Some Federal Way police will see pay increases

Beginning mid-January, members of the Federal Way Police Guild are on track to see a pay increase.

The city and guild have agreed to a year's extension, with a few modifications added, of the collective bargaining agreement that was due to expire the end of this year. The 108 members of the guild will see a 6.2 percent increase in pay. Eligibility for a one-year membership to the Federal Way Community Center will also be restructured.

The union represents commissioned officers. It does not represent command staff, supervisors, non-commissioned staff and lieutenants.

Members of the guild will receive a 4.5 percent cost of living increase, effective Jan. 16. All positions are expected to experience an increase by 100 percent of the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) for the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area. An additional 1.7 percent market adjustment is also part of the agreement.

The boost in pay is the second the police guild has seen in as many years. By state law, pay is a factor that must be negotiated with the union, City Attorney Pat Richardson said.

"It isn't unusual to have an increase for a cost of living," Richardson said. "Normally, the contracts have a (cost of living) adjustment each year."

The amount of pay increase, if any, is determined by evaluating Western Washington police jurisdictions comparable in size, she said. In the past year, the amount the other jurisdictions are paying their police force has risen.

In September 2007, the city and guild settled on a 5.5 percent total cost of living and market adjustment increase, retroactive to January 2007. Prior to this collective bargaining agreement, guild members' annual salaries ranged from $49,596 to $66,540, Richardson said at that time. Through last year's agreement, those at the bottom of the pay scale received about $2,727 more annually. Those at the top earned roughly $3,660 more per year. Based on these numbers, the recent agreement would provide officers with increases ranging from $3,244 to $4,352 annually.

Beyond the pay increase, free membership to the Federal Way Community Center is currently offered through the collective bargaining agreement that is due to expire. However, where officers were before required to pass a physical agility test to qualify for the membership, they now must only attend the center a minimum of 24 times in their first quarter of use. This mirrors the requirements for represented city staff, whose union agreement also allows them to use the fitness facility. Annual adult passes to the community center are valued at $458 for city residents and $565 for non-residents.

The city council will take another look at the agreement before giving it the go-ahead. If passed, the contract is due to expire December 2009.

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