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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 31, 2008 at 4:10 PM

Gregoire vs. unions

Let them make their case

Just this past October, when endorsing Dino Rossi for governor, The Times questioned whether Gov. Christine Gregoire would “lean against the public-employee unions” supporting her.

By proposing a balanced budget that lives within the state’s constricted means, Gregoire responsibly kept her campaign promises — and did exactly what The Times had accused her of being incapable of. [“State union wrong to sue over raises,” editorial, Dec. 29].

Now, The Times editorially condemns a union for wanting Gregoire to simply forward negotiated, ratified collective-bargaining agreements to the Legislature for consideration. What an editorial difference two months makes.

Portentously, The Times lectures, “It is implied as a matter of good faith that employees are paid well when times are good and have to sacrifice when times are tough.”

This implication has not been the reality for state employees. Assuming they’re denied cost-of-living increases for the next two years, they’ll have gone without them for six out of 10 years.

No one, including unions, fails to recognize our national economic plight. Yet state employees deserve the opportunity — alongside everyone else, to make their case before the 2009 Legislature.

— Brendan Williams, Olympia

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