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What’s inside Seattle’s tentative deal with its police union

Mayor Jenny Durkan and city officials say the new proposed contract with its more than 1,300 Seattle Police personnel sets the department fully on a path of reform including:

  • Full implementation of body worn cameras by front line officers;
  • Management improvements in transfers and performance evaluations;
  • Improvements and clarity for the 180 timeline for investigations of police complaints;
  • Civilianization of OPA supervisor positions and a HR leadership role in SPD; 
  • Office of the Inspector General provided full and unfettered access to fulfill duties under the accountability; and 
  • The Guild will withdraw several pending Unfair Labor Practice claims.

The mayor sent the proposed six-year, 96-page contract (PDF) with Seattle Police Officers’ Guild to the Seattle City Council for approval Monday. CHS reported in September on the union’s approval of the deal that includes solid raises while also tying further reforms to the package.

“One of my priorities was negotiating a fair contract for Seattle police officers, who have been working without a contract since 2014. Even as homes, groceries and gas has become more expensive in our city, our officers continued to keep our residents, neighborhoods and businesses safe,” Durkan said in a statement Monday. “At the same time, they have served as a model nationwide by bringing SPD into full and effective compliance with the federal consent decree.“

The city’s Community Police Commission says it is reviewing the tentative deal but signaled concerns about the proposal in a statement to media Monday:

From a review of the contract by some members of the CPC, it appears that the tentative contract gives up many of the reforms won in the landmark Police Accountability Legislation. That legislation was passed by the city council after a long struggle, with an 8-0 vote last year after receiving broad community support.

The group is meeting this week to discuss the proposed deal.

Last week, the agreement was advanced to full council by the Labor Relations Policy Committee. No date has been set for a final vote.

UPDATE 10/18/2018: In a potential blow to the mayor’s efforts to bring the SPD contract efforts to a close, the Seattle Community Police Commission has recommended a rejection of the deal:

The Commission believes in SPOG’s right to collectively bargain and also believes Seattle’s police officers deserve the competitive wages included in the agreement. The issue isn’t the money. Apart from fairness to officers, Seattle needs to pay wages that ensure we can compete for, hire and retain the most appropriate police workforce for our city. Unfortunately, the City’s negotiators struck a bad deal that rolls back many of the crucial reforms that were won in the landmark Police Accountability Legislation. That legislation was passed with an 8-0 vote last year with broad support from the community. Whatever its other positive aspects, including appropriate wages, this contract guts the hard-won accountability improvements we and many others fought for over the past four years.

You can see the CPC’s review of the contract here.

The complete contract document is embedded below.

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2 years ago

It’s about time they got a contract. We all Pat ourselves on the backs about our ‘progressive values’ then let a labor union go years without a contract. They didn’t strike.

Fairly Obvious
Fairly Obvious
2 years ago

Per RCW 41.56.490, police can’t strike, for fairly obvious reasons. It’s not like they didn’t strike out of the goodness of their hearts.

walks dogs
walks dogs
2 years ago

A couple of years ago, I believe during Murary’s time as mayor, it was made public that the city pays the salary of the SPOG’s president. Many found this unacceptable and demanded a change. Does anyone know if this was part of their new contract?

2 years ago
Reply to  walks dogs

It still is. See Article 1.4 in the contract.