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Some Federal Way employees to see first wage increase since 2009
The 125 non-represented city of Federal Way employees will see their first wage rate increase since 2009, thanks to the Federal Way City Council’s unanimous approval of the increase during their meeting on Tuesday.
The increase, which will be for 2.5 percent and takes effect on Feb. 1, will see the city paying out approximately $305,000 from a variety of funds, according to Bob Noland, interim finance director.
“The cost of the wage increase plus benefits … $250,000 will come from the general fund, and $55,000 from other funds,” Noland said to the Council during his brief report.
Noland also noted that the Teamsters will be included in this wage increase, thanks to what he termed a “me too” clause in their contract with the city.
The interim finance director also pointed out that this increase was needed because the lack of the increase was the lack of the increase was causing Federal Way “to fall behind comparable cities in regards to employee wages.”
Mayor Jim Ferrell said the lack of a wage increase over the past five years was a common theme he heard as he readied to take the reins for Federal Way.
“During the course of the transition, I met individually with department heads, and I could tell you that this was a common theme of concern, that non-represented employees had not seen a raise since 2009,” he said. “I just want to thank the leadership of the department directors, they were really truly concerned about the folks who work in each of the departments and the people who work at the city.”
Councilmember Martin Moore said he approved of this increase because he feels it’s a good way to ensure the city doesn’t experience the proverbial “brain drain” of talented people when wages stagnate.
“It’s a great move in making sure we’re taking care of our employees, which is important to me,” Moore said. “(It’s) making sure that we’re competitive and keeping the best in the region and the state. I’m looking forward to us being leaders on this in the future.”
Ferrell agreed, noting that it’s important for the city to maintain its “human capital” and “institutional knowledge.”
“I think it’s very important, and I think it’s recognized by this Council, and everybody in the city administration that an organization is made up of individuals, of people, and that’s why I think this is important,” Ferrell said.