June 13, 2011

WFSE/AFSCME, 26 other unions ask governor to veto parts of consolidation bill that scuttle contracting out, collective bargaining rights

The Federation, with the support of the Washington State Labor Council and 25 other unions, on Friday asked Gov. Chris Gregoire to veto those sections of the Department of Enterprise Services/Consolidated Technology Services agency bill that strip more than 100 workers of their bargaining and civil service rights and exempt most proposed privatization schemes in the new agency from current competitive contracting laws and rules.

The letter specifically asks the governor to veto Sections 1010 and 104 of ESB 5931.

The governor is scheduled to sign the bill Wednesday.

“The notion that collective bargaining rights must be taken away from employees of the Department of Enterprise Services in order for government to be efficient is not only extremely damaging rhetorically, it’s also wrong,” WFSE/AFSCME Executive Director Greg Devereux wrote in the letter to Gregoire.

“ESB 5931 purports to take rights away from workers by force of law, rather than working out differences at the bargaining table. If a governor and a Legislature can pass a law taking away some rights from some workers, we believe that pushes our state down a dangerous path….”

“Taking rights away from workers in the name of flexibility and efficiency is the identical rationale used by governors attempting to decimate the public sector all across the nation. We urge you to not follow that path.”

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