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Port of Seattle Commission Introduces Wage, Compensation and More

The Port of Seattle Commission introduced two components of the agency’s Quality Jobs Initiative. On July 1, Commissioners will consider a resolution which establishes minimum wage, compensation and training requirements for airfield support workers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, enhancing safe and secure operations of the facility; and a motion which directs staff to assess workforce demands at the airport and develop a comprehensive workforce development strategy to support those demands now and in the future.

Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire noted that the port is balancing the desire to establish fair wages for employees with the legal and operational constraints of the agency.

“The policies we are considering will raise the standard of living for thousands of people who work at the airport -– not just increasing their wages but providing benefits and paid time off,” said Gregoire. “And they offer employers flexibility in how they recruit and retain the stable, well-trained workforce critical to the safe, secure operations of Sea-Tac.”

Through the Quality Jobs Initiative, begun in late 2013, the port is developing a policy framework that:

• Offers a pragmatic, implementable approach for ensuring fair wages and benefits for jobs at Sea-Tac Airport;
• Reduces employee turnover in key aeronautical jobs, supporting safe, secure operations throughout the facility;
• Provides paid time off for those employees;
• Is a targeted solution, supported by quantitative data, specific to the wage, benefits, and workforce development environment at Sea-Tac Airport and is within the port’s authority to implement; and
• Offers the enhanced training and advancement opportunities proven necessary to develop a workforce which supports economic growth throughout the region – not just at Sea-Tac Airport.

Aeronautical employees will receive:
• Effective January 1, 2015:
  o Hourly minimum wage: $11.22
  o Hourly minimum compensation: $13.72
  o Accrual of paid leave time (one hour per 40 hours worked)
• Effective January 1, 2017:
  o Hourly minimum wage: $13.00
  o Hourly minimum compensation: $15.50
• Effective January 1, 2018:
  o Minimum wage and compensation to be increased annually on a percentage basis reflecting rate of inflation

The commission is scheduled to vote on the resolution on Tuesday, July 1, at 1:00 p.m. at Sea-Tac Airport. The meeting will be streamed live here.

For more information about the Quality Jobs Initiative and how the Port of Seattle generates jobs and economic growth for our region, visit www.portseattle.org.

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