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Mayor Jenny A. Durkan Signs New Contract for Seattle’s Police Officers

Seattle (November 14, 2018) – Standing with community members, Chief of Police Carmen Best, City Councilmembers, and Seattle Police Department officers, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan signed legislation for a new six-year contract with the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG). The legislation was approved in an 8-1 vote by City Council yesterday.

“This is a strong step forward for public safety, our officers, and reform. I am grateful to the City Council for approving this Tentative Agreement. With this new, fair contract, Seattle is ready to give our officers a raise for the first time since 2014, ensure we can hire and retain the best police officers, and continue the important work of reform,” said Mayor Durkan. “I am grateful for the members of our community who gave their input and made their voices heard throughout this process. To all of the community, know we will not go backwards on reform. I am steadfastly committed to continuing deep, systemic reform and am confident in Chief’s Best ability to continue to build the best community-based police department. Our officers have already shown they can and have met this challenge. We look forward to going back to the Court to show how his new Agreement not only preserves the Consent Decree, but also increases accountability and reforms. Because our officers have waited long enough for a new, fair contract, and because the Office of Police Accountability and Office of the Inspector General need their new powers as quickly as possible, I wanted to sign this critical legislation as quickly as possible.”

“The men and women responding to 911 emergency calls have been receiving wages at 2014 levels while other police departments have adjusted their pay to meet the increased cost of living,” said Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best. “Low unemployment and less than competitive pay has made it more difficult for us to recruit new police officers. This contract will help us meet the staffing and public safety needs of the city we serve.”

While the cost of living has significantly risen in recent years, Seattle Police Department officers have been working since 2014 without a contract. In September, 96 percent of membership of the Seattle Police Officer’s Guild voted in support of the contract, and in October the agreement was advanced to full Council by the Labor Relations Policy Committee.

The agreement provides retroactive pay to Seattle police officers for the last four years and continues cost of living increases for officers in 2019 and 2020. These new wages will make Seattle officers the fourth highest paid of the seven largest departments on the West Coast. The Accountability Reform legislation, which passed Council in 2017, is now bargained for in this agreement and the agreement includes many key provisions including:

  • Full implementation of body worn cameras by front line officers;
  • Management improvements in transfers and performance evaluations;
  • Improvements and clarity for the 180-day timeline for investigations of police complaints;
  • Civilianization of the Office of Police Accountability supervisor positions and an 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.