Billions of taxpayer dollars are at risk in the current negotiations led by Jay Inslee over the next contract with state employees, though the only way to find out what is going on is to read the tea leaves in the regular notices the state employee federation send to its (forced dues-paying) members. The public is not allowed to watch.
The latest version (find it here: FEDERATION HOTLINE) doesn’t require deep reading, though, to show what the union negotiators fear the most – that the state won’t raise taxes high enough to keep their share of government growing.
The union bosses are clearly scared that the balanced budget Inslee must produce by law – which might include budget cuts up to 15% in some state agencies, they were instructed to produce – could actually lead the legislature to make those cuts next year. In the union bosses’ own words: “we have to be on guard to make sure, though, that the 15 percent exercise doesn’t become a self-fulfilling prophecy where politicians take the easy way out and cut, cut, cut rather than the tough work of closing tax loopholes and raising revenue.”
It’s only in the world of a state employees’ union, which is used to Democrat politicians giving them raises every year just for showing up, that the easy way to negotiate is to do the “tough work” of raising taxes instead of the “easy way out” of cutting waste out of the state budget.