The Washington Management Service.
State civil service law governs the appointment, promotion, transfer, layoff, removal, discipline, and other personnel matters of most state agency employees. The Washington Management Service (WMS) is a separate personnel system for managers within the executive branch of state government. Agencies determine if a position is appropriate for the WMS.
Positions in the WMS are grouped into salary range categories known as WMS bands. Management bands are a series of levels, each with a minimum and maximum salary level. Placement in a band reflects the nature of the work responsibilities, management skill requirements, and reporting accountability. The WMS positions requiring a medical degree are placed into the WMS medical band.
The Personnel System Reform Act (PSRA) provides for collective bargaining of wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment with classified employees of state agencies and institutions of higher education. Employees covered under the PSRA include all state civil service employees, unless specifically excluded. The PSRA excludes WMS employees from collective bargaining. In addition, the PSRA excludes: employees already covered under the Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act; confidential employees; internal auditors in any agency; and employees of the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC), the Office of Financial Management, and the Office of Risk Management within the Department of Enterprise Services.
The PERC administers the PSRA, and among other things, has the authority to determine and certify appropriate bargaining units. Under the PSRA, exclusive bargaining representatives of more than one bargaining unit must negotiate one master collective bargaining agreement covering all of the represented employees.
The provisions prohibiting WMS employees from collective bargaining are amended to allow certain WMS employees the right to collective bargaining. The WMS employees excluded from bargaining are those who are:
Bargaining over wages is limited to salary band levels, not individual WMS classifications or positions.
The only bargaining units that may be designated are a supervisory or nonsupervisory unit of all salary band one and salary band two WMS employees within an agency.
Negotiations for eligible WMS employees must be within the bargaining agreements under the provision requiring one master bargaining agreement when the exclusive bargaining representative represents more than one bargaining unit.
Any agreement entered into with WMS employees may not take effect before July 1, 2025.
The original bill granted collective bargaining to all WMS employees regardless of salary band, and did not contain provisions addressing: bargaining over wages; designation of supervisory or nonsupervisory units within an agency; negotiations when the exclusive bargaining representative represents more than one bargaining unit; and when agreements for the WMS employees could take effect. In addition, the original bill did not have a delayed effective date.
(In support) This bill allows managers to form a union if they choose to, just as managers in cities and counties are able to do. Some employees forego promotions because they do not want to promote out of the ability to bargain. Without the ability to collectively bargain, employees are stuck where they are. Represented employees consistently get salary increases and WMS employees do not. There are some WMS managers who are paid at the same rate or less than the people they are supervising who have bargaining rights.