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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Constantine proposes reorganization to elevate labor relations to Executive Office Cabinet level

Summary

In order to engage more directly in the development of new labor agreements, King County Executive Dow Constantine today proposed a reorganization to establish a new Cabinet-level Office of Labor Relations, with a director who would report directly to him and Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett.

Story

Patti Cole Tindall

In order to engage more directly in the development of new labor agreements, King County Executive Dow Constantine today proposed a reorganization to establish a new Cabinet-level Office of Labor Relations, with a director who would report directly to him and Deputy Executive Fred Jarrett.

“This is a significant reform that will enable Fred and I to work every day on finding common interests with our employees, so that together over time we can create a government with costs and services that are sustainable,” said Executive Constantine. “We will negotiate our agreements in a manner that is fair to the taxpayers and fair to our workers, that recognizes the central role employees will play in reshaping county government, and that results in better and more efficient services to the public.”

Labor relations is currently a section within the Human Resources Division in the Department of Executive Services. The Executive today sent the King County Council a proposed ordinance to elevate labor relations to an office within the Executive’s Office.

Under the proposed reorganization the Executive today identified Patti Cole-Tindall as his choice for Director of Labor Relations. Cole-Tindall was recently named Labor Relations Manager in Human Resources, and the Executive today sent the Council proposed legislation to reclassify her position as Director of the proposed new office.

“Patti brings a strong working knowledge of the county and its workers and has developed solid relationships with labor and management,” said Executive Constantine. “As part of my senior management team she will work hard to win the participation and partnership of our workers and their representatives in a culture of performance.”

Cole-Tindall has served with four different county departments over the past 12 years, most recently as Assistant Director of the Community Corrections Division in the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention.

“I value collaboration and mutual respect, and I will approach our work from a point of identifying common interests with our workers and finding solutions,” said Cole-Tindall. “Not only do I work for King County, I live here too. I care about the value our workers provide to the public, and how we can improve our processes to make our services even better.”

Under the proposed legislation, the Office of Labor Relations would:

• Represent the county in the collective bargaining process and in arbitrations, appeals and hearings;

• Administer labor contracts and provide consultation to county agencies on terms and implementation; and

• Advise the Executive and Council on overall county labor policies.

Under the county charter the King County Council has the duty of setting labor policy and approving labor agreements, with the responsibility for negotiating contracts residing in the Executive branch. Executive Constantine vowed to be collaborative and transparent with the Council.

“As a former Councilmember I know how frustrating it is to be handed a labor proposal with which I had nothing to do, and to be given only the choice to vote it up or down – knowing that to reject it could lead to a worse deal for the taxpayers,” said Executive Constantine. “My Labor Director will meet early and often with the Council to discuss the parameters for our negotiations and identify county goals and interests.”

The King County Council must approve the reorganization and the reclassification.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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