Home Health Care Workers Union Sues Governor Over Budget - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Home Health Care Workers Union Sues Governor Over Budget

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YAKIMA, Wash-- Home health care workers are suing over Governor Gregoire's proposed budget because it doesn't include what they say are promised raises.

The lawsuit was filed with the Supreme Court Monday by Service Employees International Union. It represents many home health care providers in Washington State.

The union wants Gregoire to resubmit a budget that includes the raises, 25 cents an hour for next year and a 22 cents per hour increase for 2010. 

SEIU supported Gregoire in the recent governors race. Now that the state is facing a $5.7 billion deficit it means cuts. The Governor's Office and the Office of Financial Management released this joint statement to KNDO via e-mail.

"Hardworking teachers, state employees and care workers provide services of immeasurable value to the people of our state. They are well deserving of adjustments to maintain the value of their salaries. Unfortunately, we had no choice but to put their raises on hold.

All of the state contracts were concluded prior to the global financial market crisis in October and the November revenue forecast reducing state income by $1.9 billion. Given the resulting $5.7 billion shortfall for 2009-11, OFM Director Victor Moore determined that the compensation and fringe benefit provision in the collective bargaining agreements were not feasible financially for the state."

The issue will come to the table January 12th when the legislature meets.