Thousands of public employees held rallies throughout the state urging Washington lawmakers to approve new labor contracts for state workers.
The negotiated contracts, which would cost an estimated $500 million during the state's 2017-19 budget cycle, would award most Washington state workers cost-of-living raises of about 6 percent over the next two years, along with targeted salary increases for some positions that are hard to fill, the News Tribune reported Wednesday (http://bit.ly/2oWL5ea).
The Republican Senate budget proposal would reject the negotiated contracts and instead award workers $500 raises each of the next two years. The proposal put forth by House Democrats includes full funding for the labor contracts.
Lawmakers can approve or reject each of the contracts in their entirety, but they can't renegotiate the contract details as they write their budget.