Seattle police contract offers first wage increase in 3 years

A tentative agreement has been submitted to the Seattle city council by the City of Seattle and the Seattle Police Officers Guild. This agreement includes retroactive wage increases for Seattle police officers, which will make them some of the highest paid in the state.

Seattle police officers will receive wage increases if the city council approves the agreement. The wage increases will be retroactive to 2021, with a 1.3% increase. In 2022, there will be a 6.4% retroactive increase, and in 2023, a 15.3% retroactive increase. This marks the first wage increase for Seattle police officers in three years.

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced in a news release that the hike in wages will enhance the city’s capacity to attract and retain competent police officers.

The agreement extends to the initial three years of a possible four-year contract, implying that talks for the year 2024 will proceed with the support of a mediator.

The Seattle Police Department has experienced a significant loss of approximately 340 fully trained officers since 2019, resulting in the force currently operating at its lowest staffing level since the late 1990s.

Seattle City Councilmember Bob Kettle emphasized the importance of fully staffing the police department in order to address the concerns of Seattleites regarding their well-being and safety. He acknowledged that recruiting the necessary number of officers would be impossible without offering them a competitive wage. Kettle stated this in a news release, highlighting the need to prioritize the recruitment and retention of qualified officers in order to meet the needs of the community.

Starting in January 2018, once the contract is approved, all Seattle police officers will be required to wear body-worn video cameras. As an incentive, officers who comply with this requirement will receive an additional 2% of their base monthly salary. This bonus will be applied to their top-step salary.

The Seattle Police Department faced community backlash when body camera footage revealed Seattle Police Officers Guild Vice President Daniel Auderer making a comment on a Seattle civilian who was tragically hit and killed by a marked Seattle police vehicle during a phone call.

The proposed collective bargaining agreement introduces new measures to ensure thorough investigations of misconduct allegations, thereby enhancing accountability. Specifically, it mandates that in cases where misconduct is established, an arbitrator must consider and respect the disciplinary actions determined by the police chief during appeals processes.

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MBS Staff
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