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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Historic labor agreement marks the first time King County has negotiated a single compensation package with nearly 60 labor groups

Summary

A two-year labor agreement announced today marks the first time that King County has negotiated with a coalition representing nearly half of King County’s 13,000 employees rather than individually negotiating with each labor union. It also lays the foundation for a Master Labor Agreement in 2017 that will ultimately make county operations more efficient.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine and nearly 60 labor leaders today signed an historic two-year compensation package for county employees. It marks the first time that the county has negotiated with a coalition representing nearly half of King County’s 13,000 employees rather than individually negotiating with each collective bargaining unit.

The county and its labor partners also committed to creating a Master Labor Agreement in 2017 that will standardize contracts, which will further streamline the negotiation process and ultimately make operations countywide more efficient.

“The historic labor agreement we celebrate today is far more than the successful outcome of a negotiation,” said Executive Constantine. “For the first time ever, we met at one table with a coalition of nearly 60 labor groups, and achieved our shared vision of a compensation package that is fair, sensible and puts us on a course to make county operations more efficient.”

The past practice of negotiating each element of compensation separately in separate forums often resulted in multiple agreements. The agreement signed today instead started by identifying the total cost of labor on a per-employee basis and proceeded to bargain how those costs would be allocated.

This is the first time that the county has negotiated in a framework that determines all aspects of compensation, including healthcare, paid leave and wages. The wage adjustments are also more predictable and sustainable since they are awarded in flat percentages rather than tied to indexes that fluctuate.

The package includes a general wage increase of 2.25 percent in 2017 and 1.75 percent in 2018, changes to health and welfare benefits, and continues paid parental leave in 2017. There will be an additional 1 percent wage increase in 2018 once both sides agree on a countywide master contract.

The Memorandum of Agreement will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.



Quotes

The historic labor agreement we celebrate today is far more than the successful outcome of a negotiation. For the first time ever, we met at one table with a coalition of nearly 60 labor groups, and achieved our shared vision of a compensation package that is fair, sensible and puts us on a course to make county operations more efficient.

Dow Constantine, King County Executive

For more information, contact:

Chad Lewis, Executive Office, 206-263-1250


King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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