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Quality Jobs Initiative Means Better Wages, Broader Horizons for Sea-Tac Airport Workers

The Port of Seattle Commission voted to increase wages and compensation and expand economic horizons for approximately 3,500 workers at Sea-Tac Airport. The landmark policy establishes wages and compensation for airfield support positions that are important for safety and security.

"This action will improve the quality of life for those who work at Sea-Tac Airport -- not just increasing their pay but providing benefits, paid leav and training opportunities that many have never had,” said Commission Co-President Courtney Gregoire. “We worked for several months to create a policy that’s the right solution for these workers – one that strengthens safety and security, recognizes the business and operational realities of an international airport, and respects the specific authority we have as a port district.”

Commissioners gave final approval to a resolution that serves as the cornerstone of the port’s Quality Jobs Initiative, which also includes expanded workforce development and training opportunities.

“We’ve established a floor for these positions, not a ceiling,” said Gregoire. “Many of the employers at Sea-Tac already provide packages that are more generous, and we applaud them for that commitment.”

Under the new policy:
• Effective January 2015, airfield support workers will earn an hourly minimum wage of $11.22; an hourly minimum compensation (including tips, healthcare or other benefits) of $13.72; and paid leave (one hour per 40 hours worked).

• Effective January 2017, minimum hourly wages will increase to $13.00 and minimum compensation will increase to $15.50, and will then increase annually at the rate of inflation.

Commissioners will consider policy requirements for Sea-Tac dining and retail employees when the Airport Dining and Retail Master Plan is developed later this year.

For more information about the Quality Jobs Initiative and how the Port of Seattle generates jobs and economic growth, visit

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