October 19, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Charles Lapham, MLK Labor Communications Director
Labor Leaders Urge City Council to Approve Seattle Police Contract
(Seattle, WA) – Leaders from a wide cross-section of Seattle’s labor community held a press conference outside Seattle City Hall to urge the City Council to approve the Seattle Police Officers’ collectively bargained contract.
Seattle Police Officers have been working without a contract for nearly four years. In this time, they have brought the department into full and effective compliance with the federal consent decree, including the implementation of officer body cameras. The proposed six-year tentative agreement would provide Seattle police with the first pay increase in years while setting in place historic reforms to police oversight.
The tentative agreement was reached with Mayor Durkan earlier this year after years of negotiations with several different mayors. During this time, the cost of housing in Seattle has risen by over 70 percent, while population growth and homelessness have skyrocketed.
“Seattle police officers have been working for nearly four years without a contract,” said MLK Labor President Nicole Grant. “This means that while the cost of housing and putting food on the table for their families has skyrocketed, officers haven’t seen a cost of living increase in years.”
“Police are working-class members of our community and, like all workers, they deserve a fair contract. This agreement is a historic step toward improving police accountability in our community. For the sake of our community and the brave men and women of the Seattle Police Department, the City Council should approve the SPOG contract.”
In September, 96 percent of Seattle Police Officer’s Guild members voted in favor of the contract, and last week, the agreement was advanced to full Council by the Labor Relations Policy Committee.
“The Men and Women of the Seattle Police Officers Guild have been without a contract for over 3 and a half years,” said Seattle Police Officers Guild President Kevin Stuckey. “During that time they have completed all the DOJ’s assessments and have embraced the reform process. They deserve to have this contract ratified.”
“I am extremely concerned with the alarming rate in which were losing officers to other agencies,” said Sergio Garcia, a Seattle resident, and beat cop. “This contract is fair and will help us retain officers who have helped us achieve full compliance to the consent decree and will help us recruit new candidates.”