May 30, 2010

WFSE/AFSCME files grievance to recoup diverted health funds

The Federation yesterday (May 27) filed a grievance challenging the state’s diversion of $216.3 million in surplus health funds that this year added about $1,500 in your health costs. 

The Federation grievance alleges the state violated the Health Care Benefits article of its contracts by not contributing its full 88 percent share. (Most other public employers pay 100 percent of premium costs, according to the state’s latest salary survey.)

The grievance asks that the 40,000 employees covered by Federation contracts get at least 12 percent of the recouped amount—or about $26 million plus interest. Employees pay 12 percent of premium costs.

The $216.3 million surplus in the Public Employees Benefits Board Unrestricted Fund Balance came about because employees didn’t file as many claims. State employees did what they’ve been asked to do—take steps to stay healthy to avoid going to the doctor.

But instead of passing that savings along to employees, the Legislature in 2008 instead deliberately drained the full $216.3 million surplus and used it for other parts of the budget, the grievance says.

The union alleges this meant the state lowered the premium costs only for the employer, below the 88 percent negotiated in the contract.

“By lowering the funding rate, only for the employer, instead of allowing both employees and the employer to benefit from the surplus, the employer reaped the entire benefit of the $216.3 million surplus and improperly diverted the funds to benefit other portions of the state budget,” the Federation grievance says.

“At the very minimum, 12 percent of the surplus belong(s) to the state workers who helped create the surplus.”

The diversion set off a chain of events that added to the economic sacrifices inflicted on state employees. Out-of-pocket costs—deductibles, co-pays, prescription costs—skyrocketed this past Jan. 1. It took an all-out push by Federation members to win an infusion of $65 million from the 2010 Legislature to avoid another round of out-of-pocket hikes in 2011.

The grievance was filed with the state Labor Relations Office and officially received by LRO Director Diane Leigh.

This is not the first time the Federation has filed grievances defending the Health Care Benefits article of its contracts. The state and the Federation in 2006 settled grievances on another underfunding episode, winning some $55 million in recouped funds. That settlement brought lump-sum payments of $756 to all bargaining unit employees in 2007.

May 26, 2010

Please call Congress now to support jobs bill

It’s crunch time for putting America back to work. Members of Congress have been talking a lot about jobs. Now is their chance to put that rhetoric into action with The Promoting American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213), which the U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote upon this week -- perhaps as soon as today. 

Please call 877-442-6801 NOW and urge your U.S. Representative to vote for H.R. 4213 to create and save jobs and make Wall Street pay. Tell your representative that a vote against H.R. 4213 is a vote against jobs.  Connect with AFSCME's online JOBS NOW page. 

TAKE ACTION: Please call your U.S. Representative and Senators TODAY and urge them to support H.R. 4213.

This is particularly important for those of you who live in the congressional districts of U.S. Reps. Brian Baird and Adam Smith, neither of whom have indicated yet whether they plan to support H.R. 4213, but ALL union members in Washington are urged to make the calls because U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell also hasn't indicated which way she plans to vote.

The Promoting American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213) does four critical things:
  1. Extends Unemployment Benefits and COBRA subsidies for the rest of the year
  2. Provides additional Medicaid money to cash-strapped states
  3. Provides funding for infrastructure improvements
  4. Closes tax loopholes to make Wall Street pay

"The miracle at the Machinists Hall" still reverberating as Democrats realize Federation serious about endorsing few

Eleven days later, and everyone is still talking about the tough stand Federation delegates took at the May 15 COPE Endorsements Conference when for the most part the tough stand taken at the Federation’s earlier internal endorsements conference prevailed. 

It’s being called “The Miracle at the Machinists Hall” because the conference took place at the IAM Machinists Hall in south Seattle, the site of so many key labor and political events in this state. 

The Federation teamed up with allies from UFCW Local 21 and Machinists Lodge 751 to deny most incumbents the two-thirds vote they needed to win the backing of the “House of Labor” in Washington state. 

The Federation “Green Machine” held the line and sent the same message: After the $1 billion sacrifices we’ve made for this state’s economy, we’re tired of being kicked around, vilified and undefended by legislators who ought to know better. 

