2014 STATE LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE

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1 Candidate Name House/Senate District 2014 STATE LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE I. Freedom to Choose a Union Employers routinely use intimidation, threats and coercion to deny workers their right to decide freely whether or not to organize a union and bargain collectively. We are challenging employers to commit to basic democratic principles for fair union elections. A copy of our principles is attached. 1. Will you publicly endorse the UAW s principles for fair union elections and urge employers in your district/state to adopt them as well? 2. Will you publicly support organizing drives in your district/state by: a) Writing letters of support for the workers organizing efforts? b) Attending community forums in support of the organizing efforts? c) Helping to pass resolutions of support? 3. Will you support legislation and/or administrative actions to prohibit state and local funds from being used to oppose organizing drives unless the contractors agree to remain neutral and respect the right to a free and fair union election? 1

2 II. Higher Education At the University of Washington, the work of Resident and Non-Resident Academic Student Employees (ASEs) helps contribute a great deal to our state economy. We play a significant role in maintaining instructional quality and keeping UW accessible to underrepresented communities; as Teaching Assistants and Tutors we provide over one-half the contact hours to undergraduates. As research assistants, fellows and trainees we conduct much of the research that enables UW to bring in over $1 billion per year in grants and contracts. As students and employees we re severely affected by any drop in state funding coupled with an increase in unwaived mandatory student fees. International student employees face unique financial challenges owing to their ineligibility in obtaining off-campus employment or most financial aid. 1. Will you work to restore funding for higher education to pre-recession levels? Please explain. 2. Will you work to ensure that tuition and student fees remain affordable? 3. Will you support our efforts to keep University of Washington competitive by limiting the costs of unwaived student fees for ASEs? 4. Will you work to increase state need based financial aid, including for graduate and professional students? 2

3 5. Will you oppose efforts to raise revenue for higher education on the backs of international students? III. Right to Bargain Collectively The right of workers to bargain collectively over their wages, benefits and working conditions is under attack. Academic Student Employees (ASEs) have significantly benefitted from collective bargaining and we strongly support the right of all workers in both the public and private sector to join together for a collective voice at work. Collective bargaining is a way to solve problems and make workplaces function better for workers, employers, customers and the general public. 1. Will you oppose legislation to limit the scope of collective bargaining by public sector employees, or dictate the terms of collective bargaining agreements? (b) Where such legislation is already in place, will you support efforts to repeal it? 2. Do you support the right of academic workers, such as teaching and research assistants and postdoctoral researchers, to organize and bargain collectively? 3. Will you oppose efforts to restrict the ability of unions to bargain with employers for automatic dues deduction, or to limit the ability of unions to collect and spend union dues for legislative, political and community involvement purposes? 3

4 4. Will you oppose so-called right to work legislation to weaken unions and disempower working families? IV. Tax and Budget Fairness Washington s tax structure is the most regressive in the nation, and does not raise sufficient revenue to cover the educational, social, health and public safety needs of our growing population. 1. Will you support a fair tax system that requires corporations and the wealthy to pay their share, and oppose shifts of the tax burden onto the middle class and poor? Please elaborate on which policy changes you would support to achieve this. 2. Do you support measures, such as a fully funded state earned income ( Working Families ) tax credit, to ensure that no worker is taxed into poverty? 3. Will you ensure that tax breaks for businesses get the same level of accountability and scrutiny as all other spending in the budget so the public can evaluate whether these tax breaks actually create the jobs they promise? V. Immigration Reform While comprehensive immigration reform is a federal issue, local and state governments have recently taken different actions to either support efforts to reform our broken immigration system or challenge federal enforcement-only strategies that separate families and divide communities by advocating for federal administrative relief from detention and deportation. 4

5 1. Do you support federal comprehensive immigration reform that provides a road map to citizenship for undocumented immigrants? 2. What do you see as important elements of a road map to citizenship and immigration reform, more generally? VI. Civil Rights In Washington State, outdated election systems have kept certain communities from having an equal opportunity to influence elections and shut them out of local democracy. That s because 99% of local elections in Washington are held at-large in the general election, meaning the residents of every neighborhood in a city vote for every candidate. While at-large elections can be effective, in communities where polarized voting takes place, small majorities can dominate elections and shut out certain communities. The Washington Voting Rights Act (WVRA) will ensure all communities have a fair chance to elect candidates of their choice in local elections by providing local jurisdictions with the opportunity to fix broken election systems, when polarized voting excludes certain communities from a fair chance at representation. The WVRA allows local governments to solve the problem of voter exclusion and avoid expensive federal litigation by proactively tailoring a local solution that fits their unique electoral picture. Unlike the federal voting rights act, which is incredibly expensive, under the WVRA local governments can take action to remedy voting problems before litigation ensues. 1. Would you support and co-sponsor the WVRA to provide a solution to the problem of voter exclusion in local jurisdictions? Please explain. VII. Wage Standards UAW believes that no workers including temporary and student employees - should live in poverty. A fair minimum wage is fundamental to a social economic 5

6 system that guarantees a decent remuneration for work, and also acts as an economic stimulus in workers communities. 1. Do you support increasing the minimum wage to $15/hour for all workers in the state? 2. Do you support efforts to enact and enforce living wage ordinances? 3. Will you oppose legislation that would prohibit local municipalities from enacting the living wage ordinances? 4. Will you support the provisions that index the state minimum wage so legislative action is not necessary to increase it and keep pace with inflation? VIII. Health Care The health care reform law that passed in March 2010 was a major step forward to ensure that every American has access to quality health care, and that no American goes bankrupt paying for needed care. 1. Will you oppose efforts to repeal health care reform, and speak out against wasting taxpayer dollars through specious legal challenges to the new law? 6

7 2. Will you support the adoption of Paid Sick and Safe Leave for all workers in the state? IX. Investments in Infrastructure and Clean Energy As a member of the Blue-Green Alliance, UAW is active in Washington and nationwide in efforts to promote clean energy industries to create jobs and position themselves for future growth opportunities, while addressing important environmental and energy security concerns. 1. Would you support public investments to rebuild our infrastructure, including roads, bridges, mass transit and water and sewer systems? 2. Would you support expanding local taxing authority to fund critical infrastructure and transit needs? 3. Would you support establishing or increasing renewable energy requirements in Washington? Please explain. X. Unemployment Insurance The deep recession and continuing high unemployment levels show the importance of a strong unemployment insurance system. Unfortunately, a number of states have responded to strains on system finances by enacting benefit cuts instead of insisting that employers replenish the funds. 1. Will you oppose cuts in support for the unemployed, and instead support legislation to improve unemployment benefits and expand eligibility? 7

8 XII. Occupational Safety and Health The federal and state Occupational Safety and Health Acts were enacted to help assure the safety of workers in the workplace. Thanks to these laws, our workplaces have become safer, healthier and more secure. Despite this progress, too many workers are still injured or killed on the job, or suffer from illnesses caused by occupational exposures. 1. Will you support efforts to strengthen workplace safety and health and oppose any legislation that would repeal or weaken worker protections and training? XIII. Workers Compensation Washington State has one of the best benefit structures while maintaining one of the lowest cost structures in the nation. 1. Do you oppose compromise-and-release structured settlements of injured workers? (b) Will you oppose efforts to expand the legalization of these buyouts to more injured workers? 2. Would you oppose allowing private insurance into our workers compensation system? 8

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