Lake Forest Park signs collective bargaining agreement with police guild

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Lake Forest Park City Council unanimously approved a long-awaited collective bargaining agreement with the Police Guild at its regular meeting on April 25, 2013.

The current agreement between the City of Lake Forest Park and the Lake Forest Park Police Guild expired on December 31, 2012. City Administration and the Lake Forest Park Police Guild have been negotiating for a successor agreement since June, 2012. Tentative agreement was reached in early April, 2013. The three-year contract provides for 0% wage adjustment in 2013, a 1% wage adjustment in 2014, and a 1.5% wage adjustment in 2015.

The most significant aspect of the contract is that it provides for changes in City healthcare funding which will bring the total compensation and benefits costs for the group within the anticipated general fund revenue growth for the life of the agreement. The agreement provides that the City will fund health insurance plan at the level of the lower cost plan between the two existing health plans. Employees who wish to stay on the higher cost health plan can pay the difference out-of-pocket. The Agreement also increases the percentage of monthly premium that employees pay for dependent coverage. The contract also provides for a joint Union/Management Committee will study lower cost health insurance options for the future.

“The reason this took so long to do is because we were trying to achieve some very difficult things,” said Mayor Mary Jane Goss. “Because of decreased City revenues, we were asking our police department to accept higher cost-sharing for their medical benefits. At the same time, we were only able to offer the Guild very modest wage increases. I applaud the Guild for recognizing the budget realities that the City is facing and doing their part to keep the City on sustainable financial path.”

“The City Council wants to acknowledge the Guild for the hard work they put in during this contract negotiation and the fact that they continued to bargain with us in good faith through this period, “ said Deputy Mayor Catherine Stanford. “The City has historically had a strong, positive relationship with the Police Guild and reaching this agreement is a continuation of that strong relationship.”

“We appreciated that the City was open and direct about the financial impact behind each benefit package we explored. The rising cost of health care premiums is becoming the greatest uncertain variable for public safety employees and City budgets alike. The Guild negotiations committee worked hard to find a creative solution which worked for the City, but also took care of the majority of our members,“ said Jackson Beard, Lake Forest Park Guild President.

The Lake Forest Park police department is accredited under Washington State Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs, which requires police departments to operate under industry best practices and standards. The Lake Forest Park police department has a total of 22 employees.


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