Because of advocacy and pressure from State employee unions – including PROTEC17 – the furloughs scheduled for the 2021-23 biennium have been eliminated. While we still need to negotiate the language out of our Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the furloughs weren’t included in the biennial budget signed by Gov. Inslee in May, therefore eliminating the need for the language in the

This would not have happened without strong State employee unions in Washington. If the legislature needed to balance their budget on the backs of State employees, they would have, but strong unions like PROTEC17 were in their way.  

“We took one for the team last year and agreed to the furloughs for the greater good of our workforce and our economy,” said Faith Shuler, a Transportation Engineer 3 at WSDOT, and negotiating team member.  

“Because of our sacrifice, the State knew they needed to show up for us if the economy improved, and it thankfully has,” she continued. “Without our union, we would still have to face these harmful austerity measures which would only delay our State’s economic recovery.”

Another proposal that was rejected by the State at the bargaining table this cycle was making Juneteenth a paid holiday for State employees. This, too, was passed by the legislature and will be included in the 2021-23 CBA, which means beginning in 2022, state workers will receive June 19 as a paid holiday.  

Advocacy in Olympia matters. What we can’t get at the bargaining table, we can sometimes achieve through our legislature, as was the case this year.

If you have questions about your 2021-2023 state contract, the legislative session, or anything else, please reach out to your Union Representative.