Washington Republicans Blast State's Collective Bargaining Process
Washington Republicans say the way state employees collectively bargain pay and benefits is not transparent and presents a conflict of interest.
In the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday, unionized state workers rallied for better pay and work conditions. But contract negotiations -- now underway -- take place behind closed doors and without the input of state lawmakers.
Republican state Senator John Braun called that “absolutely backwards.”
“The executive branch works out all the details and we just get a yes or no, a veto power,” he said.
Braun isn’t the only Republican to criticize Washington’s bargaining process. Gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant pointed to union campaign contributions to his Democratic rival, Gov. Jay Inslee.
“I don’t think a governor should be allowed to take a campaign donation from a union, or a corporation, that he or she has negotiated and concluded a contract with,” Bryant said.
The Inslee campaign said the governor takes his bargaining responsibility seriously. And the legislature’s vote is an appropriate check on the system.