MONSON: "Would you give state employees a pay raise if you are the governor of this state?"
ROSSI: "Well right now, I don't know how you can afford it. We're $2.7 billion in the hole, so she's giving them a raise with what money? With what money? And the problem is right now the way it works, and this has happened since a bill that passed in 2002, which allows the governor to negotiate basically in a back room with the state employees before legislative session even starts. Before it even starts. Normally, it used to be done during the legislative session, and you would work it out with all the pieces of the budget...
"I have a problem with the entire (collective bargaining) process the way it works. In fact, people she's negotiating right now with are putting hundreds of thousands of dollars, at the very same time they're negotiating salary increases, into that Don't Know Dino campaign. And I don't think this kind of thing is even legal in New Jersey." (9/3/08)
I'm sure Rossi's polls are telling him that taking the position that state employees shouldn't get pay raises, and shouldn't have collective bargaining rights, is real popular. We're used to be kicked around by politicians who put the long-term interests of the state on the back-burner in order to score short-term political points. But the corruption argument Rossi keeps making is down-right irresponsible and mean-spirited.
Every school district, every city, every county, and 26 other states, collectively bargain with their employees. In every instance, those jurisdictions are governed by elected officials who may or may not have had the support of their employees. Local jurisdictions have had collective bargaining rights for decades. Does Rossi think the Issaquah School District is corrupt? Further, as Rossi knows, the Legislature will decide whether or not they're going to fund the collective bargaining agreement. Implying there is corruption is perpetuating a lie.
My question to WFSE members is simple. Are you going to let him get away with this, or are you going to stand up for your rights? -- Dennis
PS: Majority Leader Lisa Brown and Speaker Frank Chopp took a strong stand in support of collective bargaining in a guest editorial that appeared in yesterday's Seattle P-I. We appreciate their willingness to say and do the right thing, even if it's not the most politically popular thing. It's easy to pander. It's hard to lead.