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City of SpokaneMedia Release

www.spokanecity.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


October 5, 2012 Contact: Marlene Feist Public Affairs Officer (509) 625-6740

********************************************** CITY, LOCAL 29 REACH TENTATIVE AGREEMENT


City Council to consider four-year proposal

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The City of Spokane and Local 29, which represents the Citys firefighters, have reached a new, four-year tentative labor agreement that features no wage increases for both 2012 and 2013. Both the City Council and Local 29s membership still need to approve the agreement. In light of current Washington state law, this is a good agreement that helps minimize reductions to fire services for citizens and retains City resources, says Mayor David Condon. I want to thank Local 29 for their willingness to come back to the table and work with us on this proposed contract. Clearly, both sides understand that potential costs would be higher if we went to binding arbitration, placing even greater strains on our services. We are pleased that we were able to continue our talks with the City and reach an agreement. Both sides invested significant time and energy in this work to avoid arbitration, says Mark Vietzke, Local 29s President. Now, we are hopeful that this proposal will be approved so we can concentrate on the important services we provide to the community every day. The tentative agreement calls for wages to be frozen through 2013 and then anticipates modest wage increases in 2014 and 2015. It also restructures medical plans in 2013 and then includes a cap on the increases the City would pay toward medical insurance. Overall, the proposed agreement would result in a four-year average annual increase in total costs to the City of between 1.93 percent and 2.63 percent. Additionally, the agreement includes a number of non-monetary provisions that allow for greater management flexibility to enable better service to our citizens and require firefighters to adhere to the Citys ethics code. -more-

Local 29 tentative agreement Page 2

The agreement would cover the 287 employees currently represented by Local 29. The agreement currently is slated to be considered by Council at its Oct. 15 meeting; if approved, Local 29 members will vote on the plan. Early in the year, the Council rejected a tentative agreement with Local 29, which was negotiated by the Citys previous administration. The City and Local 29 returned to negotiations and reached the current agreement this month. The Mayor has proposed a no-growth budget for the Citys General Fund for 2013, with departments receiving the same amount of money for expenses as they did in 2012. This approach requires departments to make reductions to accommodate any increased costs, including the costs of labor settlements. The Mayor is working with Fire Chief Bobby Williams to identify close to $1 million in additional reductions for 2013 to pay for the added costs in the contract. The Citys General Fund for 2012 totals $164.5 million and pays for basic City Services, including police, fire, libraries, parks, streets, planning, and neighborhood services. General Fund revenues come primarily from property, sales, and utility taxes. The Mayor will deliver the 2013 proposed line-item budget to the Council next week. -30-