In 2020, we brought hundreds of Teamsters to the Capitol for Lobby Day. For the 2021 legislative session, we'll be bringing our voice to Olympia online.
With the 2021 legislative session fast approaching, we want to give you an overview of our priorities in Olympia to protect and expand your workplace rights. With the pandemic, legislators are scrambling to prepare for an all-virtual legislative session next year. Due to the challenges, the volume of bills they can handle will be significantly reduced and all public testimony will be conducted online.
Our Union's legislative priorities are based on member feedback taken from a survey we sent out earlier this year. You still have time to share your ideas and help shape our priorities. To do so, please complete our legislative survey here.
Our focus for the upcoming session will be to protect your health and safety in the workplace, make unemployment benefits more accessible to working families, and to ward off attacks on your collective bargaining rights.
Unfortunately, groups like the so-called "Freedom" Foundation/Opt-Out Today have publicly advocated restricting collective bargaining for law enforcement and are attacking your right to binding, third-party arbitration to settle disputes with your employer.
Ironically, this is the same anti-union group that is suggesting in emails to your workplaces and mailings to your homes that you can "do yourself a favor" by opting out of your union. Don't be fooled - these groups do not have your best interests at heart.
In addition to protecting your right to collective bargaining and arbitration, we will be working in coalition with our labor partners to:
- Protect your health and safety in the workplace
- Improve workers' access to unemployment insurance benefits
- Protect workers who have been injured on the job
- Expand access to childcare for working families
- Balance investments in infrastructure and transportation with the needs of our changing climate
- Pass a revenue package that funds vital public services
- Pass the Worker Protection Act that allows workers to hold their employers accountable for stolen wages, health & safety violations, and harassment & discrimination violations
Another issue that is getting a lot of attention in Olympia right now and may generate dozens of bills is police accountability and transparency. Our Union is committed to fighting any of these bills that may undercut your workplace rights while at the same time working to balance the needs of the broader community.
Brenda Wiest, our Union's Vice President and Legislative Affairs Director, will be tracking all of the bills that impact our membership during legislative session. If she identifies issues that require public testimony, we may be reaching out to you for your support.
Brenda will also be partnering with Political Director Dustin Lambro to organize regular Zoom updates (we're calling it our "Lunch Pail" series) during the legislative session. At those meetings, we will be inviting legislators and other guests to speak about critical legislation impacting working families. Stay tuned for more information about how you can participate.
If you have questions, please reach out to your Union Representative and they can provide more information or connect you with our Legislative Affairs Department.
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