By an 8-1 vote, this afternoon the City Council approved the tentative labor agreement reached with SPOG, the police officers’ union.
This afternoon Judge James Robart held a status conference with the parties in the consent decree between the city and the Department of Justice over police misconduct. The issue at hand: now that the city has negotiated a new police contract, how and when to put that in front of Robart for his blessing.
(this article has been heavily modified since it was first published earlier this evening)
This afternoon was the deadline for briefs to be filed by the City of Seattle, the DOJ, the CPC, and other relevant parties related to the tentative labor contract with SPOG, the police officers’ union. Instead, the parties asked Judge Robart to give them until November 2, since he already agreed last week to move a scheduled status conference out to November 5. Robart didn’t respond, so the parties burned the midnight oil and got their briefs in anyway. Also, Inspector General for Public Safety Lisa Judge and OPA Director Andrew Myerberg both sent letters last Friday to the City Council with their feedback on the tentative contract.
Today Judge James Robart, the judge overseeing implementation of the consent decree over biased policing by SPD, scheduled a status conference for next Thursday, November 1, to discuss the tentative contract with Seattle police officers.
Last week a fight broke out between the Community Police Commission (CPC) and the Mayor’s Office over the tentative collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with SPOG, the police officer’s union. In the days since the CPC voted last Wednesday to urge the City Council to reject the contract, I’ve talked to both sides to try to understand their perspectives on the contract.
What became clear very quickly is that we can’t understand the CBA without first understanding the legal context surrounding it. Here’s what I’ve learned, and what I think it means for the city’s negotiations with SPOG. Caveat: I am not a lawyer. I am sure those who are will send me notes on where they think my analysis is wrong, and I will do my best to understand their points and update this post to make it more accurate.
This morning the Community Police Commission signaled their unhappiness with the tentative labor contract with Seattle’s police officers, voting unanimously to urge the City Council to reject the contract and to investigate asking the judge overseeing the consent decree to enjoin the city from implementing it.
Today the Mayor’s Office transmitted to the City Council the new contract negotiated last month with the Seattle Police Officers Guild, in the process releasing it to the public for the first time.
This afternoon it was announced that the Seattle Police Officers’ Guild has “overwhelmingly” approved a new proposed contract with the city.
When Judge James Robart found the City of Seattle in initial compliance with the consent decree earlier this year, it started a two-year countdown for a “sustainment period” before the consent decree is lifted. During that period, the city agreed to provide quarterly reports detailing status of reform efforts, statistics on policing and use of force, and continuing efforts to reform the police department’s practices.
The first of those reports was filed with the court on Tuesday. The department also submitted some proposed changes to its “use of force” policy for Robart’s approval.
This afternoon, U.S. District Court Judge James Robart issued a ruling in the police use-of-force case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice that led to the consent decree and several years of police reform efforts.