A state labor commission has ruled that the city of Redmond acted unfairly when it negotiated a contract with about 30 civilian Police Department...

Share story

A state labor commission has ruled that the city of Redmond acted unfairly when it negotiated a contract with about 30 civilian Police Department employees, including dispatchers and records clerks, more than two years ago.

The March 21 ruling by the Public Employment Relations Commission says city officials pulled a salary offer off the table and replaced it with a cheaper offer, a practice known as “regressive bargaining.” The city also didn’t give union officials all the wage-survey information they wanted, according to the commission ruling.

The ruling won’t affect the contract, which was passed early this month by the Redmond City Council after about two years of unsuccessful negotiations between the city and union. But union officials say it backs up their claims that the city did not act in good faith and do all it could to come to an agreement.

“It gives us credibility that we’re not just screaming, we’re not just saying we didn’t get enough,” said J.R. Lipana, president of the Redmond Police Association and a Redmond police officer.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

The City Council passed the contract without the union’s approval, which was legal under state law because negotiations had hit an impasse.

City officials say that they included the larger salary offer in the final version of the contract and that there was a delay in getting some wage information to the union because of staff turnover.

The city plans to appeal the ruling to the commission, said Kerry Sievers, Redmond’s human-resources director: “We feel we do have a basis for appealing the decision itself.”

Union officials say they hope the decision keeps the city “accountable” in the next round of contract negotiations, which will start later this year.

Ashley Bach: 206-464-2567 or abach@seattletimes.com