Extra Fizz: King County Union Agrees to Give Up Pay Increase Next Year

By Erica C. Barnett August 30, 2010

King County employees represented by the Washington State Council of County and City Employees voted today to forgo a planned cost-of-living pay increase next year by a vote of 69 to 31 percent. Earlier this month, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a tentative agreement with the union, which represents 500 county employees. Ordinarily, union members receive an automatic wage increase of two percent. Eliminating the increase next year will save an estimated $500,000 to $600,000.

That's not much in light of the county's projected $60 million 2011 shortfall, but the agreement sends a message to other county unions that some organized county workers are willing to make sacrifices to save jobs. The county's largest union, the 4,000-plus member Amalgamated Transit Union, has balked at the idea of making concessions, a move that could save some part-time drivers' jobs.
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