1/9/17 Just hours after the gavel came down starting the 105-day session of the state Legislature, came the first hearing on the budget – including whether to fund our ratified contracts and pay raises.
|Naselle Local 2263 member Victoria Nanney
The House Appropriations Committee held the first session on Gov. Jay Inslee’s proposed 2017-2019 spending plan. The governor recommended funding of our negotiated pay raises – 6 percent over two years for most and special adjustments for more than 10,000 to help address the recruitment and retention crisis in state hiring.
The Federation’s Dennis Eagle applauded the governor’s recommendation to fully fund our contracts.
The ratified contracts and negotiated pay raises will help the economy – state employees’ purchasing power has fallen 10 percent, Eagle said.
They’ll help address the recruitment and retention crisis that has seen workers flee to higher-paying jobs with private and public employers – causing staffing problems and higher caseloads in safety, children’s services, mental health and elsewhere, he said.
And the pay raises will help bring more competitive pay when the state’s own salary survey shows that 99 percent of state employees are paid less than their counterparts elsewhere, Eagle said.
“Never before in the state’s history has our salary schedule been so out of whack compared to the actual market,” Eagle said.
Naselle closure opposed
But the governor’s plan also called for the closure of Naselle Youth Camp in Juvenile Rehabilitation for 76 youthful offenders.
Naselle member Victoria Nanney voiced the concerns of the Local 2263 members. She urged the House budget writers to reject the closure.
“Taking away Naselle Youth Camp will only place more harm on our ability to provide meaningful treatment to the kids we serve and do great harm to the small community that has been home to the employees of NYC for more than 50 years,” Nanney said. “Neither our juvenile justice system nor our community will benefit from this closure.”
She said Juvenile Rehabilitation institutions have gone through drastic negative consequences after the closure of Maple Lane School in 2011.
“Incidents of violence have been spiking at unprecedented levels, and staff turnover is unbelievably high in all of our facilities,” Nanney said.
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