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WA Governor Faces 2nd Union Lawsuit Over Budget

A second labor union has filed suit against Washington Governor Chris Gregoire over her budget proposal.

The Service Employees International Union says Gregoire’s budget is illegal because it fails to fund pay raises for home-care workers. Those raises were ordered by an arbitrator after contract talks broke down.

SEIU 775 President David Rolf says the Gregoire Administration has its priorities mixed up.

David Rolf: “They have to decide that it’s more important to pay struggling homecare workers who care for the elderly and disabled than it is to maintain billions of dollars in corporate tax loopholes that benefit some of the wealthiest economic entities on the planet.”

Rolf says his 23,000 members deserve a 47 cents-per-hour raise over two years.

Gregoire says the state can’t afford it. Her office says she plans to pursue legislation that would make arbitration deals contingent on the budget situation.

The Washington Federation of State Employees union has also sued Gregoire alleging breach of contract for failing to pay for raises for state workers.

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