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Mayor Jenny Durkan Signs New Collective Bargaining Agreements with Seattle Firefighters and Represented City Employees

Seattle (December 16, 2019) – Standing alongside labor leaders and City employees, Mayor Jenny A. Durkan today signed new Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) for Seattle firefighters and City employees represented by the Coalition of City Unions. The agreements were approved by the Seattle City Council on December 9, 2019.

“Seattle is a national leader in ensuring our workers are treated fairly, and we must make sure our hard-fought protections are available for City employees, who come to work every day looking to help our residents build a better life for themselves and their loved ones,” said Mayor Durkan. “The new Collective Bargaining Agreements with Seattle firefighters and represented City employees are about honoring their work and ensuring they have the support they need to thrive both in the workplace, and out in their communities. I’m grateful to all the bargaining teams who worked so hard these last several months to reach these agreements.”

“Our agreement demonstrates the value of our collective bargaining process to deal with tough, complicated issues that we face as a large metropolitan city and a world class fire department,” said Kenny Stuart, President of Seattle Fire Fighters Union, IAFF Local 27. “It will support public safety, improve training for fire fighters and Paramedics, and ensure that the residents of our city continue to receive the first-class service that they both expect and deserve from the Seattle Fire Department.”

“As Co-Chairs of the Coalition of City Unions, we are proud to represent thousands of City of Seattle employees as they work to improve the lives of Seattle communities,” said Mark Watson and Shaun Van Eyk, Co-Chairs of the Coalition of City Unions Bargaining Team. “We’ve spent over a year bargaining these new CBAs, and we’re confident they include important worker protections and benefits enhancements that will help City employees better serve Seattle. Thank you to the Mayor, City Council, and our bargaining teams for ensuring Seattle’s strong labor history continues.”

“I want to share how extremely proud I am of our Labor Relations team’s commitment to working with our labor partners to reach agreement on these contracts. On behalf of all City employees, I want to thank this team for rising to the challenge to close out nearly all the City’s contracts in one quarter. The long days and nights of calculations and drafting language got us a long way in record time,” said Seattle Department of Human Resources Director, Bobby Humes. “I strongly believe that  we have a unique opportunity with a team this talented. For the first time in a long time we can improve our training of collective bargaining agreement language and ensure we honor the intent of agreements negotiated at the table. We can also increase our value to departments by leveraging our commitment to shared governance to refine labor management as a practice across the City.”

The three-year agreement with the Coalition of City Unions includes a cost-of-living increase that is retroactive to December 26, 2018. Major tenets of the CBA also include the City’s first-ever Language Premium, which provides City employees who provide bilingual, translation, or interpretation services a $200 per month premium for their services; a Work Life Support Committee to develop lasting strategies about City employee health and well-being; and the expansion of paid bereavement leave from two days to five days, to help ensure City employees who may experience tragedy are better supported.

The three-year agreement with Seattle Fire Fighters IAFF Local 27 includes a cost-of-living increase that is retroactive to December 26, 2018, to help ensure Seattle firefighters can afford to live in the same city as the residents they protect. In addition, the new CBA includes premiums for Seattle firefighters who conduct some of the department’s most dangerous work, including a one percent premium on top of base wages for firefighters who serve on the hazmat team and the rescue swim team.