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Council sends charter amendment granting Sheriff bargaining authority to November ballot


If approved by voters, Sheriff would negotiate working conditions for employees of the Sheriff’s Office


The Metropolitan King County Council today sent to the November ballot an amendment to the King County Charter that if adopted, would give the King County Sheriff the authority to negotiate working conditions in labor relations contracts with
employees under the Sheriff’s authority.

Giving the Sheriff the ability to negotiate working conditions was a recommendation of the King County Sheriff’s Blue Ribbon Panel.

“When the voters decided in 1997 to make the appointed sheriff into an elective office, the bargaining authority was not included at that time,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert, sponsor of the charter amendment. “Now, it is time to let the voters choose whether to give the Sheriff these negotiating tools.”

“This fall the voters will have a chance to decide whether the Sheriff has a seat at the bargaining table,” said Council Vice Chair Jane Hague. “This amendment was a result of the 2006 Blue Ribbon Panel’s report.”

“This amendment will make the elected Sheriff fully responsible for bargaining the working conditions of her deputies,” said Councilmember Larry Phillips. “The Sheriff’s Blue Ribbon Panel recommended this change, so now the voters will have a chance to decide.”

The King County Executive, which under the King County Charter is the bargaining agent for the County in labor negotiations, would retain the authority to negotiate compensation and benefits.

The measure will be placed on the November 2, 2010 general election ballot.

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