State workers, police and firefighter pensions lose in Senate GOP budget
It’s not the first time Senate Republicans have proposed rejecting negotiated pay increases for state workers, while offering flat annual raises that would be cheaper.
And just like before, alternate raises aren’t something lawmakers have the power to impose.
Leaders of the Senate majority have proposed saving the state about $250 million in the next two years by rejecting most of the labor contracts Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s office negotiated with 38 employee unions last summer. The plan from GOP leaders instead would offer workers flat annual raises of $500 each of the next two years.
But the state’s collective bargaining laws only let the Legislature approve labor contracts negotiated with state employees in full, or reject them entirely. Lawmakers can’t alter them, something that has irked Republicans for years.