Deputies propose smaller raise to avoid layoffs
King County Sheriff's deputies have voted in favor of reducing their upcoming pay increase as an alternative to layoffs.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Sheriff's deputies, until now the last major holdout against King County employee wage concessions, have voted in favor of reducing their upcoming pay increase as an alternative to layoffs.
The King County Police Officers Guild informed County Executive Dow Constantine on Wednesday afternoon that members agreed to submit a proposal to the county that would reduce deputies' previously negotiated 2011 raise from 5 percent to 3 percent.
The deputies are seeking to preserve their contracted 5 percent raise in 2012 and extend the contract into 2013, when deputies would receive a 2 percent raise.
Constantine, who imposed a pay freeze on his personal staff and asked unions to follow suit, said in a statement that he appreciates the guild vote and looks forward to discussing it in negotiations.
"Our consistent principle," Constantine said, has been to suspend employee cost-of-living adjustments "so that we could preserve services in their respective work groups."
Sheriff Sue Rahr said last month that cuts to her department's budget would force her to lay off 18 deputies, leave 40 vacant positions unfilled and end most investigations of burglaries, car prowls, auto thefts and fraud.
Before the guild vote, unions representing more than 90 percent of union employees agreed to freezes in cost-of-living adjustments.
Guild officers maintained that their raise was not a cost-of-living increase.
Guild leaders could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon.
Keith Ervin: 206-464-2105 or email@example.com
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.