Here’s what The Olympian and Tacoma News Tribune reported at the time: 
State employees are particularly set against spreading money out among Democrats. Two rounds of budget cuts, including layoffs and furloughs, have left them unhappy with many legislators.  
“They went after state employees, against our lunch-box issues,” said Craig Gibelyou, a Western State Hospital nurse. So he and other members of the Washington Federation of State Employees objected to endorsing legislators who “threw us under the bus,” he said. 

Read more here at The Olympian.

But the fight for accountability of our elected leaders isn’t over. 

Candidates can get the Washington State Labor Council’s endorsement at its state convention Aug. 9-12 in Tacoma. So it’s important that Federation locals send delegates so we can continue to hold the line and extend this miracle of solidarity.

Scott White endorsed for 46th District Senate; Maralyn Chase for 32nd District Senate seat

State Rep. Scott White, who got the endorsement of the Federation at its Endorsements Conference in April, has now gotten the nod for the 46th District Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Ken Jacobsen. Under the Federation’s post-conference rules, White received the endorsement via the required approval of two-thirds of local presidents in the 46th District.

One other post-conference endorsement took place. Rep. Maralyn Chase was endorsed for the 32nd District Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Darlene Fairley.

State acknowledges demand to bargaing over furloughs

The state Office of Labor Relations on May 13 acknowledged receiving the union’s demands to bargain over furloughs in General Government and Higher Education. “We will be in contact with you to schedule bargaining in the near future,” wrote LRO Director Diane Leigh.

And continue to send us information on what your agency or institution may be saying on furloughs. This will help us build our case. E-mail us at

Bargaining Updates

We gave you a pretty detailed summary of the first General Government bargaining session with management last time.

To keep up to date on all of our bargaining teams, go to and click on “Bargaining Center.” You can also click on the calendar to see the dates of bargaining team meetings and negotiations.

But here’s a roundup of what’s ahead as most teams now have negotiating dates: 

General Government: Set to bargain June 9, 10, 15 and 16.

General Government Supplemental Bargaining Teams (Transportation, Parks and Recreation, Corrections, Agriculture, Fish and Wildlife and 24-Hour Institutions) have been elected. Here they are:
Department of Agriculture: Pete Wood (grain inspector); Thomas Kirk (grain sampler weigher); Dennis Rushing (fruit and vegetable inspector); and Art Fluharty (regulatory bargaining unit).
Department of Corrections: Doug Butcher (SW Region); Bill Copland (SE Region); Rob Diekman (NW Region); Jon Oglesby (NE Region); and Dennis O’Brien (King/Pierce). They’d be joined by their General Government representative Wendy McCombs.
Department of Fish and Wildlife: Bruce Ault, Bob Kreiger and Jed Varney (non-enforcement); Dan Klump, Mark James and Paul Mosman (enforcement).
Department of Transportation: Stacie Leanos and Kate Rogers, joined by their General Government representatives Sue Dinneen and Larry Flue.
Parks and Recreation: Teresa McCullough (park aides); Brian Hageman (rangers); Randy Nickle (construction and maintenance); and Brian Yearout (other job classifications). They’d be joined by Don Hall, a Parks member on the General Government team representing Natural Resources members.
24-Hour Institutions: Seth McDowell (SOLAs); James Sprague (Mental Health); Sherry Hewitt (RHCs); Chad Raish (JRA). They’d be joined by the five Institutions representatives on the General Government team: Julianne Moore, Craig Gibelyou, Gabe Hall, Melanie Coleman and Lyn Hofland.
Community Colleges Coalition: Team meeting on June 1, with negotiations on June 2, 3, 23 and 24. 

Western Washington University: The WWU Team wrapped up three days as a team working on their initial proposal. They’ll have another team meeting June 14 and the start of negotiations with management June 15. In the whole back-and-forth on whether WWU would bargain in coalition or not, we neglected in these hotlines to list the team members of the WWU team that will now bargain separately. Those team members are: Mary Ann Armstrong, Josef Bailey, Tim Harvey, Ron Rawls, Stephanie Scott, Brandon Taylor, Steve Vanko and, for police issues only, Loren “Wolf” Lipson. 

University of Washington: The UW team held its second team meeting May 25 to consider contract proposals from members and staff. A full workday was spent fine-tuning both language and strategy for the upcoming talks. The team will meet again to deal with a couple of proposals that time did not allow them to cover in the last round of negotiations (all proposals from the membership have been considered).  The first day of actual talks has not been scheduled, but the UW team will not start before they are ready – which could be before management is. 

