The Washington Federation of State Employees announced Thursday that its negotiators reached a memorandum of agreement with Western Washington University in Bellingham for 2.2 percent lump-sum raises that will be given to about 400 workers in August. Additional 1 percent lump-sum bonuses would be paid in December 2014.
Non-faculty workers in three bargaining units are affected - including custodians, trades workers, police officers and office support staff, WFSE spokesman Tim Welch said.
The raises came as the result of a wage "reopener" negotiation that was part of the original 2013-15 contract for WWU and WFSE. Welch said similar negotiations are starting soon for classified staff at The Evergreen State College and Washington State University.
Under a completed agreement some staff at Central Washington University also could receive lump-sum pay hikes in November this year and in 2014 if enrollment targets are met.
In an email alert to members, the federation said:
The WWU Bargaining Team reached agreement on a 2.2 percent lump-sum bonus coming in Aug. 25, 2013, paychecks and another 1 percent lump-sum bonus in Dec. 10, 2014, paychecks. They also negotiated a “me-too” clause that says if the economic criteria set out in the General Government contract are met and General Government members do get the resulting 1 percent across-the-board raise on July 1, 2014, then WWU members would get it as well. The WWU re-opener has similar “me-too” language connected to the Public School Employees unit at WWU.Former governor Chris Gregoire's labor office negotiated more than two-dozen contracts with state employee groups and most general-government agency workers got no cost of living raises in 2013 but had a new pay step added for some workers with longer years of service. The agreements also had a 1 percent cost of living increase payable in July 2014 if state revenues hit certain targets.
Most state employees in general-government agencies had 3 percent reductions in pay and hours worked for the past two years. Pay checks that went out Thursday were the first to reflect that pay has snapped back to its 2011 levels for those employees. The 3 percent cuts were largely avoided at colleges.