Legislative session kicks off on January 8, 2018
A 60-day session of the Washington State Legislature kicks off on January 8, 2018 and will run through March 9.
During that time, we will be working to pass bills that help workers, increase government accountability, and protect the health of our families and workers.
Our union employs a full-time Legislative Affairs Director, Brenda Wiest, who will be on the ground every day in Olympia working to protect the rights of Local 117 members and their families. Brenda works closely with Political Action Director, Dustin Lambro, who is organizing opportunities throughout session for members to speak directly with their legislators about critical issues.
We will be holding two major lobby day events this year, for our for-hire drivers on January 24, and for our public sector and DOC members on February 12-13. Talk to your union representative about how you can get involved or call Dustin at 206-794-2606.
This legislative session our priorities include:
Department of Corrections/Law Enforcement
- Our number one legislative priority for DOC this session is to secure funding in the supplemental budget for a study of the DOC staffing model;
- We will also be working to: Expand the Public Safety Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) to include more DOC groups, achieve interest arbitration for campus police, expand the presumptive disease designations, and include PTSD and other stress-related disease coverage under workers compensation.
Expanding collective bargaining rights
- Under state law, some workers are barred from joining unions. We are working to pass a package of bills to expand bargaining rights for professional port employees, part-time workers, and interpreters.
- Our union has partnered with other public sector unions to create a number of statutory changes to give us the best chance to maintain union strength in a post-Janus environment.
- Oppose legislation that would preempt local governments from regulating the industry.
- Pass legislation that moves app-based drivers into the for-hire framework and levels the playing field for all drivers in the industry.
Priorities that are good for workers and our communities
- Pass the Equal Pay Act that will ensure differences in pay are not driven by sex or gender, and close the pay gap between men and women.
- Pass Prescription Drug Transparency to force big pharmaceutical companies to disclose the reasons for price spikes in medication.
- Pass the Voting Rights Act and Automatic Voter Registration to change discriminatory voting systems and increase voter representation and registration.
- Pass Breakfast after the Bell to close the Achievement gap and give all kids access to a healthy and nutritious start to their school day.
- Monitor Autonomous Vehicle policy to make sure workers and the public are protected.
- Work with stakeholders and legislators to address issues related to creating a Portable Benefits structure that provides for a meaningful safety net and addresses the underlying problems with the misclassification of workers and abuse of independent contractors.