Washington State Department of Transportation
Save the Date - Work Zone Awareness Event
Health Care Update
On Oct. 1, 2013 the Coalition of State Employee Unions (including Local 17) reached tentative agreement with the state of Washington on health care for the second year of this biennium. This agreement maintains the current premium share and continues some protections against point of service (copays, co-insurance, deductibles) increases. It also calls for the employer and union to work together on a wellness program.
Because we reached agreement by Oct. 1, the negotiated terms can be included in the governor's budget request to the legislature for the 2014 session. If legislatively approved, this health-care agreement would go into effect July 1, 2014, and impact calendar-year 2015 health benefits. Read more here.
Step M in Effect July 1, 2013
Under our current contract, "[a]ll employees will progress to Step M six (6) years after being assigned to Step L in their permanent salary range." For guidance from the state on Step M, click here.
Be sure to calculate if and when you are eligible for Step M and check your earnings statement for that period. If you have questions, contact your steward or union rep.
PEBB Employee Premiums for 2014
In July 2013, the Public Employee Benefits Board approved premium and benefits changes for 2014. For information from PEBB about these changes, click here.
Gainsharing Case Reaches State Supreme Court
In 2007, the state legislature enacted enhanced Early Retirement Factors (ERFs) to benefit members of PERS, TRS and SERS pension plans 2 and 3. The legislation also eliminated the gainsharing benefit from plans 1 and 3. The legislation resulted in lawsuits that have finally found their way to the Washington State Supreme Court, with oral arguments scheduled for Oct. 24, 2013. Click here to read more about the issue and what's at stake.
Transportation Budget-Funded Local 17 Members Will Escape Fiscal Cliff
Local 17 received previous indication from the Office of Financial Management (OFM) that transportation budget-funded employees would not be impacted by a potential "fiscal cliff" related to the state Operating Budget. With an announcement from Governor Inslee this week, we can confirm that our transportation budget funded members at DOL, WSP and WSDOT will not be subject to furloughs and shutdown if there is a "fiscal cliff". Through further discussions with State OFM, Local 17 legislative staff also confirmed that the funding within the Transportation Budget will include all terms of the new 2013 - 2015 agreement including ending the 3% wage cut and implementation of the new Step M. Follow the Local 17 Public Affairs page for additional information on this and other state legislative news.