In something of a shocker, the Stranger Slog is reporting the following:
The union representing 26,000 "educational support professionals" in the
public school system says today that Republican Rob McKenna can do in
the governor's mansion what Democrat Jay Inslee can't. He can restore
funding for K-12 education (even though he's never convincingly
explained how he can do this without crushing employee unions).
Meanwhile, Inslee is "too committed to preserving the status quo."
The union is Public School Employees of Washington/SEIU 1948. The WEA, Washington Education Association, is endorsing Inslee. One issue that has split the education workers' unions is health care benefits.
From a Q&A on this issue:
Won’t Rob McKenna take away our collective bargaining rights?
We are a union and we strongly support collective bargaining. Rob McKenna has said over and over
again during this campaign that he is not interested in taking away public employee collective bargaining
rights. We take him at his word that he respects our right to collective bargaining and that he will be a
tough, but fair negotiator.
As a life-time Democrat, I can only say, good luck with that one, kids. I guess they missed the outcome of the recent Wisconsin election. I guess they missed the Romney statement that we don't need more police or teachers.
Shouldn’t all education unions stick together and support the same candidate for governor?
Again, PSE respects the fact that every union has its own member constituency, priorities, and process
for endorsing a candidate. We represent only school and university support staff. Unlike other education
unions, PSE spent several months meeting with both candidates in this race. We didn’t grandstand, or
rig our process to favor one candidate over another. We were extremely fair, impartial, and arrived at
this decision after a comprehensive, 10‐month process.
First, that's certainly sounds fair and thoughtful. That said, it seems there are some major issues between these unions and it certainly could be a factor in the elections in November.