Washington State University: The WSU team bargained May 19 and yesterday and today (May 25 and 26). They’ll also bargain June 3, 4, 7, 8, 14 and 15. After several bargaining sessions, the team reports progress on many issues, but on several other articles on the table, “we are approaching impasse.” 

The Evergreen State College: The TESC team holds its first team meetings June 1 and 2. Election results are in to fill out the TESC team now that it is bargaining separately. The TESC Bargaining Team is: Kirk Talmadge, Lana Brewster, Erik Carlson, Doug Shanafelt, Ed Rivera, Laura Carpenter, Lin Crowley, Linda Mae and Steve Johnson. 

Central Washington University: The CWU team holds its first team meeting June 8. Because CWU, too, is bargaining separately, the selection process has finished. The full CWU Bargaining Team is: Pat Devlin, Chris Stebbins, Skip Jensen, Laury Berner and Brian Pinger. 

Eastern Washington University: The EWU team has its chief negotiator and will meet soon as a team. EWU continues to bargain separately, not in coalition as originally thought. So the full EWU Bargaining Team is: Richard Beghtol, Quincy Burns, Cathy Green, Nita Holbert, Brian McCracken, Nellie Reynolds, David Sundstrom, Pat Terrell and Craig Walker.

Cage, Gutierriz "Shop Stewards of the Year"

Cage of Rainier School Local 491 and Loretta Gutierrez of Seattle Employment Security Local 435 were chosen as the Federation’s “Shop Stewards of the Year” and honored at a May 22 banquet during the annual Shop Seward Conference in SeaTac.

AFSCME's Secretary-Treasurer William Lucy to be honored by Local CBTU Chapter

The Puget Sound Chapter of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU) will honor William Lucy, who is retiring after 38 years as AFSCME’s secretary-treasurer, June 19 in Seattle.

Lucy is also CBTU president.

The CBTU’s first Juneteenth Banquet will be 6 p.m., Saturday, June 19, at the Machinists Lodge 751, 9125 15th Place S., Seattle, Wash.  98108. The price is $50 a person, or $25 for seniors, children and students. 

For more information, call Jacquie Jones-Walsh at (206) 772-2079.

May 21, 2010

General Government team takes high road in first bargaining session on bargaining for agency-specific (supplemental issues); management refuses

Your General Government Bargaining Team, representing some 30,000 state agency members, led off negotiations Wednesday with a determined but reasonable proposal to once and for all deal with negotiations on agency-specific, day-to-day workplace issues.

These are the so-called “supplemental” issues – like personal safety and equipment -- that affect certain segments of Federation membership. The union believes these issues should logically and legally be bargained at the agency level away from the central table.

Certain segments of members need more refined language that addresses their sometimes-unique working conditions that can’t be covered adequately by a sometimes “one size fits all” contract.

In the past, management has used these issues to run out the clock at the central table to force shorter negotiations on economic and other workplace issues affecting most members. Or they have used talks on larger issues to push aside these issues important to smaller groups of members.

The 2002 full-scope collective bargaining law allows for supplemental bargaining. The union believes it’s an obligation and a right. Management interprets the “supplemental bargaining” clause differently. They believe they have no obligation to bargain these issues at the agency level.

The union made it clear it will seek clarification of the supplemental bargaining clause from the Public Employment Relations Commission and/or the courts.

That difference of opinion came out in the open at the first day of General Government negotiations Wednesday at the Thurston County Fairgrounds in Lacey.

Up to then, management has refused to agency-level negotiations except in 24-hour care institutions—but to date has not scheduled those supplemental negotiations.

Wednesday, the Federation presented supplemental articles specific to the Department of Transportation and Parks and Recreation, two areas the state had earlier indicated they were willing to negotiate on at the agency level. The DOT and Parks Supplemental Bargaining Teams joined the General Government team at the table.

The Department of Corrections Supplemental Bargaining Team was scheduled Thursday to present their agency-specific items.

But the General Government team stood with members in DOT, Parks, DOC and the six or so other agency areas that have elected supplemental bargaining teams.

The full team told the state that if management is not willing to negotiate on these issues important to smaller groups of members at the agency level, then they’d negotiate them at the main table. These members’ voices will be heard.

