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State reaches agreements with many workers, but negotiations ongoing for others

Q13 FOX photo

Q13 FOX photo

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state has reached tentative collective bargaining agreements with more than a dozen unions, but negotiations continue with eight more, while another six are in arbitration.

The Office of Financial Management released a bargaining status update Wednesday, ahead of a rally at the Capitol sponsored by several of the unions involved.

Under state law, negotiations for 49,000 state employees and 46,000 publicly funded non-state employees are exempt from public view until after they are approved and included in the budget.

In order to be included in Gov. Jay Inslee’s 2017-2019 budget proposal, the agreements must be submitted by October. At that point, the governor’s budget office will determine whether they are financially feasible and able to be included in the proposed budget, which will be released in December.

Once the contracts are in the budget, the Legislature can’t amend the agreements, they can only vote to approve or reject.