SEIU local 925, representing 6,500 University of Washington employees in academic, research and business departments, overwhelmingly voted last night to voluntarily give up scheduled wage increases for 2009-2011.
“Giving up raises won’t stop staff layoffs,” said Anne Lawson, SEIU 925 UW chapter president. “But it will preserve more services for students, faculty and hospital patients, and keep as many experienced staff as possible.”
State employee union leaders aren’t stupid, and everybody I’ve spoken to has seemed more than willing to negotiate concessions to help soften the blow of impending budget cuts. And that’s the way it should work, rather than the governor or legislature simply imposing wage and benefit cuts, unilaterally abrogating contracts that had been negotiated and signed in good faith.