The union team several times asked management to propose any reasonable alternatives. The Federation team sought collaboration and cooperation, not confrontation. But the union also made it clear it would not back down on this principle. 

Management, needless to say, was not pleased. After a few go-rounds and caucuses, at the end of the day state negotiators told the Federation team they refuse to bargain supplemental issues—those agency-specific issues important to significant segments of our membership. The state’s team said they needed to see all of the union’s contract proposals before they could see how any supplemental proposals fit in. That of course makes no sense. Business as usual is not an option. 

With that refusal, management stayed home Thursday while the Federation team continued the hard work necessary for a successful contract. They perfected language in their initial proposal. The DOC Supplemental Team joined them.

The team agreed that the long-overdue showdown on supplemental bargaining is a principle worth fighting for. If management gets its way, then they’ll continue to use bureaucratic procedures at the bargaining table to throw significant segments of our membership under the bus.

This is a fight about inclusion and solidarity—and basic common sense.

It’s just not in this union’s genes to do anything but stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all of our members, no matter where they work.

The fact is, agency-level bargaining on supplemental issues is an efficient, economical and legal way to resolve differences. AFSCME councils in other states routinely bargain supplemental issues with their management. In these tough economic times, supplemental bargaining saves time and resources.

Bargaining is scheduled to resume June 9 and 10. Obviously, a lot is going to happen between now and then. Watch for details and stay tuned for actions you can take to support this fight for principles, fairness and common sense.

That’s it for now. Call Tuesday for the next message.

May 18, 2010

Bargaining steps up several notches this week

The General Government Bargaining Team sits down across the table from management for the first time Wednesday and Thursday at a pavilion at the Thurston County Fairgrounds in Lacey. Tough bargaining on both sides is expected.

The Washington State University Bargaining Team continues negotiations Wednesday in Pullman.

And the Western Washington University Bargaining Team holds its first pre-negotiations meetings Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Keep track of all bargaining developments online at and click on “Bargaining Center.”

General Administration members march in advance of demand-to-bargain meeting over layoffs

Dozens of General Administration members, Local 443 allies and others braved a spring downpour and marched in front of GA headquarters in Olympia Tuesday before the official demand-to-bargain meeting over layoffs and contracting out. About 20 GA trades workers have been laid off, while work obviously still existed based on the agency’s contracting out of a lot of work.

We’ll keep you updated on the outcome.

May 12, 2010

Furlough fight heats up as WFSE/AFSCME files demand to bargain

The fight over the new furlough law—which could potentially force state employees to take up to 10 unpaid layoff days—kicked into even higher gear Tuesday as the Federation filed a formal demand to bargain with the state.

The demand to bargain was filed with Diane Leigh, director of the Office of Labor Relations, the governor’s negotiating office.

In it, Federation Executive Director Greg Devereux said that furloughs are a mandatory subject of bargaining under the contract and the 2002 collective bargaining law.

“The Washington Federation of State Employees, as the exclusive bargaining representative of specific state employees, has not been advised of, nor negotiated over, any and all actions the state intends to take, or has taken, as a result of the passage of ESSB 6503 (the furlough bill). With this letter, the WFSE is invoking the right to demand negotiations on this matter.”

The demand to bargain comes as word continues to leak out that several agencies have already prepared furlough plans without negotiations. Some apparently are being pressured to furlough employees even when they could save money with other compensation-reducing options.

We’ll keep you posted. And continue to forward tips about what your agency is saying about furloughs. E-mail us at

May 6, 2010

Salary survey out today - and the numbers don't lie (and by the way, we now know wrong numbers fed attack on step increases)


They say numbers don't lie. And the numbers say state employees still earn less, according to the state salary survey released today. The numbers also say the state as an employer lags behind the 59 percent of public employers who pay 100 percent of their employees' health premiums. Don't take our word for it. 

The salary survey is done every two years as required by law. It aims to show how big or small the pay gap is between state employees and their counterparts in the public and private sector.

And the latest salary survey shows a still-unacceptable pay gap.

Some 82 percent of state workers still earn below market rate, according to the salary survey. Nearly a third – 30 percent – fall more than 25 percent behind comparable counterparts.

For the first time, the state Department of Personnel hired an outside consultant to do the salary survey.

