On Tuesday, May 27, 2014, representatives of the King County Coalition of Unions met with King County to present the Coalition’s counterproposal regarding the 2015/2016 COLA.
The core of our counterproposal retains our current COLA formula (95% of the annual average of the Seattle area CPI), and asks for two additional supplemental payments in recognition of our leadership and cooperation during the recent economic downturn. These two payments — to be distributed in a lump sum near the end of each calendar year — is to make up any difference between the actual calculated COLA rate and 2.5%. These payments would be considered a "premium" for participating in Coalition bargaining, as well as recognition of past sacrifices.
Many in the Coalition believed that our counterproposal would lead to agreement. We felt our counterproposal provided the County with both stability and predictability for the next two years while recognizing and rewarding us for the sacrifices we’ve made in providing financial relief to the County since 2009.
Unfortunately, this optimism vanished quickly. The County’s initial response to our counter was, frankly, non-responsive, pointing out how onerous our demands were on the budget and promising to get back to us in two months time. After a spirited internal discussion, our representatives expressed our displeasure to the County negotiators, and the timeline was subsequently moved up meet again on June 27th. Further updates will be sent when more information becomes available.