Measures to change union contact negotiations heat up Sequim City Council meeting
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Activists on both sides of the issue picket in front of the Sequim Transit Center before Monday night's Sequim City Council meeting.

By JOE SMILLIE
Peninsula Daily News

SEQUIM –– Changes in the way the city negotiates contracts with its three collective bargaining units heated up the already August-roasty Sequim City Council chambers Monday night.

After two hours of public testimony and a 30-minute executive session, the City Council decided to take more time before deciding whether to pass into city law a pair of citizen-backed labor initiatives, or put them out for a citizen vote.

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 labor advocates and citizen activists pushing for changes in the city's municipal labor relations packed the Sequim Transit Center for the discussion.

Susan Shotthafer of Port Angeles presented the petitions seeking to get two initiatives on the ballot to the city earlier this month.

Proposition 1, the “Transparency Act,” would require the city negotiate in public with employee unions.

Proposition 2, the “Protections Act,” would give employees the choice of joining the unions representing their job classifications.

Sequim is one of 57 of the state's 281 cities that allows citizen initiatives.

Fifty of Sequim's 73 employees are represented by unions in one of three unions represented by the Teamsters Local 589: police sergeants, police patrol officers and nonuniformed employees.

The other 23 employees are not unionized, meaning they either are in management or in confidential positions.

A full report will appear in Wednesday's Peninsula Daily News.

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Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at jsmillie@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: August 26. 2014 9:39AM
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