The arduous quest for a new contract between the city of Spokane and the Spokane Police Guild is over.
The Police Guild’s members approved the contract, the union disclosed after voting wrapped up on Tuesday.
The union’s approval was finalized just hours after the Spokane City Council unanimously approved the contract, which replaces a previous agreement that expired at the end of 2016.
The five-year contract includes new provisions on civilian oversight of the police department and raises on wages and benefits totaling $9.5 million.
The Police Guild did not publicly announce the vote totals, but its official Facebook Page confirmed the result in a message to The Spokesman-Review.
The first four years of the contract are retroactive; it expires at the end of 2021. That means city and union leaders will soon begin talks on a contract that begins in 2022.
For years, the city and Police Guild failed to negotiate a contract because they couldn’t agree on its terms regarding police oversight. Last year, the City Council rejected a proposal because its members believed it would have weakened the authority of the Spokane Police ombudsman, the department’s civilian watchdog.
The new contract was announced in February. In a news conference unveiling the agreement, Spokane Police Guild President Kris Honaker described it as “fair” and said members were frustrated by having to work so long without a new contract.
Honaker declined to comment when reached by The Spokesman-Review on Tuesday.