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 60 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. 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.

Employees with a bachelor’s degree will additionally receive a 2 percent salary increase, and those with a master’s degree will receive a 4 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.

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.

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

VoteWA is a $9.5 million program that came online last May and is meant to unify all 39 county voting systems in the state into a single entity. Courtesy image
WA’s new voting system concerns county elections officials

VoteWA has run into some problems in recent months as the Aug. 6 primary election draws closer.

‘Feedback loops’ of methane, CO2 echo environmental problem beyond Washington

University of Washington among researchers of climate change’s effects in global temperatures.

More work on Auburn Way South | UPDATES

On Monday, July 15, through Tuesday, July 16, construction work by Comcast… Continue reading

Reporter file photo
Classic chrome and mighty machines return

Solid Rock Cruisers host Summer Cruise-in Thursday, July 18 at former Big Daddy’s site

Courtesy image
King County could loan 4Culture $20 million

The loan would be repaid by the organization and used to help serve marginalized communities.

Summer Food Program underway at many Auburn locations

USDA provides free meals in partnership with school district

U.S. Marshals alert public of latest scam spoofing official phones

The U.S. Marshals in the Western District of Washington are alerting the… Continue reading

VRFA responds to a spree of fires that displace residents, damage dwellings

The Valley Regional Fire Authority was especially busy over the weekend. Units… Continue reading

Two of VRFA’s very best: Upton, Olson retire

Two of the Valley Regional Fire Authority’s finest have retired. Larry Upton,… Continue reading

Most Read