COLA Washington State Employees Negotiate First Pay Raises In 6 Years By Austin Jenkins • Sep 19, 2014 Washington state employees have not had a cost-of-living raise in six years. But that could change in the next budget cycle. A tentative contract deal has been struck between the state and the union representing general government workers. Billions at Stake as State Supreme Court Hears Pension Cases By Austin Jenkins • Oct 24, 2013 Cacophony / Wikipedia The state Supreme Court on Thursday heard oral arguments in a pair of pension cases involving billions of dollars at stake. Unions for teachers and state employees want the high court to restore two benefits that were nixed due to their cost.