City And Police Guild Reach Tentative Agreement - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

City And Police Guild Reach Tentative Agreement That Would Save 35 Officer Positions

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SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Mayor Mary Verner announced today that the City and the Spokane Police Guild have a reached a tentative agreement that would save 35 Police Officer positions that were slated to be eliminated in the 2011 City Budget.

"We are past the eleventh hour on this agreement.  If this weren't so important to our community, we couldn't get it done," says Mayor Verner.  "Today, the citizens are the winners, since we will be able to maintain current levels of police services.  This is a good day."

The Guild members still need to vote on the agreement.  If the members approve the agreement, it would be forwarded to City Council for a vote. 

The tentative agreement is consistent with the Mayor's request for employee concessions and goes further to include additional concession amounts that allow for the retention of all police officer positions that were expected to be eliminated in 2011.  The details will be released later. 

The Guild joins IAFF Local 29 in reaching an agreement with the City that would save jobs and services for 2011.  The agreement with Local 29 saves 19 firefighter jobs.

In early November, Mayor Verner rolled out her proposed 2011 City of Spokane budget.  The budget included the elimination of 120 positions in the City's General Fund, but the Mayor had not ruled out the possibility of saving some of those jobs if employee labor groups were willing to forgo raises and make changes to their medical plans.

The overall 2011 proposed City budget totals $616 million, with the General Fund portion of the budget totaling $156.5 million, down $4.4 million from the adopted 2010 General Fund budget.

The City's General Fund pays for police, fire, streets, parks, and libraries, among other things.  Revenue from the General Fund comes from sales, property, and utility taxes.

The budget is currently under review by the City Council.  The Council is expected to vote on the budget on Dec. 13.  The Council must adopt a balanced budget prior to the end of the year to comply with state law.

More information on the proposed 2011 City Budget can be found at www.spokanecity.org/government/budget.

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