October 28, 2011

WFSE/AFSCME-led health care coalition declines re-negotiations

The Federation-led State Employee Health Care Coalition late yesterday (Oct. 27) told the governor’s office they are not interested in the invitation to re-open negotiations on your health insurance contract article.

In the response, the coalition said state employees and the people they serve have given enough in pay cuts, higher health costs and program cuts.

“Enough is enough,” the coalition said in its letter to state Budget Director Marty Brown. “It is time for other organizations who benefit from the state budget to embrace a fair share of concessions as well. All organizations should share equally in this sacrifice.

“We, therefore, respectfully decline your offer to re-open our 2011-2013 Health Care Agreement.”

The Federation has gone on record saying the governor should convene a meeting of corporations and ask them to take a 3 percent cut in their corporate tax breaks – because state employees have taken a 3 percent pay cut while billions in taxes go unpaid through corporate tax breaks.

Federation Executive Director Greg Devereux told the WashingtonStateWire.com on Wednesday:

“‘State employees have given as much or more than anyone else in our state, and they are tired of this administration and the Legislature feeling like there are an endless amount of takeaways,’ he said. ‘All [the governor] has to do is look out the window and see Occupy Olympia, Occupy Seattle, Occupy Spokane. People are fed up.’

“Devereux said it makes more sense for the Legislature to order a three percent cut in all corporate tax breaks. ‘I think if we do that the $2 billion deficit goes away. Let’s just have a 3 percent across the board cut on all tax breaks.

“’This to us is the path of least resistance. She needs to stand up and say enough is enough. We thought she had said that, actually.’”

CALL TO ACTION: Tell legislators to cut tax breaks and raise revenue. 

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