WFSE members advocate for services that make Washington strong
- Our union supports the mission of public service 100%. Member advocates have saved hundreds of public programs and state services.
- We strongly oppose outsourcing of public services and have successfully stopped attempts to cut services and lay-off employees.
- We’ve sponsored legislation including ESHB1851 in 2017 to save jobs and protect taxpayers from shoddy outsourcing.
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation wants to get our union out of the way so they can eliminate services and outsource our jobs.
So what does the ‘Freedom’ Foundation want to do with public services and state employee jobs?
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation wants ‘small government.’ They want to cut public services and reduce government spending. Many vital public services could be lost. Thousands of Washington state employee jobs could be lost.
“To help keep state budgets in check and promote efficiency in government, it is critical to eliminate wasteful, non-essential government functions.” –From Freedom Foundation Founder, Bob Williams, co-author of this policy manual for state legislators, ALEC Budget Toolkit
Take a look at what they hope to do to public services and our jobs:
States Should Control Costs and Improve Government Efficiency with the following tactics:
- Adopt a State Hiring Freeze
- Reform State Pensions
- Restructure State Retiree Health Care Plans
- Eliminate Positions Vacant More Than Six Months
- Delay Automatic Pay Increases
- Adopt Activity-Based Costing
- Adopt a Sunset Review Process for State Agencies, Boards, and Commissions
- Allow the State Auditor to Conduct Performance Audits
- Establish a System of Independent Recovery Audits for Improper Payments of Taxpayer Funds
- Embrace the Expanded Use of Privatization and Competitive Contracting
- Establish a State Privatization and Efficiency Council
- Create a Statewide Real Property Inventory and Search the Balance Sheet for Asset Sale and Lease Opportunities
- Achieve Savings Through Employee Incentive Programs
–From Freedom Foundation founder, Bob Williams, co-author of the policy manual for state legislators, ALEC Budget Toolkit
The Freedom Foundation also wants to cut DSHS and ‘welfare’ spending. This would result in fewer services to the neediest people in WA and many DSHS jobs would be lost.
“The easiest way to break the cycle of welfare dependency, as well to stop the perceived and real abuses within the welfare system, is to prevent it in the first place by reducing the number of new enrollments.” –http://www.alec.org/model-policy/welfare-system-integrity-act/
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation wants to outsource state services to the private sector. Thousands of state employees could lose their jobs and the quality of public services would be at stake.
“The state and taxpayers would be better off competitively contracting (out) jobs that already exist within the private sector. Why should taxpayers take on the cost and liability of in-house graphic designers, IT personnel, electricians, carpenters, painters, mechanics, etc., rather than creating performance-based, competitive contracts that leverage the state’s position to get taxpayers a better deal?” — http://www.myfreedomfoundation.com/blogs/liberty-live/do-state-employees-need-raise#sthash.86NY3nL1.dpuf
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation (to help out wealthy corporations) wants to privatize Washington Workers Compensation Program. Thousands of L&I employees would lose their jobs.
The Freedom Foundation’s CEO, Tom McCabe, has attacked L&I in Washington for over 20 years. In 2010, McCabe (formerly of BIAW) filed an initiative to privatize L&I: “Other states that have moved from government-run workers’ comp systems to privatization have experienced lower workers’ comp taxes for employers, better claims management for injured workers and a more efficient workers’ comp system.” –BIAW Press Release, April 14, 2010 http://www.biaw.com/documents/pressreleas /biaw%20files%20initiative
Why do they want privatize L&I? To help out their corporate friends who want to limit government oversight of workplace safety and to cut costs for employers—to the detriment of injured workers, workplace safety and L&I jobs.
The ‘Freedom’ Foundation wants to privatize many other state services too—including education, child support enforcement, road maintenance, IT services and many more. The result would be reduced quality of services while private companies profit— and thousands of state employees would lose good jobs with benefits.
The Freedom Foundation is connected by donors and philosophy to ALEC—who is encouraging states to consider “Privatization of Child Support Enforcement Services.” This would allow a state to privatize child support enforcement services, injecting a profit motive into the management of child support—thereby helping out the corporate friends of the Freedom Foundation at the expense of children and state employee jobs.
Freedom Foundation allies have also identified these additional state services “for which privatization could be applied”:
- Highway design and maintenance.
- Building repair and maintenance.
- Vehicle fleet operations, maintenance, and ownership.
- Information technology.
- Administrative support services (e.g., HR, payroll, accounting, mail, printing, etc.).
- Risk management (e.g., claims processing, loss prevention services).
- Facilities financing, operations, and maintenance.
- Park operations and maintenance.
- Corrections and mental health (facility operations and management; health care, medical and food-services).
- Core infrastructure (roads/transit, water, etc.).
- Engineering services.
- Welfare-to-work programs.
- Child care, child welfare, and adoption programs.
- Juvenile rehabilitation.
- Environmental lab analysis.
–ALEC Budget Reform Toolkit: one of the authors is Freedom Foundation founder and senior fellow, Bob Williams.