Responding to Falling CPI: Should you opt for a Fixed Percentage Wage Settlement?

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

percentageMore often than not, employers prefer a fixed percent COLA adjustment, as opposed to a number tied to the CPI. Having a fixed percentage COLA number written in the “out year” labor contract settlements provides the employer a “known” number to plug into their budgets. While your members have often preferred the ability to keep full pace with inflation, the recent falling and erratic CPI numbers pose a new question: Would you be better off with your contract settlements tied to a fixed percentage increase?

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Recent Inflation Indicators Up and Down, Mostly Down

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

rollercoasterThe recent fall off in gas prices has dramatically impacted the reported inflation rate. The most recent rate reported on the Seattle inflation numbers were through the end of 2014 and, following a dramatic fall in fuel prices, the Seattle number plummeted. Its high number for the year was 2.6% in April and by December that number had dropped to 1.1%.  Even more dramatic was the drop of the All-Cities national CPI number to 0.3%.  This chart shows the inflation numbers during the course of 2014:

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Latest Report from State Economic Forecast Council Highlights Improved Economic Conditions

By Jim Cline

economicsThe February “Economic and Revenue Update” from the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council provides a good summary of the recent rounds of good economic news both nationally and locally. The key findings by the Revenue Council include that on the national level:

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Seattle CPI Still Appears to Retain Edge over All-Cities CPI Index

By Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

seattleIn our last blog we reported that the Seattle CPI-W index had dipped slightly to fall closer in line with the national (All-Cities) index.  The June Seattle Index was reported at 2.2 while the All-Cities index was 2.0%.

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Influential June CPI Number Released this Last Week Shows Seattle Number Moderates to an Inflation Rate Closer to National Rate

by Jim Cline and Kate Kremer

food-cost1The one CPI Report that most heavily influences the course of negotiations is the June CPI Report and it was just released this last week.

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Fed Research Paper Suggests Possible Rise in Inflation

By Jim Cline

inflationA just released paper from the Federal Reserve Bank points to a possible upward drift in the inflation rate.

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Interest Arbitration Series Part VII: Port Angeles Police Arbitration

By Jim Cline

Employer_vs_employeeThis is the seventh and final article in a series of articles on recent Interest Arbitration decisions.  A summary of all recent arbitration decisions since 2008 is available on the Premium website. This is a decision by Arbitrator Timothy Williams involving Port Angeles Police.  The award was issued in April of this year.

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Interest Arbitration Series Part VI: Spokane Transit Arbitration

By Jim Cline

Wage IncreaseThis is the sixth in a series of articles on recent Interest Arbitration decisions.  A summary of all recent arbitration decisions since 2008 is available on the Premium website.  This is a decision by Arbitrator Howell Lankford concerning Spokane Transit Authority Paratransit Operators.

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Interest Arbitration Series Part V: Everett Firefighters Arbitration

By Jim Cline

fire clothesThis is the fifth in a series of articles on recent Interest Arbitration decisions.  A summary of all recent arbitration decisions since 2008 is available on the Premium website.  This is a decision by Arbitrator Ken Latsch concerning the Everett Firefighters.

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Interest Arbitration Series Part IV: Vancouver Police Guild Arbitration

By Jim Cline

penniesThis is the fourth in a series of articles on recent Interest Arbitration decisions.  A summary of all recent arbitration decisions since 2008 is available on the Premium website.  This is a decision by Arbitrator Gary Axon concerning Vancouver police officers.

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