Washington GOP staffers first to unionize, and Dem staffers follow


Under a 2022 law, staffers who work for Washington state legislators gained the right to unionize starting May 1, 2024. Under the state law, staffers for the state senate and state house have to be in different bargaining units, and Republican and Democratic staffers are assumed to be different units as well unless both vote to unite.

First to file were the legislative assistants for Republican lawmakers. Republican aides in the Washington House and Senate filed petitions with the Public Employment Relations Commission May 1, calling their independent union the Legislative Professionals Association. 

Democratic aides in the Washington House followed, seeking to join the established Washington Public Employees Association (WPEA)/UFCW Local 365. The proposed unit includes more than 80 staffers, and over 80% of the workgroup signed union cards.

The Public Employment Relations Commission is expected to schedule elections to determine if the unions have majority support of their respective units.


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