Council President Nick Licata
LICATA ON LABOR CONTRACT WITH POLICE
SEATTLE—Council President Nick Licata released the following statement in response to the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild’s announcement that they are purchasing advertising on King County Metro buses that criticize the Council because police officers are working without a labor contract with the City of Seattle.
“We are surprised by the action of the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild’s leadership. The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild’s Executive Board knows both the Mayor and the Council are responsible for determining the City’s position in labor negotiations and that we have been bargaining in good faith with them.
“The Seattle Police Officers’ Guild’s Executive Board can determine the length of their contract negotiations. The Executive Board and the City jointly decided to enter into the current mediation before their contract had expired last year. At any point this year, the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild’s Executive Board could have triggered a request for binding arbitration, if they believed that the negotiations were at an impasse. To date they have not chosen to do so.
“In addition, the Council has consistently supported the Seattle Police Department and its officers. For instance, in the last two years, the Council has added more police officers than the Mayor’s office has proposed for the Police Department. We added eight additional officers in 2006 and an additional 30 new officers in the 2007 biennium budget that were not in the Mayor’s budget. The Council has consistently supported increasing the number of patrol officers. And we will continue to do so.
“Our doors are open to discuss any issues with the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild’s leadership and we encourage them to do so, although we will not put the invitation on the side of a bus.”