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Summer 2013

Conditions improving for Council 2 members

by County and City Employee Writer on August 31, 2013

As the economy continues to improve, conditions are getting better for labor in Washington state, President/Executive Director Chris Dugovich told the 200 members and guests who attended the June biennial convention in Spokane.

“At the last convention two years ago we were coming out of the Great Recession,” he said. “Things were pretty tough. We were going through layoffs and furloughs. We lost more than 1,000 members across the state.

“But today things are better. The economy is coming back to a degree and Washington State is doing better than much of the rest of the country.

“We hope this trend will continue.”

Council 2 has grown over the last two years, Dugovich added. “People tend to join because they have been recommended by people to join,” he said. “They want the same rights you have and they certainly want a negotiated contract.”

The union also has been able to protect members’ pensions, but they are under attack, he said.

“If the conservative forces gain control of our legislature they certainly will go after our pensions.

“If that happens, you will see a strong move to come after your pensions at the state level, particularly for those members who come after you.

“You need to be working on those issues. Make sure they understand that this is important to you.”

Council 2 handles about 300 arbitration cases a year, Dugovich said.

The union does a lot when it comes to scholarships, he said.

 Council 2 gave away $86,000 in scholarships across the state last year and has given more than $500,000 in the last seven years.