June 11, 2008


Ecology members around the state stood shoulder-to-shoulder the past few weeks as they stood with their Water Quality Division colleagues who faced layoffs because of the agency’s budget mismanagement.

But we’re glad to report that thanks to that tenacity and solidarity, the agency on Monday told a delegation of Federation Ecology leaders no Water Quality staff would lose their job and no one would face a loss of pay.

The Ecology leaders met with agency director Jay Manning at the headquarters in Lacey. Federation President Carol Dotlich and Executive Director Greg Devereux joined in pushing for more transparency on budget issues to prevent what almost happened in Water Quality.

Kerry Graber, a Local 443 Ecology member in the meeting, reports that Manning and his team said the last two people slated for layoff had been successfully transferred without having to take demotions or a loss in pay.

Before the meeting, about 25 members gathered in Ecology headquarters lobby to collect the last of 160 signatures on a petition to Manning. They then escorted their representatives up three flights to stairs to Manning’s office.

Meanwhile, Ecology members around the state gathered in their worksites to sign the petition and show support for their team in Lacey. At the Northwest Regional Office in Bellevue, members gathered for both a noontime lunch ‘n learn and a later solidarity break timed to coincide with the meeting in Lacey. At the Eastern Regional Office in Spokane, co-workers wore AFSCME green t-shirts and gathered at 3 p.m. to present a petition to ERO Director Grant Pfeifer.

More than 13 percent of Ecology members took part in some part of these job actions, all on very short notice.

“This is truly a great step for Ecology—let’s build on it,” said Scott Mallery, a Spokane Local 1221 Ecology member who chairs the Federation’s Natural Resources Policy Committee.


A delegation of Transportation members today (June 6) presented the governor with a petition signed by more than 500 members calling for a fix to overtime calculations. That total is nearly a third of the statewide Highway Maintenance Bargaining Unit.

Accepting the petitions on behalf of the governor was her chief of staff Cindy Zehnder.

The petitions call on the governor to support the DOT workers “in our efforts to correct how overtime is calculated and that we be paid the correct hourly rate for such overtime.”

Presenting the petition were: Rodney Jarrells, Local 1020, chair of the Federation’s Transportation Policy Committee; Federation Executive Board members Larry Flue, Local 1060, and Sue Tellesbo, Local 1020; Federation Field Rep Addley Tole; and Regional Field Supervisor Bob Keller.


The special committee on Children’s Services social workers’ workload mandated this spring by the Legislature held its latest meeting June 3.

A progress report is due to legislators by July 1. A final report is due Nov. 15.

The special DSHS-WFSE Children’s Administration Ad Hoc Union-Management Communication Committee on Social Worker Workloads meets again June 24.

The committee spent time reviewing findings of the workload study, including developing a task list for proposed elimination and/or options for elimination.

The Legislature created the committee to prioritize social worker tasks and devise methods to relieve social workers of some lower-priority tasks. The discussions include use of contracting services and home support specialists.

The Federation representatives on the committee are: Bob Tadlock, Region 1; Ron Smith, Region 2; M. Faye Anderson, Region 3; Robbie Chiles, Region 4; BaLinda McDonald, Region 5; Bob Mumford, Region 6; Randy Lorello, Federation regional field services supervisor; and Jeanine Livingston, the Federation’s contract compliance director.