News

As COVID-19 sweeps across our state and nation, public employees at Washington’s institutions for individuals with disabilities are doing everything they can to keep their residents safe. 

Andrea Warren, WFSE Local 573 President and an Attendant Counselor, has been working at Lakeland Village in Medical Lake for 26 years. So far, no one at the 24-hour facility has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and Warren and her coworkers are working very hard to prevent its spread. 

“There’s no such thing as social distancing,” Warren said of her duties.

Updating wills before heading into work. Extending the lives of single-use masks. Self-isolating from their own families. These are just some of the shameful realities and conditions health care workers on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic are facing each day.

Before the announcement early Wednesday of an unprecedented $2 trillion deal to combat the coronavirus pandemic, AFSCME President Lee Saunders and three front-line workers put pressure on federal lawmakers to come through with a robust aid package for state and local governments so they can rebuild decimated public services.

The coronavirus aid package that cleared Congress is just not good enough for public service workers. That’s the takeaway message from AFSCME President Lee Saunders.

When we speak up together, we win!

WFSE members scored several legislative victories over the past week, including bills that will protect our birthdates from public disclosure, hold private government contractors accountable, and grant language access providers the ability to negotiate their health care.

Take a look at the WFSE-sponsored bills that are on their way to Governor Inslee's desk:

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) emerges in the United States, many AFSCME members are and will continue to be on the front lines caring for and transporting those afflicted with the virus. Workers in emergency services, health care, child care, educational institutions and many others may come in contact with people who’ve contracted the coronavirus, putting themselves at risk.