Washington State Employee Contracts Under Negotiation - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington State Employee Contracts Under Negotiation

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Gov. Chris Gregoire wants state workers to pay up to 26 percent of their health insurance premiums next year. They pay 12 percent now. The Olympian reports health care costs are a big issue in the labor negotiations that began Tuesday in Olympia.

The Washington Federation of State Employees has already rejected the offer. Spokesman Tim Welch says it would represent a pay cut to workers who have already taken a wage freeze, other cuts and furloughs.

The Labor Relations Office is negotiating about two dozen labor contracts with unions representing workers in general government and higher education. Agreements must be reached and ratified by October to go into Gregoire's budget proposal for the next two years.
      
      (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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