News

Did you miss the WFSE town hall on May 17? No worries. We've got you covered.

Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County is calling for a statewide day of action in support of all Black lives in Washington State on Friday, June 12th. The day of action will honor lives lost and send a powerful message that Washingtonians no longer tolerate the racism that is built into so many of our institutions. For those who can’t march in Seattle, Black Lives Matter Seattle-King County encourages local groups to organize a march in their communities.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, a quarter of the U.S. labor force, close to 43 million people, have filed for unemployment benefits.

Washington state has been the hardest hit. Between a surge of fraudulent claims originating overseas as well as a record number of legitimate claims, the equivalent of 30 percent of the workforce has filed for unemployment insurance.

Employees at the Washington state Employment Security Department (ESD) like Beth Toms, an Intake Specialist in the Spokane office who serves as the Secretary Treasurer of WFSE Local 1221, have been working around the clock to process unemployment claims.

Economists of diverse backgrounds, who might otherwise disagree on a range of policy issues, spoke with a single voice on Monday on the need for Congress to provide robust aid to states, cities and towns.

Such aid, they said, is crucial in the midst of an economic crisis that is decimating state and local budgets and threatening essential public services that are critical to beating the pandemic and jumpstarting the economy.

Olympia, Wash.—The Washington Federation of State Employees (AFSCME Council 28) Executive Committee released the following statement condemning the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd:

Even in the best of times, organizing can be tough work. Add in a global pandemic, and growing your local union can seem impossible. Yet over the last few months, a group of interpreters in Washington state hasn't let the COVID-19 crisis slow them down.

Essential workers at several community colleges in King County fought for and won hazard pay, but there's work to do at Bellevue College. Sign the petition!

When UW Medicine announced they would be furloughing staff, our union took action to ensure that any reductions would be minimal and applied fairly. Our team negotiated into early Saturday morning and secured the following:

As New York City became the epicenter of the global coronavirus pandemic, emergency medical services (EMS) professionals, including AFSCME member Laura Hartnett, were working 16-hour shifts instead of their normal eight-hour shifts to respond to the flood of emergency calls.

Across the country in California, AFSCME member Blake