IN THE MATTER OF THE INTEREST           )    ARBITRATOR'S
                                        )    
ARBITRATION BETWEEN                     )      OPINION
                                        )
COWLITZ COUNTY, WASHINGTON              )        AND
                                        )
"THE COUNTY" or "THE EMPLOYER"          )       AWARD
                                        )
AND                                     )
                                        )
COWLITZ COUNTY DEPUTIES GUILD           )
                                        )
"THE GUILD" OR "THE UNION"              )    INTEREST ARBITRATION


HEARING:            July 12, 2007 and July 13, 2007
                    Kelso, Washington

BRIEFS:             Employer's received: September 17, 2007
                    Union's received: September 17, 2007

HEARING CLOSED:     September 17, 2007

ARBITRATOR:         Timothy D.W. Williams
                    2700 Fourth Ave., Suite 305
                    Seattle, WA 98121

REPRESENTING THE EMPLOYER:
                    Howard Rubin, Attorney
                    Jim Zdilar, Personnel Director
                    Duane Engler, Undersheriff CC Sheriff's
                         Department

REPRESENTING THE UNION:
                    Daryl Garrettson, Labor Consultant
                    Kelly Lincoln, Deputy - Guild President
                    Brad Thurman, Guild 2nd Vice President
                    Pat Schallert, Deputy - Negotiation Committee
                    Dana Bennett, Senior Research Analyst
                    Darren C. Ullmann, Deputy - Guild lSt Vice
                         President, Negotiation Committee
                    Dan Sheridan - Deputy Sheriff

APPEARING AS WITNESSES FOR THE EMPLOYER:
                    Jim Zdilar, Personnel Director
                    Mark Nelson, Captain CC Sherif
                    Reagan Smith, HR Grants County
                    Duane Engler, Undersheriff CC Sheriff's
                         Department

APPEARING AS WITNESSES FOR THE UNION:
                    Dan Sheridan, Dep. Sheriff - Guild
                    Dana Bennett, Senior Research Analyst
                    Pat Schallert, Deputy - Negotiation
                         Committee
                    Brad Thurman, Sgt. Cowlitz County
                    Darren ullman, Guild lSt Vice President
                    Graig Shelton, Deputy
                    Troy Brightbill, Deputy
                    Dave Smith, Sgt. CC Sheriff
                    Kelly Lincoln, Deputy

                        EXHIBITS

                         Union

1.   Guild Labor Agreement 2003-2005
2.   Guild's Proposed Changes 3/23/2007
3.   Employer's Proposed Changes 3/23/0007
4.   Arbitrator Beck's Decision 4/7/1987
5.   [withdrawn]
6.   Comparable Jurisdictions in 1987
7.   Population Tax Comparison
8.   Washington County Map
9.   37.5 to 40 Hour Comparison
10.  Market Summary - percentage behind in compensation
11.  CPI - W US Cities, June 2007
12.  Guild CPI Analysis
13.  Newspapers on the Local Economy
14.  Guild Total Leave Comparison
15.  Fatigue on Police Work
16.  NTSB Controllers - Fatigue and Air Safety
17.  Physical Fitness Ability Test
18.  Pay Comparison for A . Degree
19.  Police Association for College Education
20.  Projected Market Summary
21.  Projected Market Summary County's Comparables
22.  Projected Market Summary County's Comparables
23.  Duty Weapon Provision - Comparables
24.  Written Statement of Pat Schallert
25.  12/13/2006 Hire Three Deputies
26.  7/6/2007 Median Home Sold for $199, 250
27.  Public Defenders Pay Increase 7/11/2007
28.  Memo to file by J. Goldberg

                       Employer

1.   Letter from Marvin L. Schurke, Executive Director, Public
     Employment Relations Commission, to Jim Zdilar, Cowlitz
     County and Jaime B. Goldberg, Counsel for the Guild, dated
     August 1, 2006
2.   Letter from Jaime B. Goldberg to Arbitrator Timothy D.W.
     Williams dated March 23, 2007
3.   Letter from Howard Rubin to Arbitrator Timothy D.W. Williams
     dated March 23, 2007
4.   Letter from Jaime B. Goldberg to Arbitrator Timothy D.W.
     Williams dated March 26, 2007
5.   Letter of Understanding between Cowlitz County and Cowlitz
     County Deputies Guild dated March 8-9, 2007 (concerning
     County's contribution toward the cost of the monthly premium
     for medical, dental and life insurance)
6.   Cowlitz County Sheriff's Agreement, 1/1/2003-12/31/2005
7.   Employee list (with hire date, years of service, education,
     and position)
8.   Map of State of Washington
9.   Interest Arbitration Opinion and Award of Michael H. Beck In
     the Matter of Cowlitz County and Teamsters Local 58, dated
     April 7, 1987
10.  Population of Selected Counties
11.  Assessed Valuations of Selected Counties
12.  Assessed Valuations Per Capita of Selected Counties
13.  CPI - Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers - US City
     Average 9June 2005, June 2006)
14.  Benton County Contracts
15.  Clallam County Contracts
16.  Grays Harbor County Contracts
17.  Lewis County Contract
18.  Skagit County Contract
19.  Cowlitz County Profile, January 2007
20.  Grays Harbor County Profile, May 2007
21.  Clallam County Profile, December 2001
22.  Adams and Grant County Profile, December 2002
23.  Island County Profile, April 2000
24.  Per Capital Income - 2005
25.  Median Household Income - 2005
26.  Unemployment Rate - 2006
27.  Housing Market Snapshot - Median Price - First Quarter 2007
28.  Comparisons Regarding Cowlitz County Proposals
29.  Comparisons Regarding Cowlitz County Deputies Guild
     Proposals
30.  Lehleitner Award 2/15/1996
31.  Employee Insurance Options - 2006
32.  Employee Insurance Options - 2007
33.  Employer Contribution/Employee Contribution - 2006
34.  Employer Contribution/Employee Contribution - 2007
35.  Blue Notebook Deputies Comparables
36.  Green Notebook Sgts. Comparables
37.  Washington City and City Employee Salary Survey
38.  Grievance List 6/3/2003 to 8/6/2006
39.  Article on College Degrees and Police Work
40.  Assessed Value of Taxable Property
41.  Grant County Vacation E-Mail Memo
42.  CC Sheriff Department Team Assignment
43.  Patrol Calendar - 2007
44.  Job Application Data
45.  Summary of Separations from Service

