While Governor Jay Inslee continues to push (with the assistance of media members who cannot be bothered to check facts) the false narrative that he cut state employee pay, new details reveal that state workers will actually make more money (paid for by taxpayers) due to the governor’s collusion with union leaders.
The governor will first allow a scheduled 3% pay raise to take place on July 1 before he requires state union employees to take 6-to-8 unpaid furlough days. Thus the workers’ annual salary will be almost identical to their current annual pay, while working 6-to-8 fewer days.
Now we find out that Inslee arranged the furloughs so the government workers are eligible to collect unemployment benefits for their furlough days. And because of the weekly $600 federal unemployment benefit in the last COVID-19 relief bill (the CARES Act) and because of the state’s Shared Work program (fully funded by the CARES Act), state workers will receive more taxpayer money than if Inslee just allowed the 3% pay raise to go forward without imposing the furlough days (see chart from the Washington Federation of State Employees).
Remember, while private employers and employees have been severely financially impacted during the coronavirus outbreak, nearly all state employees received full wages and benefits. Now we find out state unionized employees will actually make more money and work 6-8 fewer days.
Greedy union bosses are laughing all the way to the bank as state workers are benefiting from the financial suffering of others.
The one piece of good news is that since Inslee’s campaign contributors in the government unions are now eligible for unemployment claims, there might be an incentive for his Employment Security Department to clean up the thousands of backlogged applications of Washingtonians who have yet to receive their promised payments
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