2/4/17 Western State Hospital Local 793 members Craig Gibelyou and Randall Goering and Federation Lobbyist Matt Zuvich once again urged passage of the union-initiated bill to expand the Public Safety Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS).
They urged the House Appropriations Committee Thursday (Feb. 2) to move HB 1558. The measure would allow earlier retirement for direct care workers at DSHS and Veterans Affairs institutions. The earlier retirement would recognize these workers’ high rate of injury and assault.
The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Christine Kilduff of the 28th Dist. (were Western State Hospital is located), said the measure would correct an inequity for state employees at some of the most dangerous worksites in Washington.
“Folks who are in these high-risk occupations would be allowed to retire at age 60,” Kilduff testified in urging passage of HB 1558.
She reminded the committee that the House had passed similar bills in 2012, 2015 and 2016. But they never cleared the state Senate.
“This is an opportunity for our state to remedy what really is an inequity for folks who have worked around folks who are dangerous and who have suffered greater exposure to injury,” Kilduff said. “And this bill would allow them to retire early at age 60.”