Good afternoon, M&P members –
A brief update on important business:
- Contract Negotiations
I am pleased to confirm that the City is actively meeting with M&P to negotiate a successor contract and we have agreed upon ground rules. While our negotiations are not public, the negotiations team is able to make proposals already submitted to the City available for viewing by our voting membership (please note you must be a dues-paying member in order to vote). As of today, voting members with a member login to our website (https://spokanecitymp.org) can view submitted Association proposals via the link in the green pop-up bar on the ‘Member Home’ page.
Feedback related to negotiations should be submitted to email@example.com for consideration by the full negotiations team. Relatedly, I can confirm that the Association’s attorney is participating in these negotiations. As the proposals indicate, we are only beginning active negotiations and still have many subjects to cover. Additional negotiating sessions are scheduled in the coming month and proposals will be uploaded to the website as promptly as possible after submission. We recognize employees are currently heavily impacted by increases in cost of living, taxes, and dependent care challenges, just to name a few. The negotiations team is doing our best to achieve a strong successor contract as timely as possible.
Also, the unfair labor practice (ULP) filed by the Association against the City for their failure to bargain remains outstanding. We are in the process of rescheduling the ULP hearing previously slotted for April 14th and are hopeful of productive negotiations in the meantime.
The Association is aware that various City departments have begun transitioning teleworking employees to increasing in-office hours. We have issued a demand to bargain these working conditions. In the meantime, please be aware of the following existing options if you prefer to continue telework:
- City Administrative Policy 0620-13-41 on the City’s Commute Trip Reduction Program permits employees to request a compressed work week, teleworking schedule, and more. If you submit a request under this policy and are unreasonably denied, please contact M&P.
- Emergency declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic remain active and offer accommodation options (such as teleworking) to high-risk individuals as recognized by the CDC. If you are over the age of 65, pregnant, or have cancer or certain chronic illnesses, then this option is available to you. Please contact your HR Analyst for more information.
It is the position of the Association that teleworking is part of normal business operations. While there will always be positions which are not conducive to full or even part time telework, and some employees will continue to prefer working in an office setting, teleworking is essential to the continued success of City services. Other public employers such as the State of Washington and Spokane County are facilitating telework among their workforce and we have heard from many of you that new hire candidates have dropped out of interviews upon learning that the City is not. While wages remain a significant concern, the Association perceives telework as an important tool in recruiting new employees and retaining current ones. We continue to advocate vociferously for this flexibility for employees.
- Computer Professionals
The Association and the City have reached a supplemental agreement regarding the computer professional employees transitioned to overtime-eligibility in July 2020. Those employees retain access to the ‘Partial Leave Benefit’ and receive their full compensation even if they work less than forty (40) hours in the workweek.
- Annual Membership Meeting
Our next Annual Membership Meeting is coming in May and will be facilitated virtually, with a possible in-person component. If you have a suggestion for a convenient location for in-person meeting, please contact Member Relations Committee Chair and Association Vice President, Jon Klapp. Regardless, we will have an update on contract negotiations and other current business. Further details to come.
In the meantime, please consider scheduling floating holiday or vacation time as our weather improves. Even if it’s a couple of months down the road, having a break to look forward to can make all the difference.
Enjoy your weekend.
Samantha Johnson (she/her/hers) | President
Spokane Managerial & Professional Association
Committee Chair – Labor Management, Civil Service
Mobile 509.703.0972 | firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be out of the office as of midday Wednesday, April 6th through Monday, April 18th with limited to no access to email. During this time, please contact Vice President Jon Klapp with any emergent needs.