                       BACKGROUND
     The Cowlitz County Deputies Guild represents a bargaining
unit made up of 41 employees in the County Sherifff s Department,
ranging in rank from deputy through sergeant. The Guild and
Cowlitz County were bound by a Collective Bargaining Agreement
which expired on January 31, 2005. Presently, the Parties have
come to an impasse in negotiations over the language of the
successor agreement. RCW 41.56.450 provides that uniform
personnel interest arbitration is to be used to resolve an
impasse. The issues to be submitted to the arbitrator for
determination "shall be limited to the issues certified by the
executive director". By letter dated August 1, 2007 Executive
Director of the Public Employment Relations Commission (PERC),
Marvin Schurke, certified the following issues at impasse and
thus subject to interest arbitration:

Article 4, Sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.7, 4.9, and 4.10
Article 5, Sections 5.2
Article 6, Sections 6.4, 6.6, 6.7
Article 8, Sections 8.8
Article 11, Sections 11.3, 11.4, 11.7
Article 14, Sections 14.1, 14.2
Article 15, Sections 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.5, 15.6
Article 16
Article 18, Sections 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, 18.5, 18.6
Appendix A: Salary Schedule
Appendix B: Uniform and Equipment List
New Article: Payroll Dates

     In accordance with WAC 391-55-205, each Party had the right
to name one partisan Arbitrator to serve as a member of the
arbitration panel. Part one (1) of the cited code provides that
"The use of partisan arbitrators shall be deemed waived if
neither Party has notified the executive director of its
appointee within fourteen days following the issuance of a
certification of issues for interest arbitration, and the
Partiesf principal representatives shall then select the neutral
chairperson". Both Parties waived the use of partisan
arbitrators and Arbitrator Timothy Williams was selected as the
neutral chairperson. For the purposes of this document, the
terms "neutral chairperson" and "interest arbitrator" or
"arbitrator" shall be interchangeable. The hearing was set
beginning on February 27, 2007 and was subsequently rescheduled
beginning April 9, 2007.

     WAC 391-55-220 provides that parties to an interest
arbitration must provide the Arbitrator and each other with
written proposals on all issues within fourteen (14) days of the
hearing. Both Parties timely submitted their proposals on March
23, 2007.

     The Arbitrator received two emendations to the Guildf s
proposal following the initial submission. By letter dated March
26, 2007, representative for the Guild, Jaime Goldberg, notified
the Arbitrator that the Guild did not intend to seek the
longevity component in Article 18.6, as had previously been
indicated. By letter dated April 3, 2007, Mr. Goldberg further
notified the Arbitrator that the Guild has decided to withdraw
its proposal to increase the uniform and equipment allowance in
Article 11.4.

     Ultimately, the hearing was again rescheduled and it took
place in Kelso, Washington on July 12 and July 13, 2007. The
proceedings began with a pre-hearing conference, in accordance
with WAC 391.55.225 (1) which provides that "The neutral
chairperson may, upon his or her own motion or upon request of a
party, convene a prehearing conference or conferences." At the
pre-hearing conference, the Parties notified the Arbitrator that
they were able to resolve the following issues:

Article 5, Section 5.2
Article 11, Section 11.3, 11.4, 11.7
Article 15, Section 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.5, 15.6
Article 16

The issues remaining before the Arbitrator at the commencement of
the hearing proper were the following:

Article 4, Sections 4.1, 4.2, 4.7, 4.9, and 4.10
Article 6, Sections 6.4, 6.6, 6.7
Article 8, Sections 8.8
Article 14, Sections 14.1, 14.2
Article 18, Sections 18.2, 18.3, 18.4, 18.5, 18.6
Appendix A: Salary Schedule
Appendix B: Uniform and Equipment List
New Article: Payroll Dates

     While Article 4.10 was listed as an issue in dispute,
neither Party presented a specific proposal, neither did either
Party make an argument on this issue. Therefore, the Arbitrator
determines that there is no remaining dispute over 4.10.
Similarly, The Union's set of proposals (Union Exhibit #2)
contains the existing language on Article 6.6, the Employer's
proposals make no mention of this Article and neither Party
presents argument with regard to this issue. Therefore, the
Arbitrator determines that there is no remaining dispute over
6.6.

