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King County Executive News

King County Executive News
Dec. 16, 2010

County declines to accept proposed contract amendment from King County Police Officers Guild

Analysis shows proposal would cost public more than it saves; Executive says door remains open

Saying it would cost the public more than it saves, King County Executive Dow Constantine today declined to accept a proposed amendment to the current labor agreement with the King County Police Officers Guild.

"We appreciate the Guild unilaterally coming forward with an idea to help avoid layoffs, but the attached conditions would cost the public more than they save," said Executive Constantine. "Our door remains open. I believe we can come up with a solution that meets our mutual interest of protecting public safety."

In a letter to the Guild, the Executive's Director of Labor Relations noted that the Guild's offer to defer 2 percent of its members' 2011 wage increase until 2013 would save approximately $1.3 million and provide for restoration of some of the public safety services previously eliminated. However, another requirement to retain the positions scheduled for layoff in January 2011, and those at risk of layoff in June 2011 as a result of the annexation of the Juanita, Finn Hill and Kingsgate neighborhoods to the city of Kirkland, would increase wages by as much as $2.5 million.

The letter noted that the offer to extend the current terms and conditions of the contract for one additional year, through the end of 2013, would also extend its current medical benefits, which are on average more than 5 percent more expensive to the County's General Fund than the plan design for the rest of county employees.

The letter also noted that acceptance of the offer would require the County to accept concessions that are neither sustainable nor were afforded to the overwhelming majority of the County's labor partners.

The Executive said the County is always available to meet with the Guild, and asked the Guild again to meet and engage in bargaining.