UNION Membership Equals


Fair pay. Healthcare. Retirement Security. Standing up for public services.


Fair pay is a priority for our union.  It is the only way the state will recruit and retain high quality employees needed to ensure efficient and quality public services in Washington.

Public employees are the driving force behind quality public services and we should be compensated fairly for the work we do.

In the current contracts, we won the largest compensation package since we gained the right to negotiate. That included cost-of-living adjustments and additional raises for more than 12,000 state employees to address the recruitment and retention crisis. Also, the first increase in vacation leave in more than 40 years.

And the contracts safeguarded step increases and much more. But after The Great Recession, skyrocketing housing costs and rising inflation, we still have work to do. By joining the union, you join that effort. Because we’re looking ahead to the next round of bargaining– and building even more raises for state employees.


Healthcare is an important part of family security. But gaining affordable healthcare doesn’t just happen. It takes all of us joining together with know-how and commitment:

  • AT THE BARGAINING TABLE:  Our union and other smaller unions join together in coalition to negotiate how much you pay for their health care coverage. While some want you to pay more for your health care premiums, we’ve negotiated to keep your share of premium cost at 15%, while the state pays 85%.
  • AT THE BENEFITS BOARD:  The Public Employees Benefit Board (PEBB) is charged with administering the health care benefits for active and retired state employees. The Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28 has a seat on the board, as does AFSCME Retirees (Retired Public Employees Coalition RPEC-WA). Our representatives there have won important improvements in our health insurance benefits.
  • AT THE LEGISLATURE:  Union members stopped a legislative effort to cut coverage of spouses from our health insurance and continually fights rising out-of-pocket costs. Even in 2018, we have to stand against assaults on your healthcare, like the House Bill 2869 proposal to make us pay 33% more for our healthcare.

Without a strong union, our voices and influence on state employee healthcare would fall short.


AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) plays an active role in our state pension plans. We have active members on the State Investment Board (SIB), on the Select Committee on Pension Policy and in a coalition with other public sector unions to protect and improve the benefits of our members.

Our union protects retirement security for all public employees. We have stopped repeated attacks on pensions and retirement security for public employees, like attempts to turn our pensions into risky 401(k) plans.

And as a union, we work to improve retirement. In 2018 alone, we’re working for laws to lower the retirement age for workers in our state institutions who face high rates of injury and assault. And to level the playing field by making PERS 2 the default retirement plan for new employees, not the more risky PERS 3.

Together, our members advocate for retirement security and a healthy pension system.


AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) members advocate for services that make Washington strong.

Our union supports the mission of public services -- 100%. Member advocates have saved hundreds of public programs and state services. When the old majority in the state Senate blocked the state Capital Construction Budget and its funding for schools, state infrastructure and the jobs of 500 state employees, AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) members stood up. After nearly 300 days of this needless inaction that started in 2017, we won passage in 2018 of the Capital Construction Budget.

We strongly oppose outsourcing of public services and have successfully stopped attempts to cut services and lay off employees. We’ve sponsored legislation, including 2ESHB 1851 in 2018 to save jobs and protect taxpayers from shoddy outsourcing. If we don’t stand together for these things, who will? 

Advocate. Negotiate. Communicate.

Why join?

Because Public Service is our calling. We care for at-risk children, vulnerable people and the elderly. We serve public safety, protect natural resources and provide and support safe roadways. Our union is how we care for each other.

Why a union?

When working people have the freedom to speak up together through unions, we make progress together that benefits everyone.

We build a movement for Public Services and the people and services we support, and for the benefits that allow us to sustain our families while we continue our work.

It’s true. Our ability to negotiate is how we improve wages, hours and working conditions. Because our contracts let us join together to improve compensation with wages to sustain our families. Our contracts require consistent hours of work. And they provide other fair rules and working conditions.

Why now?

Public employees, their unions and the contracts that benefit us all are under attack. At the United States Supreme Court, the Janus case would take away our freedoms to join together to negotiate good wages and benefits to sustain our families. Here in Washington, some lawmakers in Olympia want a law in 2018 to make us pay 33% more for our health care (HB 2869). And we’re working at the Legislature and state courts to keep your dates of birth private to protect the safety and security of you and your families.

The last thing Washington’s working families need is an assault on the freedom to join together in our strong union and speak up for ourselves, our families and our communities.

By joining together, we gain strength in numbers to create a voice at work about what we care about.

Union Membership Equals

You can reach us at Member Connection Center (MCC)
833-MCC-WFSE (1-833-622-9373)

Union Membership Equals