Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced today that the City of Seattle has reached a tentative agreement on general contract terms with the Coalition of City Unions, which represents the largest group of represented City employees.
Among other provisions, the agreement includes annual wage increases of 2% retroactively for 2015, 2% for 2016, 2.5% for 2017 and 2.75% for 2018. It is the City’s historical practice that most non-represented employees receive the same salary increases as represented employees.
“I want to thank all City employees for their dedication to public service and their commitment to serving Seattle residents,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We worked with our labor partners to ensure that all employees are fairly compensated. This tentative agreement will provide certainty as we budget into the future, and will help us to continue to attract and retain quality workers.”
Specific job titles in high demand occupations, such as engineers, accountants and planners, will receive an additional 3.5 percent wage adjustment due to recruitment and retention issues identified by City departments and unions.
Individual bargaining units are now in the process of finalizing their agreements for ratification by their members. Professional and Technical Employees Local 17, the organization representing the largest number of non-uniformed city employees, has already ratified its contract with the City. The mayor will submit legislation to the Council in early January to implement the contracts ratified by individual bargaining units.
“As a representative of City employees, we appreciate the City’s collaborative approach to establishing fair wages for our members,” said Guadalupe Perez, Senior union representative and a lead negotiator for the Coalition of City Unions and PTE, Local 17. “We are pleased that City employees will continue to receive a livable wage as they provide critical services to the public.”
Wage increases for police officers, fire fighters, and several other groups of employees are being negotiated through a separate process.
The tentative agreement further provides for a new defined benefit retirement plan for employees who are hired into the City after Jan. 2017. New employees will continue to receive robust retirement benefits, while providing for a sound financial future for the City’s retirement system.
When the Seattle City Council adopted the 2015 budget in November, it also authorized a minimum hourly wage of $15 for all employees, retroactive to April 1. Once the new labor agreements and new rates of pay are legislated, employees will receive those retroactive wages.