At a time when state government is slimming down its work force, there's broad agreement in Olympia that public employees shouldn't be able to draw a state pension and a salary at the same time.
Thurston County had no workplace deaths in 2010, down from two in 2009, although last year's statewide total rose to 86, according to data released this week by the state Department of Labor and Industries.
The largest bloc of state employees ratified a two-year labor contract Thursday that cuts their pay 3 percent in July and also boosts their health care costs.
Washington's Department of Labor & Industries says the number of workplace deaths in the state climbed in 2010, with 86 men and women dying from job-related injuries.
The Tuesday after the Presidents Day holiday is another furlough day for most Washington state employees.
Beneath curdled gray clouds, Keri Towle's blue uniform is a speck of color in a sea of prison-issue khaki.
A few state employee unions have ratified contracts that will give them 3 percent less pay starting in July and health insurance premiums that will be at least 25 percent higher in 2012.
UNDER THE DOME: Coverage of 2011 state Legislature
THE POLITICS BLOG: Additional coverage
Washington's state government work force has been on the Great Recession diet plan for the past two years, but the slimming is far from over.
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Gov. Chris Gregoire's office has cleared workers in state offices to open mail, one day after ordering them to stop after fiery packages were sent to Maryland state offices.
TUMWATER - State Department of Transportation regional landscape architect Bob Barnes is retiring this week, but his work will go on living for decades. In his 33-year career, Barnes was responsible for the planting of more than 1 million trees and shrubs, working tirelessly on both state highway and community projects.