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Managerial union reaches deal with city to avert layoffs

Another city union has agreed to concessions in hopes of preventing layoffs next year.

The Managerial and Professional Association, which represents 307 employees, agreed this week to a deal that aims to prevent layoffs among the group’s membership, city spokeswoman Marlene Feist said.

City leaders say half the city’s forecasted $7 million deficit must come from worker concessions or layoffs.

The association was given a target of about $400,000 in cuts to avoid pink slips. Half the goal was reached by giving up the right to be paid for up to one week of unused vacation time.

The rest will come in the form of a payment made to the city by the union through increased dues. Union members will pay an additional $50 a month.

Human Resources Director Dave Chandler said the agreement was complicated because 70 percent of the group’s members are utility employees whose salaries are covered by water, sewer and garbage bills – not by taxes. Administrators required the entire savings be realized from the pool of workers whose salaries are paid through taxes.

The solution of using union dues to cover the target was derived so that concessions made by all members could be used to satisfy the city’s demand, Chandler said.

The deal leaves two city unions left to reach a concession agreement: the Spokane Police Guild and the city’s largest union, Local 270 of the Washington State Council of County and City Employees.

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