     At the hearing, both Parties had full opportunity to make
opening statements, examine and cross-examine sworn witnesses,
present documentary evidence, and make arguments in support of
their positions.

     RCW 41.56.450 provides that "a recording of the proceedings
shall be taken." In compliance with the statute, an official
transcript of the proceedings was taken, and a copy was provided
to the Arbitrator. At the close of the hearing, the Parties were
given the opportunity to file written briefs. The Parties
accepted, and the due date of August 31, 2007 was set for their
submission. By letter dated August 29, 2007, the Arbitrator
granted the Employer's request to postpone the filing of posthearing
briefs until September 14, 2007. Both Parties timely
submitted the documents and they were received by the Arbitrator
on September 17, 2007. In accordance with WAC 391-55-240, the
Arbitrator declared the hearing closed on September 17, 2007.

     The Arbitrator's opinion and awards are submitted on an
issue-by-issue basis. For each issue I will begin by presenting
the Partiesf respective positions, outline the Partiesf arguments
in support of their positions, provide the analysis for the
Arbitrator's opinion and conclude with the award. In that the
issue of wage has serious impact on the consideration of all
other proposed language, I consider it to be the central issue of
the present negotiations. Accordingly, the opinion and award
will begin with Appendix A (Wages) and proceed to address all
other contract language in the order that it is presented in the
Labor Agreement. The Arbitratorf s interest award is based on a
careful analysis of the evidence and argument presented during
the hearing, as well as the arguments found in the written
briefs, and with full consideration of the following factors,
found in RCW 41.56.465:

     (1) In making its determination, the panel shall be mindful
     of the legislative purpose enumerated in RCW 41.56.430 and,
     as additional standards or guidelines to aid it in reaching
     a decision, it shall take into consideration the following
     factors:

          (a) The constitutional and statutory authority of the
          employer;

          (b) Stipulations of the parties;

          (c)  (i) For employees listed in RCW 41.56.030 (7) (a)
               through (d) , comparison of the wages, hours,
               and conditions of employment of personnel
               involved in the proceedings with the wages,
               hours, and conditions of employment of like
               personnel of like employers of similar size
               on the west coast of the United States;
               
               (ii) For employees listed in RCW 41.56.030 (7) (e)
               through (h) , comparison of the wages, hours,
               and conditions of employment of personnel
               involved in the proceedings with the wages,
               hours, and conditions of employment of like
               personnel of public fire departments of
               similar size on the west coast of the United
               States. However, when an adequate number of
               comparable employers exists within the state
               of Washington, other west coast employers may
               not be considered;

          (d) The average consumer prices for goods and services,
          commonly known as the cost of living;

          (e) Changes in any of the circumstances under (a)
          through (d) of this subsection during the pendency of
          the proceedings; and

          (f) Such other factors, not confined to the factors
          under (a) through (e) of this subsection, that are
          normally or traditionally taken into consideration in
          the determination of wages, hours, and conditions of
          employment. For those employees listed in RCW
          41.56.030 (7) (a) who are employed by the governing body
          of a city or town with a population of less than
          fifteen thousand, or a county with a population of less
          than seventy thousand, consideration must also be given
          to regional differences in the cost of living

     (2) Subsection (1) (c) of this section may not be construed
     to authorize the panel to require the employer to pay,
     directly or indirectly, the increased employee contributions
     resulting from chapter 502, Laws of 1993 or chapter 517,
     Laws of 1993 as required under chapter 41.26 RCW.

               POSITIONS, ARGUMENTS, OPINION AND AWARD

                     ISSUE I: APPENDIX A - WAGES

Current Language:   Effective January 1, 2003, all salaries
                    listed in Appendix A have been increased by
                    80% of the percentage increase in the CPI-W,
                    U.S. City Average measured from June 2001 to
                    June 2002.

                    Effective January 1, 2004, all
                    classifications listed in Appendix A will be
                    increased by 80% of the percentage increase
                    in the CPI-W, U.S. City Average measured from
                    June 2002 to June 2003.
                    
                    Effective January 1, 2005, all
                    classifications listed in Appendix A will be
                    increased by 80% of the percentage increase
                    in the CPI-W, U.S. City Average measured from
                    June 2003 to June 2004.

Guild's Proposal:   Effective January 1, 2006, all salaries
                    listed in Appendix A have been increased by
                    six percent (6%) .
                    
                    Effective January 1, 2007, all
                    classifications listed in Appendix A will be
                    increased by six percent (6%).
                    
                    Effective January 1, 2008, all
                    classifications listed in Appendix A will be
                    increased by the percentage increase in the
                    CPI-W, U.S. City Average measured from June
                    2006 to June 2007 minimum 3%, maximum 6%.

County's Proposal:  Effective January 1, 2006, all salaries
                    listed in Appendix A will receive a 2.1%
                    increase aboie the 2005 level.
                    
                    Effective January 1, 2007, all
                    classifications listed in Appendix A will
                    receive a 2.1% increase above the 2007 level.
                    
                    Effective January 1, 2008, all
                    classifications listed in Appendix A will be
                    increased by 80% of the percentage increase
                    in the CPI-W, U.S. City Average measured from
                    June 2006 to June 2007.

