UW Retirement Association

Political Advocacy and Ethical Practices: Guidelines and Resources for UW Retirees

Current issues of concern to retirees

  • PERS 1 COLA proposal
    On December 12, the Select Committee on Pension Policy (SCPP), an appointed body that studies  and makes recommendations to the state legislature regarding the state’s retirement systems, approved a proposal to provide PERS 1 retirees a one-time three percent cost of living adjustment for pensions up to $25,000.Under this proposal, retirees whose annual pension payments are more than $25,000 would receive a three percent increase on only the first $25,000.This proposal will require legislative action to take effect.
  • Long Term Care—State of Washington
    Two state legislators introduce legislation to create long-term care benefit for seniors. This bill, introduced in 2017 and again for the 2018 legislative session, would establish a public trust, similar to unemployment insurance, which would fund a long-term care benefit open to all who pay into the program. To follow the progress of this bill click here. To read an updated fact sheet on the bill, click here. An opinion piece by the Everett Herald editorial board appears here.

    • See the slides from Nancy Jecker’s November 6, 2017 presentation on Long-Term Care Insurance here.
  • Health CareFederal
    Compare Proposals to replace the Affordable Care Act (Kaiser Family Foundation). Note: the home page of the foundation contains links to a variety of information on health care and health care reform.

What rules govern advocacy for current UW employees?

You do not give up your rights as a citizen when you become an employee of the state of Washington. However, your political activity must occur on your own (e.g., non-work) time using your own resources (your computer at home, your non-UW email). Use of state (i.e., university) resources for political activity is prohibited under law.

What rules govern advocacy for UW retirees?

As a retiree, you are free to express yourself politically in any way that you see fit. If you maintain a UW office and/or a UW email account, you may not use them for political activity.

Resources on advocacy for state employees:

UW Impact

UW Impact, organized by the UW Alumni Association, is a legislative advocacy program dedicated to mobilizing UW alumni and friends on behalf of the UW and public higher education in Washington. Note: UW employees and retirees may not use state resources, including UW-owned offices, computers or email accounts, for political activity.

Resources for issues concerning the UW and public higher education

Information on issues at the state and federal level affecting retirees

  • Retired Public Employees Council of Washington—This statewide organization, founded in 1971, has as its mission “to promote the interests of retired state, county, city and local government employees.” During the state legislative session it produces a weekly newsletter.
  • AARP—AARP’s advocacy page provides current information on federal proposals that would affect retirees generally.

How to find your state and national representatives

Don’t know your state legislator or your district? Use this website.

How to find your representative in Congress

Contact Your Senators

How to talk to elected officials

  • A guide prepared by League of Women Voters Washington
  • Tips on advocacy from AARP

UWRA’s Legislative and Benefits Committee monitors issues of concern to UW retirees. New committee members are always welcome! Contact UWRA if you’d like more information.