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Seattle Council, CPC to host hearing on police contract negotiations

The community will once again be asked to play a critical role in making sure Seattle has a strong police accountability system. The CPC and City Council are jointly holding a public hearing on the Seattle Police Management Association's (SPMA) contract on Wednesday, September 18 from 5:30-6:30 pm at City Hall. 

This is the community's chance to publicly tell the Council what they need and expect from upcoming contract negotiations before those negotiations begin. We need your voice there. 


Seattle has two major police contracts. One is with the Seattle Police Officers Guild (SPOG), representing line officers and Sergeants. It expires at the end of 2020. The other is with the Seattle Police Management Association (SPMA), representing SPD Lieutenants and Captains. It expires at the end of 2019. 

Negotiations on the SPMA contract are set to begin within the next few months. 

A public hearing is generally not required as part of the City’s collective bargaining steps, but for police accountability, community advocates in 2008 worked to add a requirement for a public hearing in City law. It requires the City Council and the CPC to hold a hearing on the effectiveness of the City’s police accountability system at least 90 days before the City begins negotiations with either SPMA or SPOG.

What will happen at the hearing

The City Council and the Community Police Commission (CPC) jointly hold the hearing, the purpose of which is to give the community a meaningful opportunity to comment on how well the police accountability system is working and what the City’s bargaining priorities should be.

For example, community organizations and members of the public may recommend specific changes to accountability provisions in the contract in order to align with best practices, including the City’s accountability law passed unanimously in May, 2017 and hailed by elected leaders as a landmark achievement in accountability reform. Or they may speak to the importance of prioritizing accountability, explaining how the City’s approach may impact public trust and confidence, or to the role of the CPC and community coalition, or to the best way to secure strong police reform while also supporting the right of unions to collectively bargain.

We're excited for this opportunity for us all to make an impact on police accountability in Seattle, and we hope you'll join us.