Guild's Position:   The issue of determining equitable wages may
be seen as a composite of two questions and the Parties address
each of these separately in their briefs. The first is the
question of which counties provide the most accurate comparables.
The second question concerns the methodology utilized to compute
wages in those counties deemed comparable.

The Guild proposes the following counties as comparables for
Cowlitz: Benton, Grant, Island, Lewis and Skagit. The
legislature sets forth that population and the type of employer
are the only two factors which must be used in the selection of
comparables. It is undisputed that a large disparity in
population will result in a large disparity of base wage
calculations. The Guild has chosen the five Washington counties
which are closest in population to that of Cowlitz County. The
two counties which are larger than Cowlitz, Benton and Skagit,
are mutually agreed upon by the Parties. The issue in dispute is
which smaller counties to use. The Union defends its choice of
Island, Lewis and Skagit on the grounds that these are the
closest in population to Cowlitz County. In support of this
choice, the Union cites the arbitration decision of Michael Beck
(1987). The rational of Arbitrator Beck in selecting comparators
was solely based on considerations of population. In the two
decades since that decision, the population distribution of the
area has changed such that the counties proposed by the Union are
the closest in population to Cowlitz and therefore the most
appropriate. Additionally, all five of the Guild's
recommendations are within an acceptable range of assessed
valuation and of total taxes due, and therefore provide a
balanced estimation of the local labor market.

The Union criticizes the County's argument that the specific
jurisdictions chosen by Arbitrator Beck in 1987 should continue
to be used today. Those comparables which have been historically
used are now outdated and it would be a mistake to regard their
selection as set in stone. As population changes, the rational
used by Arbitrator Beck recommends a different set of
comparables. The Union also criticizes the County's reliance on
Arbitrator Lehleitnerf s decision (1996) , stating that "the
question of what comparators would be appropriate was not part of
Arbitrator Lehleitner decision" (p. 9, Union's brief).

Additionally, the Union anticipates that the County will make a
case against the use of Island County by noting that its high
assessed value makes it a poor comparator to Cowlitz. According
to the Union, total taxes due are a better measure of a local
jurisdiction's ability to pay increased wages. Because Island
County has significantly lower total taxes due, it is not an
unreasonable comparator, especially when one takes into account
that its assessed value is still lower than that of the agreedupon
comparators, Benton and Skagit.

Lastly, the Union takes issue with the County's use of a blended
set of comparables, which it believes should be disregarded
entirely. Because this set is comprised of only two larger
jurisdictions and five smaller ones, the resulting average is
heavily distorted towards the smaller jurisdictions and,
consequently, lower base wages.

The Union believes that its proposed comparators, selected on the
basis of population, give the Arbitrator an accurate picture of
the labor market within which the Guild member finds himself
situated. On the contrary, the County's comparators have been
chosen with an eye towards the smallest counties, "to justify
their economic position. The County comparators have no basis in
economic reality" (p. 10, U's brief).

Once the Arbitrator has settled the question of which counties
are appropriate for comparison for the purpose of determining an
equitable wage increase, the question remains of which Party
carried out the more accurate comparison - that is the question
of methodology. The primary methodological dispute in this case
centers on the incorporation of insurance costs into the analysis
of base wages. After presenting its case for figuring insurance
costs into the analysis, the Union proceeds to criticize the
County's methods on three unrelated points. These are: how paid
leave is accounted for, what benchmarks are appropriate, and
whether comparison should be of hourly or of monthly wages. The
Guild's arguments on these topics may be summarized as follows.

First, the Union takes issue with the County's method of
excluding the costs of health insurance when analyzing the wage
data of comparable jurisdiction. The Union holds that the
analysis required by the RCW must of necessity take into account
total compensation, which includes health insurance. The
County's position that insurance is difficult to calculate should
not prevent the Arbitrator from recognizing the weight of its
importance, especially considering the rapid inflation of
healthcare costs and insurance. The great weight of arbitral
authority prefers total compensation to any form of piecemeal
analysis. The County's reason for seeking to exclude insurance
from the analysis is that Cowlitz pays substantially less than
the comparator jurisdictions for it, while its employees pay
substantially more. At the same time, the County seeks to
justify its offer of only 80% of the CPI by citing rising
insurance costs. It is simply unreasonable to use health
insurance as a component in the determination of salary to be
paid, but to exclude it from the analysis when comparing salaries
across jurisdictions.

Second, the Union argues that there are a number of problems with
the way in which the County accounts for paid leave. The first
of these is a discrepancy between the County's selection of pay
(the first full month of the start of the sixth, eleventh, and
twentieth complete year of service, same as the Union) and the
County's selection of vacation hours (at the start of the fifth,
the tenth, and the twentieth year). This error causes the
numbers generated by the County for the market average to be
artificially low. Another problem with the way in which the
County accounts for paid leave arises in their application of a
net hourly system. In order to arrive at an hourly wage, the
County subtracts vacation and holiday time from total hours
worked and divides the remaining hours into the monthly wage.
That position is invalid because not all of that leave is taken
and both Cowlitz and its comparator counties have some form of
buy-back for time not taken. Because employees can sell their
unused paid time off, vacation and holiday benefits are clearly
cash benefits and have a very real cash value. "The better
methodology is to calculate the vacation and a total value for
holiday time and add that to the net wage. This provides a more
accurate picture not only of the cost of compensation to the
employer, but also the value of the compensation received by the
employee" (p. 15, U's brief).

