Fight continues over King County cops' pay

Dec 16, 2010

The conflict continues over an upcoming pay raise for sheriff's deputies in King County.  Executive Dow Constantine has rejected a proposal from the Police Officers Guild to cut their pay temporarily.  He says their offer would have cost more than it saved. 

The Police Officers Guild was offering to put off part of a controversial pay raise for two years.  King County Sheriff's Deputies would defer two percent of a five percent increase, saving about $1.3 million in the short term.   But they made that offer contingent on a promise for no layoffs next year. 

Executive Constantine says he can't accept that condition – because it would cost the county nearly twice as much as the deferred pay would save.

He says the county can't afford to keep all deputies on now that Kirkland has expanded.  It recently annexed three neighborhoods and Constantine says the extra expense will require some job cuts. 

Sheriff Sue Rahr has announced a plan to lay off 18 deputies and leave 40 positions unfilled and cut back on investigations of non-violent crimes. 

Constantine has praised most of the other union employees in the county for agreeing to forego their cost of living increases. 

The Police Officers Guild has called this offer their "last, best and final."   Constantine says the door is still open for more negotiations.