Union Breaks With Wash. Governor Over Pay Raises

By Jessica L. Sandham — March 07, 2001 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In a public rebuke of an old friend, the political action committee of the Washington Education Association has voted unanimously to express “official regret” over its endorsement of Democratic Gov. Gary Locke, who received the union’s support during his re-election bid this past November.

Gov. Gary Locke

The union and the governor are at odds over how to interpret Initiative 732, a ballot measure approved by more than 60 percent of Washington state voters in November that guarantees annual cost-of-living increases to teachers and other school employees.

Gov. Locke’s proposed biennial budget would allocate roughly $300 million to provide the pay hikes to the 75 percent of school employees whose salaries are paid with state money. He maintains that employees paid with local or federal money have not and should not receive cost-of-living increases through the state.

But Lee Ann Prielipp, the president of the WEA, a National Education Association affiliate, says that Initiative 732 clearly called for salary increases for “all” district employees, and that Mr. Locke is being remiss by not delivering.

“We’re balancing our budget on the backs of education, which means our students as well as teachers and school employees,” Ms. Prielipp said. “Our members said we have to let people know what’s going on.”

The governor has not issued a direct response to the union over the vote last month. But officials in his budget office have noted that the state is already having to make severe cuts in other state services to balance a budget squeezed by rising medical costs for state and school employees and for residents receiving public assistance. Total state spending on basic medical coverage is expected to increase by 33 percent, or $1.2 billion, over the next two years.

Further, the officials say, the state has never footed the bill for raises given to employees whose salaries are paid for through local levies or federal funds.

A version of this article appeared in the March 07, 2001 edition of Education Week as Union Breaks With Wash. Governor Over Pay Raises


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
A Whole Child Approach to Supporting Positive Student Behavior 
To improve student behavior, it’s important to look at the root causes. Social-emotional learning may play a preventative role.

A whole child approach can proactively support positive student behaviors.

Join this webinar to learn how.
Content provided by Panorama
Recruitment & Retention Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table: Why Retaining Education Leaders of Color Is Key for Student Success
Today, in the United States roughly 53 percent of our public school students are young people of color, while approximately 80 percent of the educators who lead their classrooms, schools, and districts are white. Racial
Jobs January 2022 Virtual Career Fair for Teachers and K-12 Staff
Find teaching jobs and other jobs in K-12 education at the EdWeek Top School Jobs virtual career fair.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Briefly Stated: January 12, 2022
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read
Education School Bus Driver Retires After 48 Years Behind Wheel
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick sat behind the wheel for the final time last week, wrapping up a 48-year career for the district.
3 min read
Charles City school bus driver Betty Flick poses with one of her farewell signs. Flick has been driving for Charles City School District for 48 years.
Betty Flick quickly fell in love with the job and with the kids, which is what has had her stay in the district for this long.
Courtesy of Abby Koch/Globe Gazette
Education Briefly Stated: December 1, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
9 min read
Education Briefly Stated: November 17, 2021
Here's a look at some recent Education Week articles you may have missed.
8 min read