Third, the Union takes issue with the County's reliance on the
eleven year benchmark in presenting its case. The Union argues
that no demographic benchmark, especially not one based on
averages, makes any sense when we lack the demographic
information of comparator jurisdictions. An apples-to-apples
comparison is only possible with standardized benchmarks, used
consistently throughout the industry. The use of the eleven year
benchmark is simply convenient for the County, as it highlights
its highest compensation position.

Lastly, the Union advocates a month to month comparison, over the
hourly comparison generated by the County. The monthly wage is
more appropriate because employees are paid by the month, in
Cowlitz as well as comparator counties, and not by the hour. An
hourly comparison is unreliable, as the number of hours worked in
any given month varies tremendously due to the structure of the
schedule. In order to account for the fact that Cowlitz
employees do work fewer hours per month, the Union has created an
adjusted forty hour schedule base wage.

Before proceeding to summarize its analysis, the Guild makes a
correction to its data regarding paid leave for Grant County.
Readjusting the numbers reduces the aggregate deficiency for all
four benchmarks of Cowlitz Deputies to 8.5% behind for 2006
rather than 9.4% behind.

The Guild concludes that the appropriate comparable
jurisdictions, when analyzed using the appropriate methodology,
establish that the Deputies of Cowlitz County were substantially
behind the market for all four benchmarks as of January 1, 2006.
The disparity is between 6.3% (at five years) to 9.3% (at fifteen
years), the average being 8.5%. The Guildf s request for a 6%
wage increase is entirely reasonable, given these numbers. For
2007, the Guild applied a cost of living escalator, revealing
that Cowlitz Deputies would be on average 12.4% behind. The
County failed to make any adjustment for 2007, thereby skewing
their data downward. The use of a CPI escalator is the approach
preferred by arbitrators, because making no adjustment amounts to
accepting the very unlikely assumptions that comparator employers
would not increase their wages at all for 2007. For 2008, the
Guild argues for 100% of the US All Cities CPI with a 3% minimum
and a 6% maximum. The justification for this is that a salary
increase equal to the CPI merely maintains an employee's current
purchasing power. A reduction in the wage increase results in a
real loss of purchasing power for the employee, especially in
Cowlitz County where housing costs are rising much more quickly
than the national average reflected by the CPI. The Countyfs
justification for 80% of the CPI is that they would be
potentially facing rising health insurance costs. This change is
speculative and, if it does occur, would not result in the
employee saving any money. "There are simply no justifications
for reducing an increase below the cost of living" (U's brief,
pg. 20.)

The Union concludes its written arguments by drawing the
Arbitrator's attention to the fact that, by the time the
Arbitration award is rendered, employees will have gone without
pay adjustments in over twenty-one months and some have retired.
Both the Guild and the County have proposed retroactive pay
increases beginning in January 1, 2006. The Guild asks that
retirees not be denied the benefits of those increases.

County's Position: The Employer proposes the following counties
as comparables for Cowlitz: Benton, Clallam, Grays Harbor, Lewis
and Skagit. The primary justification behind this choice is that
it is a matter of past practice. Since the Beck decision in
1987, the County has used these comparables to negotiate wages
with all of its bargaining and non-represented employees. In
1996, Arbitrator Lehleitner reaffirmed the use of these
comparables, rejecting the Union's proposal to alter the set.
All of these comparators fall within the acceptable range of
population and assessed value, as well as assessed valuation per
capita. The Guild has shown no need to change them, as it should
have attempted to do in good faith negotiations. Plus, unlike
the County, which has been consistent in its choice of
Interest Arbitration between Cowlitz County and Cowlitz County Deputies Guild: Page 15
comparators, the Union has twice changed its proposed comparators
during negotiations.

Aside from the question of comparables, the County puts forth
arguments in defense of its wage calculations on the basis of
methodology. As noted above, the question of whether health
insurance is to be figured into wage calculations is the major
point of dispute here. The County argues against the inclusion
of insurance in the comparison. The County also believes that a
close look at the Guild's insurance numbers render their entire
set of calculations inaccurate.

The Employer devotes a considerable portion of its arguments to
the issue of health insurance costs and contributions. The
County begins by outlining the Partiesf Letter of Understanding
of March 2007 regarding contributions to health and life
insurance and the numerous insurance plan options available to
employees. Although there are plans that require monthly
employee contributions, the County focuses on the observation
that "[tlhe average actual contribution per bargaining unit
employee is extremely low ... the County paid over 98% of the
bargaining unit's total health, dental, and life insurance costs
in 2006, and over 95% of those costs in 2007" (E's brief, pg.4-
5)

The Employer also takes issue with the Union's computations of
employee insurance contributions, specifically with the Guild's
"take away" item of $407.97 per person per month. This
hypothetical number renders the Union's analysis entirely
inaccurate, argues the County, because guild members actually pay
much less for their insurance than the projection indicates.
Such a "take away" is not a standard item on wage proposals and,
generally, health insurance contributions are not included in
salary proposals between the County and its represented
employees. "The Guildfs use of an inflated, non-representative
value for individual insurance contributions skews every one of
the Guild's salary computations and calls their overall value
into question" (p. 11). Another source of inaccuracy in the
Guild's numbers is the fact that Cowlitz County uses a combined,
rather than a tiered, system to compute insurance costs, and this
is not the practice in the comparator counties.

