Despite strong support from House leadership and hundreds of phone calls and emails sent from correctional employees and other Local 117 members across the State, interest arbitration (HB1490) did not receive a vote on the House floor before final cutoff on Wednesday. This means that the bill is effectively dead for the remainder of the 2013 legislative session.
While this is certainly disappointing and calls into question the commitment of some legislators to the vital needs of our State’s prison workers, your efforts to pass interest arbitration were not in vain. Your attendance at the Day of Action event on January 10, along with your outreach to legislators, sent a powerful message to Olympia that interest arbitration is an essential priority for Washington State correctional employees.
HB1490, though dead for now, will remain in the House Rules Committee where it can be revived next legislative session. You can be sure that Local 117 will be there to continue the fight for interest arbitration with the same resolve next year.
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard and devoted countless hours trying to pass the bill. Because of you, every legislator in Olympia now knows that Washington State correctional employees and their Union demand the same fairness and rights granted to other public safety professionals. We will fight until we win those rights, and we will hold accountable those politicians who stand in the way.