Seattle mayor signs new contract with police union

On Tuesday, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell signed a new contract with police officers into law following its passage by the City Council. 

The agreement aims to address Seattle’s police staffing crisis, expand civilian public safety responses, and strengthen police accountability.

Seattle’s rank-and-file police officers have been working without a wage increase since January 1, 2021. 

SPD currently offers new recruits nearly $20,000 per year less than places like Redmond.

Pay is a key contributor to SPD’s staffing crisis, the city said. 

This new agreement makes SPD wages competitive with other departments in Washington and other major US cities. It increases wages 1.3% retroactive to 2021, 6.4% retroactive to 2022, and 15.3% retroactive to 2023.

The new contract also allows for civilian review of automated traffic safety camera violations and expands civilian assistance to detective units with administrative tasks, case file preparation, and crime analysis.

"The new police officer contract is a needed step forward to advance our vision for a city where everyone, in every neighborhood, is safe and feels secure," said Mayor Harrell. "I want to thank our officers for the work they do every day to keep us safe, and I want to thank our City Council partners for supporting this agreement that will make meaningful improvements to officer pay and staffing, to accountability so misconduct is investigated, and to new efficiencies through diversified response options. Seattle is a world-class city, and the updated wages and terms in this agreement reflect a commitment to building, recruiting, and retaining the world-class police service our community deserves."

"Today the Seattle City Council voted 8-1 to ratify our contract. This vote illustrates the positive sea change in the governance of our great city. SPOG admires Mayor Harrell’s and President Nelson’s leadership and commitment to public safety. We look forward to continuing contract negotiations with the city and building back our agency," Seattle Police Officers Guild President Mike Solan said on X.

According to the city, this agreement covers 2021-2023. Negotiations for 2024, including work to strengthen police accountability, civilian alternatives, and other items proposed by the City based on input from community partners and the federal judge overseeing the City’s Consent Decree with the Department of Justice, are still ongoing. Those negotiations are taking place with the assistance of a mediator appointed by the Public Employment Relations Commission.