The Arbitrator should disregard the Unionfs computations of
comparable salaries because these figures include employee
contribution amounts which are greatly at odds with reality.
"The Guild did not submit any evidence that its numbers for
employee and employer insurance contributions in the comparator
counties is actually an apples-to-apples comparison "(E's brief,
pg. 12). Instead, the Arbitrator should accept the County's
computations of comparable salaries, which exclude health
insurance from wage calculations.

The County argues that in order for the present analysis of
comparable wages to be accurate, health insurance must be
excluded from the calculation. This is because the Parties have
already settled the matter of health insurance payments in a
manner which provides for substantial increases in the County's
insurance benefits contribution. Additionally, health insurance
costs and benefits are notoriously difficult to calculate and the
numbers provided by the Guild are based on woefully insufficient
data. Many arbitrators, including Arbitrator Beck in his 1987
decision, decline to factor health insurance into wage comparison
precisely due to the difficulty of establishing a valid
comparison on the grounds of health insurance design, costs, and
coverage. In the present case, the Union hasn't even attempted
an apples-to-apples comparison, instead positing an impossible
"take away" number in order to artificially lower the Cowlitz
Deputiesf wage calculations. " [TI he Guildf s unrealistic
inflation of the deputiesf health insurance contributions make
its calculations unkeliable if not meaningless" (Ef s brief, pg.
29).

Additionally, the Employer takes issue with the Guild's wage
comparison charts and computations due to an erroneous vacation
figure for Grant County. The Guild posits 231.96 hours per year
for Grant County Deputies, but their yearly maximum is actually
176 hours, undercutting the validity of all of the Guild's
calculations.

The Employer concludes that "[t]he County's wage proposal should
be adopted because it is reasonable, fair, well supported, and
puts the County at or above the average compensation for the
comparators (including the two new comparator counties proposed
by the Guild) " (E's brief, pg. 25) while "[t]he Guild's proposal
not only far exceeds all the averages, it also exceeds the hourly
compensation for each an everyone of the seven proposed
comparator counties" (E's brief, pg. 10) . With few exceptions,
all permutations of years of service and education level, the
County's offer is above average. The offer of 80% rather than
100% of the CPI is both fair and reasonable as it results in
above-average wages while, at the same time, accounting for the
significant contributions the County makes to employee's health
insurance costs. The factor of 80% is consistent with the
negotiated 2003-2005 labor contract. Additionally, arbitrators
have previously held that less than the full CPI increase is
reasonable where employer contributions protect the employee from
fluctuations in the CPI, as is the present case with rising
healthcare costs.

Award               APPENDIX A - WAGES
                                  Effective January 1, 2006, all salaries
                                  listed in Appendix A will receive a 4%
                                  increase above the 2005 level.
                                  
                                  Effective January 1, 2007, all
                                  classifications listed in Appendix A will
                                  receive a 3% increase above the 2007 level.
                                  
                                  Effective January 1, 2008, all
                                  classifications listed in Appendix A will be
                                  increased by 80% of the percentage increase
                                  in the CPI-W, U.S. City Average measured from
                                  June 2006 to June 2007.
                                  
                                  The above wage increases are fully
                                  retroactive with each bargaining unit member
                                  to receive additional compensation equal to
                                  the difference between what he or she has
                                  been paid and what he or she would have been
                                  paid under the above wage structure. In the
                                  event that a bargaining unit member would
                                  have received additional compensation
                                  (performed work after January 1, 2006) but
                                  for the fact that he or she left employment,
                                  the County will make a reasonable effort to
                                  locate the individual and provide whatever
                                  additional compensation is owing.

Arbitrator's Analysis: Most of the Parties arguments focus on
the issue of the appropriate comparators and, therefore, that is
where the Arbitrator's analysis will begin.

The Arbitrator finds that Benton, Skagit, Grant, Lewis and Grays
Harbor are the appropriate comparators for Cowlitz County. In
arriving at this conclusion he agrees with the Guild that it is
the logic of the Michael Beck decision (Employer #9) more than
the results that are important.

On the other hand, the Arbitrator agrees with the Employer's
conclusion that Island County is not a good comparator. The
first point that led to this conclusion includes the fact that
Island County is immediately adjacent to King County,
Washington's largest population center including the cities of
Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond. Cowlitz County and the other
comparators do not share this relationship; none of them are
immediately adjacent to a major metropolitan area. The second
point of importance is the fact that the major employer in Island
County is the Federal Government by way of the Whidbey Island
Naval Air Station (Employer #23), a fact which also has an impact
on the economic conditions of the county. Moreover, a review of
the data provided by the Guild shows a substantial difference
between Island County and the other comparators including Cowlitz
County when looking at total taxes due compared to assessed value
(divide assessed value by total taxes due) -- .000775 for Island
County to -00169 for the 6 County average (Guild # 7 ) .
Ultimately, it is the Arbitrator's conclusion that Island County,
while a good comparator in terms of population size, is a poor
comparator when considering economic factors.

