Joining Council 2 pays off for managers

by County and City Employee writer on October 1, 2012

More than two years ago, 130 managers and supervisors at Seattle City Light opted to join Council 2. Their reason: Their jobs were targeted for cuts by Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and they believed that being union members could protect them.

The group, which consisted of supervisors, strategic advisers and managers, was the highest level of management ever represented by the union. In the past, few managers at any level have been included in union contracts.

Bargaining for the first contract began in January 2011.

Months of drawn-out negotiations followed until, in March this year, the City made its “last, best and final offer.”

Not good enough, members said, voting it down.

The parties returned to the bargaining table.

The dispute went to mediation and the parties arrived at a mediated settlement on the contract. On August 2 members voted by more than 70 percent to ratify the agreement.

Highlights of the contract for the new Local 21-C include:

• A just-cause provision

• Protection for health-care benefits

• Arrangements for a system of discretionary based-pay adjustments and performance pay awards for managers and strategic advisers.

The result: Joining the union helped the managers avert pending layoffs. They all keep their jobs and receive a good contract, too.