More Revenue, Fewer Layoffs on State Employees’ 2012 Wish List

The next state labor negotiations start in February for contracts that begin in 2013. Welch says it has become more difficult to hire well-qualified state workers, and many others have left of their own accord because of the uncertainty brought on by the budget crisis. “If you look at the State of Washington as the largest employer in the state – larger than Boeing, larger than Microsoft – and you’re gonna treat it like a business, you’ve got to be able to keep and attract good people. The current policy of cut, cut, cut and blaming state employees is not the right way to go.” Welch says 1,500 state workers lost their jobs this year.