WA's Largest Public Union Reaches Pact on Vaccine Mandate
Monday, September 13, 2021
SEATTLE - Washington state's largest union of public workers has reached an agreement with the state on Gov. Jay Inslee's vaccine mandate.
The deal ensures access to and education about the shot on work time as well as an additional day of leave so workers can get vaccinated. The Washington Federation of State Employees filed a lawsuit in August to compel the state to negotiate in good faith on the details of the mandate.
Union president Mike Yestramski said the agreement is a win for public health and due process.
"This entire bargaining process and that lawsuit that we had filed," said Yestramski, "all of that was about impact bargaining and the fundamental right of unions to bargain workplace conditions."
The Washington Federation of State Employees is withdrawing that lawsuit.
The agreement also includes options for people near retirement and a consistent and equitable process across workplaces for employees seeking a medical or religious exemption.
More than 80% of members voted in favor of the agreement.
Yestramski said the union has continued to push for safety measures in the face of this virus.
"We've been pretty vocal," said Yestramski, "pretty open from the beginning of this pandemic that vaccination, masking, social distancing, all of those things are incredibly important pieces to end this pandemic and to keep our communities safe."
The Washington Federation of State Employees' includes 47,000 public service workers in state agencies, higher education and behavioral health.
Disclosure: Washington Federation of State Employees - AFSCME Council 28 contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
get more stories like this via email
RICHMOND, Va. - As U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., takes heat this week for attending a posh fundraiser in a dress that said "Tax the …
EAST TROY, Wis. - Wisconsin farmers are looking ahead to the fall harvest, and those who use cover crops face a deadline to sign up for a research …
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - The pandemic is shining a new light on the burdens felt by family caregivers, and a bill in Congress would remove some of the …
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - State Rep. Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is lashing out against the idea of Critical Race Theory, filing a bill to ban its use in all …
PORTLAND, Ore. - Wealthy Americans have a message for Congress: Tax us more. More than 200 high-income taxpayers and business owners have sent an …
ALBANY, N.Y. - As a U.S. House committee debates the Biden administration's "Build Back Better" Act, a letter from more than 200 wealthy Americans …
By Sonali Kolhatkar for Yes! Media. Broadcast version by Lily Bohlke for Commonwealth News Service reporting for the YES! Media-Public News Service …
MANCHESTER, N.H. - Three New Hampshire professors are among those who've signed a letter urging the United Nations General Assembly to adopt what's …