As to the choice of Grays Harbor County, the Parties have
traditionally used five comparators which included Grays Harbor.
Also, Grays Harbor is part of the set of five that are the
closest in population size to Cowlitz County (leaving out Island
County); two larger and three smaller. Moreover, Lewis County is
immediately adjacent with Cowlitz County and Grays Harbor
immediately adjacent to Lewis County. Geographic proximity
combined with similar population size makes Grays Harbor County a
logical addition to the other four.

Having determined the five comparators, the Arbitrator is now
left with the difficult task of determining what those
comparators actually show. The key question is how the
compensation provided by Cowlitz County to this bargaining unit
stacks up against the compensation provided by the comparators.
Compensation is provided in many forms which makes the
mathematics of a comparison challenging. A significant point of
disagreement between the Parties involves whether The Employer's
contributions to medical insurance ought be included in the
comparison; the Employer says no and the Guild says yes.

The Arbitrator is in agreement with the Union on this point. The
medical insurance premium is a major part of an employee's
compensation. While a precise comparison is difficult since
medical insurance takes many forms and at numerous cost
structures(fn:1), as the Employer argues, it is the Arbitrator's
conclusion that the disadvantages of not including it are greater
than the problems around the preciseness of the comparison.
________________
fn:1      For example, the Evidence indicates that Cowlitz County has fourteen
different insurance packages all of which have been different price tag.
Thus, how do you arrive at a single number to be used for comparison purposes?
Ultimately the choice was simply to use the Employer's maximum contribution; a
good choice but certainly not without its inaccuracies.


In the final analysis, the Arbitrator chose to use Guild exhibit
10 to make a final determination. However, he made two
modifications: 1) substitute Grays Harbor County for Island
County, 2) use the figure $86.26 instead of $406.97 for Cowlitz
County under the column InsER. A look at Employer exhibit 33
indicates that the largest contribution by an employee for
medical insurance in 2006 was $86.26. Since no employee ever
contributed towards medical insurance a figure anywhere close to
$406.96, it is the Arbitrator's conclusion that the data needed
to be adjusted to what was actually happening.

The Arbitrator further concludes that when the above adjustments
are made, the gap between compensation in Cowlitz County and
comparator compensation is substantially narrowed. For example,
on the page for five years of service the adjusted base for
Cowlitz County is not $5448.65 but rather $5770.36 (Guild # ) .

In the final analysis the Arbitrator finds that there is some
lack of comparability at the higher levels of the salary schedule
and based on this conclusion he is awarding a 4% increase for
2006. The 3% that is awarded for 2007 is a "keeping pace" figure
based on projections with regard to the comparators and cost of
living.

As to 2008 wages, the Arbitrator is convinced by Employer
arguments that the 80% figure applied to the cost of living is
both consistent with past practice and reasonable given a $50.00
increase in the Employer's contribution towards medical
insurance.

Finally, the Arbitrator is in agreement with the Unionfs
arguments with regard to full retroactive pay both for employees
on the current payroll and for those who have separated from
service since January 1, 2006 - the effective date of the
collective bargaining agreement.

          ISSUE II: ARTICLE 4 - HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME
Article 4.1

Current Language:    Hours of work - Patrol - Patrol employees
                    shall work ten (10) hour shifts. The work
                    shifts shall be 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. for
                    day shift patrol. The work shifts for night
                    shift patrol shall be 5:00 p.m. t o 3:00 a.m.
                    or 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Sergeants shall
                    work either 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for day
                    shift or 4:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. for night
                    shift. The workweek is defined as Sunday
                    through Saturday. Patrol shall work;
     
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off;
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off;
                    four (4) days on then four (4) days off;
                    six (6) days on then four (4) days off;
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off;
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off;
                    Four (4) days on then six (6) days off
     
                    After two ( 2 ) complete cycles, a day shift to
                    night shift & night shift to day shift
                    rotation will occur at the end of the six
                    days off.

County's Proposal:   Hours of Work - Patrol - Patrol employees
                    shall work ten (10) hour shifts. The work
                    shifts may be 6:00 a.m. t o 4:00 p.m., 8:00
                    a.m. t o 6:00 p.m., 10:OO a.m. t o 8:00 p.m.
                    for day shift patrol. The work shifts for
                    night shift patrol may be 5 p.m. t o 3:00 a.m.
                    or 8:00 p.m. t o 6:00 a.m. Sergeants may work
                    either 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. for day shift
                    or 4:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. for night shift.
                    The workweek is defined as Sunday through
                    Saturday. Patrol may work:

                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off
                    four (4) days on then four (4) days off
                    six (6) days on then four (4) days off
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off
                    four (4) days on then three (3) days off
                    four (4) days on then six (6) days off
                    
                    The 2001 calendar is attached to this
                    Agreement as Appendix C
                    
                    After two (2) complete cycles, a day shift to
                    night shift & night shift to dayshift
                    rotation, will occur at the end of the six
                    days off.

Guild's Proposal:   No change.

