New Year Brings New Paid Family and Medical Leave Law

By:  Jim Cline and Eamon McCleery

The start of the new year also marks the partial implementation of Washington’s New Paid Family and Medical Leave program. Think of that program as a mandatory long-term leave insurance program adopted by the Washington State Legislature for most employers, public and private. Throughout 2019, the fund for the program will be built up with employer and employee payroll contributions. Starting in 2020, the program will use those accumulated funds to pay employees a portion of their wages while they are away on a qualifying long-term leave. [Read more…]

PERC concludes Snohomish County “gotcha” discipline against Guild President was unlawful retaliation

By: Jim Cline and Eamon McCleery

In Snohomish County, Decision 12723-B (PECB, 2018), PERC overturned the five-day suspension of the Guild’s President for allegedly violating a County policy against having personal cell phones in the secure portions of the County Jail. PERC found that the County’s actions helped create a situation in which it could impose discipline. Therefore, it concluded that the real reason for the discipline was retaliation for the President’s Guild activities.

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 10: 2017 Economic Conditions and A Look Ahead

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

This is the final article in our 10 part economy and wage settlement series.

Even before Donald Trump was elected president indicators pointed to the return of both the local and the US CPI to a 2% + figure for the next few years, something previously discussed in this series. There are some economists that point to the bond market activity as indications of pending rising inflation. Others are not convinced that even the more dramatic actions of a new administration will have an immediate effect on inflation because there are some unchanging realities that are pushing inflation downward. Greg Ip, in his article Trumpflation: Not Now, Maybe Later, offers the following projections:

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 9: Does Geographic Location Matter?

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

In the previous two articles in this wage series, we discussed the extent to which population and assessed valuation correlated with wage rankings. In this article, we discussed geographic location and the effect of various labor markets on public safety wages.

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 8: Does Assessed Valuation Matter?

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

In the last issue we discussed whether – and to what extent — population influenced a jurisdiction’s relative wage ranking. In this article we discussed to what extent assessed valuation influences that ranking.

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 7: Does Size Matter?

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

In last three parts of the wage series we have discussed State wage rankings for the various public safety classifications.  In the next part of the wage series we run our series of articles on factors that might influence or explain, at least in part, those wage rankings, with updated 2016 wage rankings.

[Read more…]

Part 6: Dispatcher and Records Clerk Wages

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

This is part 6 of our continued series on Washington public safety employee wages. In this issue we report on wage rankings for 911 dispatchers and police records clerks.

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 5: Firefighter and Corrections Rankings

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

This is Part 5 of our 10 Part 2016 Wage Series. In our last article, we covered Commissioned Deputy and Police Officer Wages.  In this article, we turn to Firefighter and Corrections Officer Wages.  We’ll cover Dispatcher and Records Clerk Wages in the next article.

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 4: How Do Your Wages Stack Up: Statewide Commissioned City and County Wage Rankings

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

In part 4 of our on-going wage series we now turn to the rankings of County Deputy and City Police Officer rankings throughout the State. This series always produces both expected and unexpected information about the relative standing of jurisdictions.

[Read more…]

Wage Series Part 3: Current Economic Conditions 

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

This is the third article in our 10 part series reporting on contract settlement trends.  This article highlights some of the recent economic developments most likely to impact your negotiations outlook.

[Read more…]