Courtesy of kingcounty.gov

Courtesy of kingcounty.gov

King County approves bargaining agreement with 60 unions

Employees will receive wage increases and $500 bonus.

A bargaining agreement between more than 24 unions and King County was approved at Monday’s county council meeting, ensuring much of county’s workforce is operating under current terms through 2020.

The agreement was negotiated between representatives of the King County Executive’s office and the King County Coalition of Unions, which represents employees working in detention, law enforcement, public defense, the prosecutor’s office, public health, Metro, IT and parks, among others. In total, 61 collective bargaining agreements covering more than 5,500 employees across 17 agencies were approved.

As part of the agreement, all employees represented by the agreement will receive a general wage increase of 4 percent, which took effect at the beginning of 2019, and another 3 percent raise next year.

In addition, all employees will receive a $500 one-time payment. In total, the county will be paying nearly $50 million as part of the agreements, around $5.4 million over what was originally estimated. While the package was approved, King County Council member Kathy Lambert said she was concerned about the increased cost.

“I think that’s a lot of money. I have concerns about the $500 signing bonus or being their bonus,” she said at the meeting.

Corrections supervisors with a bachelor’s degree will additionally receive a 2 percent salary increase, and those with a master’s degree will receive a 3 percent increase. Wages for county employees are supposed to be tied to wages in the private sector, and the county conducts studies every two years to ensure they are, Lambert said. County executive Dow Constantine’s office issued a statement to the Reporter saying the agreement built on foundations established in the 2015-2016 total compensation agreement and the wage increases are consistent with cost of living projections in Puget Sound.

In total, King County has more than 100 labor organizations, and having a master labor agreement helps make bargaining more efficient, Lambert said.

“I’m just glad that they are doing this kind of agreement. Our labor people are very fair and even-handed. The focus that I am really impressed with is the focus on safety,” she said.

A statement sent to the Reporter from the executive’s office said they appreciated the relationship between the county and bargaining unions and that they believed “these agreements help us deliver the best customer service to the people of this region.”

Also included in the agreement was an agreement to create a task force to study options for child care benefit programs such as vouchers. The task force would consist of labor representatives and King County representatives. The report is due back by the end of 2019.

More in News

Measles confirmed at two Eastside Schools

Parents urged to monitor children for signs.

Candidates file for November 2019 election

Locals will vote on a variety of local and county positions.

Sunnybeam School will be replacing its large areas of gravel with engravable pavers, called “Legacy Bricks.” Madison Miller / staff photo
Legacy Bricks to be installed on Sunnybeam School’s playground

Sunnybeam School allows community to commemorate memories through playground renovation.

City council formally approved 2019 budget adjustments

The approval came after two new adjustments were presented at the May 7 council meeting.

King County Councilman Reagan Dunn sent a letter to the FBI asking for them to help investigate Allan Thomas (pictured), who is under investigation for stealing more than $400,000 of public funds and skirting election laws in an Enumclaw drainage district. Screenshot from King 5 report
King County Council requests report on special districts in wake of fraud allegations

Small, local special districts will face more scrutiny following Enumclaw drainage district case.

The Marquee on Meeker Apartments, 2030 W. Meeker St. in Kent, will feature 492 apartments and 12,000 square feet of retail. The first phase of 288 apartments is expected to be completed in early 2020. Developers are targeting people in their 20s and 30s to rent their high-end, urban-style apartments. Steve Hunter/staff photo
Housing study pokes holes in conventional wisdom

High construction and land costs will incentivize developers to build luxury units.

Ashley Hiruko/illustration
Susan’s quest for ‘justice’ and the civil legal system dilemma

Susan Chen’s story begins as a criminal matter. In 2013 she paid… Continue reading

Most Read