Sign petition: RSPCT for Seattle city workers

City’s proposed 1% COLA is ‘a slap in the face’ amid historic inflation that is making the city unaffordable for its employees


SEATTLE (Mar. 13, 2023) — City of Seattle employees have dedicated their lives and careers to serving the residents of their beautiful city – in the parks and libraries, on the roads and bridges, and in hundreds of programs and services that make Seattle a wonderful place to live.

But despite their dedication to the city and their jobs, many of them – a workforce that is largely women and people of color — can no longer afford to live in the city they serve. They struggle with childcare and eldercare costs, and like their family, friends and neighbors, they are experiencing historic inflation and soaring prices in one of the most expensive urban areas in the country.

“As a library worker who helps care for my chronically ill mother, the cost of living in the city and the unexpected expenses involved in caring for a loved one leave me with barely enough to make ends meet,” said Katherine Hernandez, a Library Associate with the Seattle Public Library.

The Coalition of City Unions (CCU) represents more than 6,000 City of Seattle employees and includes members from multiple unions: PROTEC17, LiUNA Local 242, AFSCME Council 2, Boilermakers Local 104, Seattle Dispatchers Guild, Sheet Metal Workers Local 66, IBEW Local 46, IAM District 160, Teamsters 117, Teamsters 763, and IATSE Local 15. The coalition began contract negotiations in September 2022 and did not receive the city’s first economic proposal until March 2023. What they received — which included a proposed one (1) percent cost of living adjustment for 2023 — was too little, too late.

TAKE A STANDPlease sign this petition urging Mayor Bruce Harrell and the Seattle City Council to act with the necessary urgency to provide a fair contract that shows tangible respect for city employees. Every day that they work under expired contracts, the city continues to widen the affordability gap for their communities.

Throughout the COVID pandemic, Seattle city employees have continued to provide critical and essential services to sustain the community. They deserve a fair contract that provides equitable wages and benefits that reflect the historic inflation that is increasing the cost of living. In a city with some of the most expensive housing, childcare, grocery, and transportation costs in the nation, these workers are not being offered a contract that prioritizes the RSPCT that all workers are due: Racial equity, Safety, Pay and affordability, Climate justice, and the Time/work-life balance.

“To offer such as ridiculous proposal, introduced with racial and social equity buzzwords, shows how much the city is failing to care for their diverse workforce,” said Jessica Ray, an Administrative Specialist in the Seattle Fire Department.

“We worked on the front line all the way through COVID, putting our family’s and our health at risk, so 1% is a complete slap in the face,” said Heath Brenan, a warehouse worker at Seattle City Light.

Please show your support for Seattle city employees today by signing this petition to city leaders.


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