Re: “Washington state employee union sues Gov. Jay Inslee to delay vaccine mandate, pending negotiations” [Aug. 29, Local News]:

I am a member of the Washington Federation of State Employees.

The truth is that most state workers, like most Washingtonians, are vaccinated. We support public health measures. We’ve stayed on the job despite PPE shortages and other challenges that put us and our families at risk. I’m proud of the work we’ve done, and I’m proud of the way our union saved jobs by negotiating furloughs instead of layoffs last year. That’s how solidarity should work.

It’s clear now that the best way to protect our jobs and our fellow citizens is vaccination. Sadly, our leadership has been swayed by a vocal minority and has sued to block implementation of the vaccine mandate, rather than fighting for workplace safety measures we actually need like improved air filtration and long-term work-from-home policies. Every day we delay universal vaccination sickens and kills people, including union members. These are unacceptable losses.

I hope that my union will act soon to renew its commitment to safety, transparency and collaborative solutions. Until then, I hope the public will understand that union leadership does not represent me or many other WFSE members who want to protect each other and the public we serve.

Sara E. Palmer, Olympia