Contract negotiations for our members at the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the Department of Licensing (DOL), and the Washington State Patrol (WSP) will kick off in March with virtual policy meetings to discuss the bargaining process, priorities, team members, and overall strategy.
The process for negotiating the State contract is unique. Our contract covers the biennium, which is every odd-to-odd year. We’re currently in our 2021-2023 contract, and negotiations this summer will focus on the 2023-2025 contract. Every even-numbered year we negotiate, starting in the spring and ending by October 1, which is required by State statute.
The contract then goes to the governor’s Office of Financial Management to determine viability, and then the legislature must approve the full contract with either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote — no line-item vetos or amendments are permitted. This is part of the reason it’s so important to have elected officials who support State employees in office.
State members should have received a bargaining survey at the personal email address we have on file. If you have not received it, ask a coworker, or reach out to your Union Representative or Steward. The survey is open through March 4 – your input is crucial to determining our priorities during these negotiations.
Two virtual policy committee meetings that will help determine our strategy will be held on Sat., March 12 from noon to 4 p.m. and Wed., March 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. While we don’t determine priorities until these meetings, the top topics this year are likely to include telework, targeted wage increases, staffing, and safety. Please join us at one of these meetings and fill out the survey so your voice is heard.