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

Walkers rest amid the trees at Island Center Forest on Vashon Island, which is part of King County. Many trees around Western Washington are struggling, including Western hemlock on Vashon, likely from drought stress. Photo by Susie Fitzhugh
King County forests are facing new challenges

Hot, dry summers are stressing native tree species in Western Washington.

Jennifer Harjehausen poses with her family next to her new nameplate in Covington City Hall on April 11 during her swearing in. Photo by Kayse Angel
Third time’s the charm for new Covington Council member

Jennifer Harjehausen was chosen to fill Position No. 2 on Covington City Council.

Jim Pitts stands on walkway overlooking filtration chambers at the King County South Treatment Plant in Renton. Aaron Kunkler/staff photo
Human waste: Unlikely climate change hero?

King County treatment plant joins effort to counteract effects of carbon dioxide.

Annual Law Enforcement Camp taking high school applications

Students get to experience a tactical firing range and work with forensics, SWAT, communications, and K-9 officers.

Increase in phone scams

The Black Diamond Police said they have seen an increase in telephone scams

Tahoma works to reduce class sizes

Kindergarten to third grade classrooms need to have 15 to 17 students in them

Washington State Capitol Building. Photo by Emma Epperly/WNPA Olympia News Bureau
Legislation targets rape kit backlog

WA has about 10,000 untested kits; new law would reduce testing time to 45 days

School board gains first student representative

Kentridge senior selected to join Kent School District Board of Directors.

Most Read