She Won’t Apologize for Supporting Unions

She won’t apologize for supporting unions

We sat down with Senator Patty Kuderer to shine a light on why public employees should support her Senate seat in LD48 (Bellevue).

WFSE ENDORSED CANDIDATE

We witnessed her unapologetic advocacy for people. Yes people. Senator Kuderer is in politics to help people and that begins with a laser sharp focus on education and healthcare.

From her biography, we know Patty is one of nine children from a family that placed a high emphasis on education and public service. But it was her grandparents who impressed upon her the importance of unions to working families. In Wisconsin, her grandfather gave 50 years to a local corporation, who upon retirement, provided him with a thank-you plaque with his name misspelled. But what grandpa had to provide for himself and his spouse was his union retirement. A modest retirement that kept them in their homes and independent for the rest of their lives. This image about how unions help workers, families and communities was deeply instilled.

Today’s public employees in Washington state receive their retirements from a state-funded retirement system and not directly from their union, but the ability for state employees to exercise a powerful voice on issues such as fair pay, retirement security and affordable healthcare is directly related to the strength of their union.

Senator Kuderer spoke about the relationship between the systematic eroding of unions since the 1980’s and the growth of income inequality that is eroding our middle-class culture and contributing to a growing homelessness crisis.

That’s why she fights for people. Her entry into politics was fueled by McCleary and her desire to improve Washington’s education system. Why? “Because education is simply the best investment we can make for people.” Improving education serves a key function in reversing income inequality. 

Noting the correlation between education and incarceration rates, Senator Kuderer spoke about extending opportunities for incarcerated youth to remain in-place until age 25 with a strong education-based component. Because education provides the best opportunity for reform.

Senator Kuderer is an advocate for access to health care as fundamental for all Washingtonians. “Poor health hinders a child’s educational potential as well as the well-being and performance of our workforce. I’m committed to access.” 

“The work of state employees is important not just in my district but all districts across the state.”

Notably the people in her district benefit greatly from the work our DOT members provide, easing congestion, specifically 522, which was done quickly and efficiently with tolls and not new tax dollars.

Developmental disability services are truly a godsend for families in her district that rely on the array of services provided by DSHS. “These services are so desperately needed, they must be protected and expanded.”

In the 2018 legislative session, Senator Kuderer supported our collective bargaining agreement that included targeted salary increases and protected our healthcare benefits and pensions. “Wages and benefits should not be at the political whim of a changing legislature.”

Correcting mis-classified employees, recognizing recruitment and retention issues and paying state employees fairly makes Senator Kuderer a candidate worth supporting.

Her voting record speaks for itself:

  • 100% WFSE voting record
  • 100% Lifetime voting record for the Washington State Labor Council (WSLC)
  • Endorsed by WFSE and the WSLC

We asked what members should do to participate in our democratic process:

  1. Vote. Always vote.
  2. Get involved in our communities. Be seen as residents but also as state employees.Speak up about your passion for public services.
  3. Connect with your legislators. Let them know your positions on issues.

If you reside in LD 48 and would like to volunteer to door-knock your neighborhood with Senator Kuderer, please contact LPA at 800-562-6002 or mcc@wfse.org.

WFSE Walks neighborhood canvassing will be scheduled soon. Watch for opportunities to participate at WFSE.org or email Jacki Verd at jackiv@wfse.org to join our political activist team.

___________________________

AFSCME Council 28 (WFSE) engages in politics. We endorse candidates who value state employees and public service. There is not a workforce anywhere with more at stake in decisions made by elected officials. The state legislature decides our wages, healthcare, pensions, job security, and working conditions.
— WFSE Legislative & Political Action Team