  • You can view the complete salary survey and other summaries here.
DOP has opened a public comment period through May 28. The Federation will scour the voluminous data to find any out-of-whack calculations and the like. Feedback can be sent to The DOP director will adopt the final salary survey results June 4.

The salary survey along with the June revenue forecast are two prime measures used in contract negotiations over your economic issues. The state has signaled there will be tough bargaining on economics in these down economic times, but even state negotiators have to concede the numbers show a smoldering problem that has to be acknowledged.

When the economy tanked in late 2008, the just-concluded 2009-2011 contracts had to be re-opened. One of the sacrifices exacted was a provision to bring those more than 25 percent behind on the salary survey up to no more than 25 percent behind.

The salary survey also refutes attacks on your benefits and leave. According to The Olympian, most employers, public and private, pay 100 percent of employee health premiums; Washington pays 88 percent. Most other public employers also pay more than 80 percent for family coverage. That latter finding could be a new target to be attacked, so we have to get ready for that.

And most employers grant the same amount of (or possibly a little more) sick leave, vacation and holidays. Most public employers grant the same or similar pension benefits.

No one really wanted you to know the step increase attacks were based on bad numbers.

Shhh!! You might have missed it.

Way back in January, the state budget office re-did its figures and found that it was an earlier (whopping) math error that gave Sen. Joe Zarelli and others a soapbox to attack step increases.

But we now know that the $83 million price tag provided by the state Office of Financial Management ($38 million from the state General Fund) in December was a back-of-the-envelope calculation that was way off.

In January, after Zarelli and others in the GOP used step increases as a convenient scapegoat in guest editorials and floor speeches, OFM said, “Oops!”

It turns out the cost to the state of step increases is about $6.6 million in the next fiscal year from the General Fund and $9.5 million from other sources. In all, according to, the cost was “a whopping 0.2 percent” of the budget deficit.

No one except Crosscut paid attention to the OFM mistake and recalculation because by then Zarelli and company had moved on to other targets that were less easy to refute with numbers.

But the incident backed up what Federation members have said all along. The bottom line is step increases are a standard actuarial tool to save the state money. The alternative is paying all new hires their full salary from the day they walk in the door. Step increases allow the state to offset compensation costs so as top-step employees leave state service, a replacement is hired at a lower salary that will be phased in over about six years or so. Step increases in fact cost far less than the $15.8 million to $35 million the state will spend to close Maple Lane School or Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women to supposedly “save” money.

  • You can read the story at here.


    The governor on Tuesday signed the state supplemental budgets and turned a deaf ear to your pleas. She left intact the three-year phased closure of Maple Lane School in south Thurston County and the closure of Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women in Medical Lake this month.

There’s still time to fight the Maple Lane closure.

But the governor and legislators left few options for Pine Lodge.

Some had hoped a partnership with Spokane County and City would have given it a reprieve, but that apparently is now no longer in the cards.

Tuesday afternoon’s meeting between Pine Lodge members and 9th District legislators Rep. Susan Fagan and Joe Schmick was a somber event. Fagan and Schmick said they may assist in any demands to bargain over issues related to the Pine Lodge closure. Federation President Carol Dotlich, Local 782 President Greg Davis, Federation Lobbyist Matt Zuvich and Federation Council Rep Dale Roberts were all on hand to help.

And they acknowledged what we all know: the Pine Lodge members did everything right in the campaign to save the facility, but they were undermined by politicians’ empty promises. And the Federation holds those politicians accountable for this wrong-headed move that really doesn’t save money, and harms the community, the prisoners and the employees.


    Hundreds of members and other state employees stopped by the Local 443 booth at Olympia’s Public Service Recognition Week fair Wednesday to sign petitions against furloughs, any management attempts to bargain away your health care and in support of supplemental bargaining. They went away wearing “NO furloughs!” and “Support Supplemental Bargaining” buttons. Watch for these in your area for job actions in coming weeks.

Governor leaves closures intact

Gov. Gregoire today signed the supplemental operating and capital budgets. She did not veto out the closure of Maple Lane School or Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women. The Associated Press reported:
"But Gregoire noted that some 1,500 workers could be laid off because of budget cuts, and the state is closing or downsizing five youth- or adult-corrections facilities for the first time in years.

