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Deal with police guild to save 12 jobs, officials say

A tentative two-year deal Spokane city leaders made this week with the Spokane Police Guild will save 12 police officer jobs next year, administrators said today.

The guild is the last city union to reach a tentative agreement aimed at making concessions to prevent layoffs. Without the agreement, officials said the department would lose 22 positions. Because of attrition and a hiring freeze only two of those lost jobs would have been through layoffs.

If the agreement is ratified by the union’s membership and the Spokane City Council, the city likely will hire 10 officers next year.

Mayor Mary Verner’s 2010 budget strategy, which was endorsed by the council, has been to make up half of the expected $7 million deficit through union concessions.

Also this week, Local 270 of the Washington State Council of County and City Employees voted overwhelmingly in favor of an agreement that ensures no job losses within the union, said city administrator Ted Danek. He said concessions were approved with about 90 percent support.

Verner said she will not discuss details of the guild’s or Local 270’s agreements until they are discussed with the City Council next week in a private meeting out of courtesy to the council and the unions’ memberships.

The guild’s tentative agreement is a two-year contract. Verner declined to say if the saving will protect the police jobs for the length of the contract or just for next year.