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State workers demonstrate to urge lawmakers to support new contracts

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Dozens of state workers in the Tri-Cities spent their lunch break rallying for new contracts Wednesday.

State employees dressed in green shirts as they waved signs outside of the Kennewick Community Service Office of the state Department of Social and Health Services.

Washington Federation of State Employees union members say the goal is to bring attention to their cause. They're rallying to urge the legislature to approve their new two-year labor contracts before the session ends.

“It's really important for us to get this because we want to continue to give the high level quality services to the public,” said Washington Federation of State Employees’ Russell Glatt, adding “We are also having high retention issues with keeping employees. We want to keep our employees so we can continue to give services to the public."

Wednesday’s rally in Kennewick was one of about 150 "Stand up for Washington" demonstrations across the state.

The Washington State regular legislative session ends this Sunday. However, legislators are expected to need at least one 30-day special session to finish their work on the state budget.

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