"Those measures, she said, allowed the Legislature to preserve priorities such as financial aid for college students and the Basic Health Plan for poorer Washingtonians.

"'In these tough times, we have had to prioritize services in state government like we never have done before,' Gregoire said."

May 4, 2010

Bargaining Updates

All teams are progressing well for the Federation’s nine bargaining teams.
  • GENERAL GOVERNMENT. The General Government team meets May 11 to prepare for the formal start of negotiations May 19 and 20. Ballots for the supplemental teams are being tallied.
  • COMMUNITY COLLEGE COALITION. The coalition of 12 Community Colleges wraps up its last two-day preparation today as the team heads into the start of their negotiations on June 2 and 3. They have other bargaining dates set for: June 23, 24, 29 and 30; July 20 and 21; Aug. 9, 10, 17 and 18; and Sept. 1, 2, 15 and 16.
  • WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. The WWU Bargaining Team holds a pre-bargaining meeting May 19 and 20.
  • THE EVERGREEN STATE COLLEGE. TESC, like WWU, CWU and EWU, is now bargaining separately. Nomination forms for the six additional team members allowed under the union’s bargaining structure were mailed out April 30 and are due back May 14. If there are more than six nominees, an onsite election will take place May 20.
  • CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. The CWU team will hold a pre-bargaining meeting June 8.
  • EASTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY. The EWU team is making its plans for pre-bargaining meetings.
  • WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY. The WSU Bargaining team negotiated with management April 29 and returns to the table May 11 and 12. The team raised a number of issues identified by WSU members as priorities, including extra holidays and personal days, holiday pay equivalent to scheduled shift (8 or 10 hours), return to former vacation days and having all hours worked and all paid leave (including sick leave) count toward overtime. Both sides agreed to existing language in Article 7 (Seniority) and Article 10 (Union/Management Meetings). And tentative agreement was reached on the Preamble and Article 2--Non-Discrimination.
  • UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON. The UW Bargaining Team is planning another team meeting later this month to prepare for negotiations.
  • UW POLICE MANAGEMENT. The UW Police Management Bargaining Team meets tonight (May 4) to prepare for its negotiations.

For more bargaining updates and information,  go to > Bargaining Center.

It's Public Service Recognition Week - tell management recognition begin with respect.

In Olympia tomorrow (May 5), Seattle and Richland May 6 and Spokane May 7, the state will sponsor Public Service Recognition Week observances. What better time to remind the state that recognition begins with respect.

So call the governor at (360) 902-4111 or 1-800-562-6000 and send a message on furloughs, health care and supplemental bargaining. 

Tell her:
  • The new law allows but does not require employee furloughs.
    Let agencies have full flexibility to come up with alternate plans that avoid the temporary layoffs.

    BACKGROUND: We’re hearing rumors the administration is pressing agencies to impose furloughs to show how tough the state is on state employees—even if agencies can find other ways to save compensation costs.
  • Don’t try to bargain away our health care.
    We already pay more for deductibles and co-pays. We also pay 12 percent of our premiums. And we’ve already sacrificed more than $1 billion in pay, benefits, pension contributions and layoffs. The state should not pressure its negotiators to come to the bargaining table asking us to pay more – even 20 percent or 30 percent – of our premium costs.
  • Follow the law and promises on supplemental bargaining.
    Supplemental bargaining allows employees in an agency to negotiate on issues specific to their interests. Management should join the union to support this legal, economical and fair way to resolve differences.
And let us know of management memos or e-mails that talk about furlough plans. They must bargain. E-mail us at

Governor signs budgets today; Maple Lane members push for veto, Pine Lodge members strategize

The governor signs the major supplemental budgets today (May 4) at noon and Maple Lane School members will hold their breath wondering if she vetoes out the closure of their juvenile rehabilitation facility in south Thurston County.

About 100 Local 1926 members and supporters picketed the Capitol April 30 and then descended on the governor’s office to plead their case. They asked the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff Jill Satran to urge the governor to stop the phased three-year closure of Maple Lane. The closure was inserted in the budget in the final hours of the legislative session and contradicted the conclusions of the Legislature’s own consultant who said closing Maple Lane “would be a bad idea.”

Meanwhile, Pine Lodge Corrections Center for Women members meet Tuesday afternoon with area legislators to map strategy to deal with their targeted facility in Medical Lake.