff and other managerial prerogatives.
  • Employees excluded from collective bargaining include Washington Management Service, exempt and confidential employees, internal auditors, employees of the Department of Personnel, employees of the Office of Financial Management, employees of the Public Employment Relations Commission and certain employees of the state Attorney General’s Office.

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