(Seattle, WA) Mayor Mike McGinn and the Coalition of City Labor Unions announced a new labor agreement in which thousands of city workers will accept lower cost-of-living increases for three years, at a savings to the 2011 General Fund of $2.1 million.
 
The Coalition’s overwhelming ratification of the agreement is a big step forward for Mayor McGinn’s 2011-12 proposed budget. The mayor’s budget looks to close a $67 million shortfall primarily through internal savings. The labor agreement — along with salary freezes for senior-level positions, a previously announced cost-of-living freeze for firefighters and fire chiefs, and other measures — represents a significant amount of the savings.
 

Contract savings key to Mayor McGinn’s 2011 budget proposal

(Seattle, WA) Mayor Mike McGinn and the Coalition of City Labor Unions announced a new labor agreement in which thousands of city workers will accept lower cost-of-living increases for three years, at a savings to the 2011 General Fund of $2.1 million.
 
The Coalition’s overwhelming ratification of the agreement is a big step forward for Mayor McGinn’s 2011-12 proposed budget. The mayor’s budget looks to close a $67 million shortfall primarily through internal savings. The labor agreement — along with salary freezes for senior-level positions, a previously announced cost-of-living freeze for firefighters and fire chiefs, and other measures — represents a significant amount of the savings.
 
With this announcement, 8,500 of the city’s 10,600 employees, or about 80 percent, are taking some kind of reduction in pay.
 
“I appreciate the leadership and members of the Coalition unions, the Firefighters and Fire Chiefs unions, and all of our city employees who are providing excellent public services,” Mayor McGinn said. “They are the people who work hard every day keeping your parks maintained, your children and families healthy, your libraries great places to learn and grow, and your roadways safe for all to use.”

In the labor deal announced on Monday, workers agreed to give up their 2 percent minimum annual cost-of-living adjustment, or COLA, and instead accept the actual inflation rate as represented by the Consumer Price Index. For 2011, that will mean COLAs of 0.6 percent.

In addition, the union members agreed to extend their contracts with the new terms for two additional years, through 2013, giving stability to the budget in labor costs. In all, 17 of the Coalition’s unions covering 4,400 employees – roughly 96 percent of the Coalition’s workforce — ratified the renegotiated contracts.

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