Eye On Olympia

State worker union head: "Don't panic. Fight."

Washington Federation of State Employees president Carol Dotlich had some words of advice for fellow union members at a recent banquet in Spokane:

"When you see that budget, I don't want you to overreact to it," she reportedly told the crowd. "I don't want you to be panicked. I want you to be determined."

The 40,000-member union is trying to stave off some of the cuts proposed yesterday by Gov. Chris Gregoire, including suspending all cost-of-living increases for state employees.

Some members are also heeding Gregoire's call to not just say "don't cut", but to instead say "cut this other thing instead."

For some members at the state Department of Ecology, that meant filing a public disclosure request for the salaries, bonuses and other pay given to the agency's managers over the past 8 years. They found that rank-and-file workers got pay raises totalling about 28 percent, while managers' totaled nearly 42 percent.

The union's executive director, Greg Devereux, is calling for management bonuses to be eliminated.

Hat tip: The Olympian's Adam Wilson.






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