Monday, September 29, 2008

It ain't over till its over

Having been through the breakneck rigors of contract negotiations, I know that the tendency is, once negotiations are finished and the contract is ratified, to consider it a done deal.

After reading the Olympian today, I say, "nay, nay"! It ain't over until its over, and that is Sine die.

I would ask our gentle reader to follow this link and read what the Olympians Adam Wilson has to say...

If the story doesn't remind you that there is still work to do, then read some of the comments from the public!

We still have to get our contract in the Gov.'s budget (depending on who is elected this job gets exponentially more challenging) and approval by the house and the senate.

When you add sentiments like the ones from the Senate Republicans senior member on the Ways and Means Committee, Senator Joe Zarelli. This is what The Olympians Adam Wilson reports on Senator Zarelli's feelings on the matter...

If you're facing a $529 million drop in projections, you might consider renegotiating state worker health benefits, Zarelli says. He notes that Gov. Chris Gregoire settled health care negotiations in one day with the coalition of state worker unions, agreeing to have employees continue paying 12 percent of premiums.In a two-page item making the case for going back to the table, Zarelli includes:
The 2007 Kaiser Family Foundation nationwide survey on employer health benefits found that employees pay on average 28% for family coverage. This includes both small and large companies. If just large companies were the point of comparison, the average employee in a large firm (more than 200 employees) pays 24% of the cost. Or twice what state government employees in Washington pay for family coverage. And it should be noted this is what people who receive health coverage through their employer pay. In Washington state, only 62% of employers offer coverage to employees.

So don't put your green shirts away yet. With the legislative session coming upon us quickly the prudent state employee goes to work now. We'll need all hands on deck to get around the obstacles that this little 'ol contract has in front of it. Remember that democracy is not a spectator sport, you have to play before you can win;-)

That is all for now gentle reader. Until next time, Remember,

"There comes a time in the affairs of man when he must take the bull by the tail and face the situation. " W.C. Fields


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