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Metropolitan King County Council

Earning public trust, enhancing quality of life, protecting public health and safety
Metropolitan King County Council
516 Third Ave., Rm. 1200
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-477-1000
Toll Free: 800-325-6165
TTY/TDD: 206-296-1024
Fax: 206-296-0198
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Oct. 27, 2008

Statement from County Council leadership on unpaid employee furlough

Councilmembers to reduce their COLA; legislative branch to close ten days without pay

We are proud of the willingness of our represented employees to sacrifice ten days of wages in order to help prevent additional cuts in public safety and public health services and further loss of service to the public. The legislative branch is committed to making similar sacrifices and ensure that every agency does its part to preserve core services.

We are proposing a similar unpaid furlough in the legislative branch of government. This will have the effect of closing our offices for ten days next year. If adopted this would save about $450,000 from among all the legislative agencies, which include the County Council, Auditor, Hearing Examiner, Ombudsman/Tax Advisor, and Board of Appeals.

We will work to ensure these cuts do not impair the legislative branch’s ability to carry out its responsibilities of setting county policy, providing oversight and accountability, and responding to the needs of King County citizens.

We believe that as elected officials we need to make the same personal sacrifices that we are asking of our valued County employees.

Therefore, we are individually committing to limit our salaries to the same COLA of roughly 1 percent that has been negotiated with all represented employees.

Because the Washington State Constitution and state law do not legally permit us to change our salaries as elected officials during our current term of office, we must achieve this savings in a different manner. We will simply reimburse the County general fund for that part of our salaries above the 1 percent COLA shared by all employees.