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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Seattle Police Officers’ Guild Agrees On a Contract

posted by on April 24 at 16:25 PM

The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild (SPOG) just sent out a press release announcing that their tentative approval of a new labor contract. The Guild and the City have been squabbling since December 2006 over a new contract, most recently over calls for reform of Seattle’s police accountability system.

SPOG’s new contract—which was unanimously approved by the board—offers Seattle Police a 25.6 percent pay increase over four years. Starting salaries will also increase an additional 8 percent, making SPD officers the highest paid cops in the state.

From the Mayor’s office:

Under the proposed contract, a 12-year officer’s current salary will
increase from $72,072 to $90,516. That officer will receive $6,807 in
retroactive pay, as of April 2008. Entry-level police officer pay would
increase by 35.9 percent compounded over the life of the contract, from
$47,340 to $64,312.

To attract new officers, the city will also begin paying a $5,000 hiring bonus, give new recruits $2,500 worth of new equipment and provide up to $14,000 in moving expenses for officers transferring to SPD.

The contract appears to be a victory for officers, as well as police accountability watchdogs as the Guild has agreed to accept all 29 recommendations put forth by Mayor Greg Nickels’ police accountability panel. The reccomendations will (hopefully) increase the transparency of Seattle’s police accountability system and expand the powers of the department’s internal investigation unit, the Office of Professional Accountability.

The contract appears to be a win-win for the city and the cops, so it seems like approval by the council and the rank and file shouldn’t be a problem. However, one officer just told me he’s “voting no on principle.”

I think he was joking.

RSS icon Comments


Is it dumb to think that if we had enough cops they would screw up less? I think the reason they beat people up is that they're scared.

Posted by elenchos | April 24, 2008 5:16 PM

Kind of a tangent, but did you know that the starting pay for rookie cops in N.Y. city is around $25,000?

Posted by Y.F. | April 24, 2008 5:39 PM

Good. We should have the highest paid cops in the state since this is probably the most difficult to police city in the state. Give them the compensation they deserve for keeping us safe and then they need to respect us when we make sure they are doing their job correctly.

Posted by Cale | April 24, 2008 5:40 PM

has anyone looked for a officer downtown at night?

a friend and I noticed this a few months ago....and we decided to try....took us 2 hours...

and at the end....all we found was a security officer!

where are all the seattle cops? all i see are security officers and meter maids.

Posted by Tom | April 24, 2008 5:56 PM

4, that's why they had to hire more cops. sounds like they were desperately understaffed, from what i've read here.

Posted by ellarosa | April 24, 2008 6:21 PM

The contract hasn't even been shown to the members yet, much less voted on.

Until it has been approved by a majority of the membership, it's just a proposed contract.

The Guild Negotiation Committee didn't approve the contract, they just voted to allow the members to see the offer.

And I'm voting "no".

Posted by Snort | April 24, 2008 10:29 PM

@6: why no?

Posted by Russell Harmon | April 25, 2008 1:37 AM

if it can get past the hard-liners at the guild, I don't think it will be tough to get the rank and file to approve it.

Posted by Jonah s | April 25, 2008 8:09 AM

@8 Jonah --

You've clearly never been through a contract negotiation before.

If the Guild is anything like our Union:

40% of the members will vote No because they believe you should always vote No on a first offer,

30% of the members will believe the SPOG execs cut a deal behind closed doors to screw the membership or protect a special group of the membership,

20% will have no idea how to vote and won't bother.

It may pass, but when it does, I doubt anyone involved will say "it wasn't tough."

Posted by six shooter | April 25, 2008 9:12 AM

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