County's Position:  The County proposes language which would give
the Sheriff additional flexibility in making schedule changes.
Capitan Nelson's undisputed testimony is that the present
situation is problematic. Existing restrictions on schedule
changes create staffing shortages at peak times and at special
projects. Unnecessary overtime is created when the County calls
people in early or holds them late to deal with emergency
staffing needs. Sergeants on the front lines are made to handle
the additional burden of calling in employees. The Countyfs
proposal alleviates all of these problems.

Guild's Position:   Adopting the County's language would have a
severe impact on the lives of the employees through complete
destabilization to their schedules. By changing the word "shall"
to "may", the Sheriff could create shifts with irregular start
times, require split shifts, or alter the work week, which is
currently defined in Article 4.1. "It would basically eliminate
any scheduling protection whatsoever. As such, the County bears
the burden of proof" (U's brief, pg. 26). The Guild believes
that the County fails to meet its burden due to lack of
compelling evidence. The County has not shown that calls have
gone unanswered or that moving Deputies would solve any serious
problems. At the same time, moving one employee to cover a hole
in the schedule creates a hole elsewhere. The County failed to
show that the significant change to the employeesf conditions of
employment would have a positive result on law enforcement. As
such, the change is not warranted.

Article 4.2

Current Language:   Except by mutual consent, employees assigned
                    to non patrol positions shall work 7:00 a.m.
                    to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday or
                    Tuesday through Friday. Provided mountain
                    patrol will work Thursday through Sunday
                    except by mutual agreement. The task force
                    deputy will work Monday through Friday 2:00
                    p.m. through 10:OO p.m. except by mutual
                    consent. In order to equalize hours of work
                    with patrol an average calculation of the
                    annual hours of work will occur. This number
                    of hours will be calculated by averaging the
                    number of hours of scheduled for patrol teams
                    AC and BD, then adjusting the hours of non
                    patrol personnel to match that average. Non
                    patrol personnel by January lSt will submit a
                    schedule of desired days off to their
                    sergeant for approval. Once approved the
                    schedules will be submitted to the Sheriff's
                    administration. Such days off must be used
                    within the quarter scheduled (January -
                    March, April -June, July-September, October-
                    December). The adjusted days off may be used
                    at anytime within the quarter earned.
                    However, if an assignment change occurs any
                    extra days used and not yet earned will be
                    deducted from the employee's vacation
                    account, compensatory account, or result in
                    loss of pay if no time off balances are
                    present. These extra days off may be moved
                    within the calendar quarter by mutual
                    consent. Such movement shall not create any
                    overtime nor cause the employee any loss of
                    pay or benefit. If unused days off exist
                    during the last two weeks of the quarter, the
                    employee must use them or lose them. Such
                    loss will not generate compensatory time or
                    overtime. An extension of extra days into
                    the next quarter may be granted with
                    administrative approval. The DARE deputy
                    shall be allowed to place his/her extra days
                    off at mutually agreed dates throughout the
                    entire year.

County's Proposal:  Except by mutual consent, of the employee and
                    administration, employees assigned to non
                    patrol or special patrol assignment (e.g: E
                    Team) may work 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday
                    through Thursday or Tuesday through Friday.
                    The task force deputy will work Monday
                    through Friday 2:00 p.m. through 10:OO p.m.
                    except by mutual consent. In order to
                    equalize hours of work with patrol an average
                    calculation of the annual hours of work will
                    occur. This number of hours will be
                    calculated by averaging the number of hours
                    of scheduled for patrol teams AC and BD, then
                    adjusting the hours of non patrol personnel
                    to match that average. Non patrol personnel
                    by January lSt will submit a schedule of
                    desired days off to their sergeant for
                    approval. Once approved the schedules will
                    be submitted to the Sheriff's administration.
                    Such days off must be used within the quarter
                    scheduled (January - March, April -Junef
                    July-September, October-December). The
                    adjusted days off may be used at anytime
                    within the quarter earned. However, if an
                    assignment change occurs any extra days used
                    and not yet earned will be deducted from the
                    employee's vacation account, compensatory
                    account, or result in loss of pay if no time
                    off balances are present. These extra days
                    off may be mobbed within the calendar quarter
                    by mutual consent. Such movement shall not
                    create any overtime nor cause the employee
                    any loss of pay or benefit. If unused days
                    off exist during the last two weeks of the
                    quarter, the employee must use them or lose
                    them. Such loss will not generate
                    compensatory time or overtime. An extension
                    of extra days into the next quarter may be
                    granted with administrative approval. The
                    DARE deputy shall be allowed to place his/her
                    extra days off at mutually agreed dates
                    throughout the entire year. The Sheriff
                    shall establish work schedules and hours of
                    work for deputies, who are paid fully or in
                    part, through an agreement with any
                    government agency, governmental department,
                    or private entity in order to fulfill
                    contractual obligations.

Guild's Proposal:   No Change

County's Position: See County's Position for Article 4.1.

Guild's Position:   The County's proposed changed from "shall" to
"may" is a drastic change in the present practice which is not
justified by the evidence presented. What has been shown is that
whenever the need arose to adjust an employee's schedule for a
specific purpose, that individual has been agreeable. Likewise,
whenever the County has reached agreements for privately or
governmentally funded positions, the Guild has been agreeable to
entering into the appropriate MOU for scheduling. "In fact it
appears that all of the Counties Article 4 provisions are
intended to punish the Guild for going to Arbitration over wages.
That is the County has presented no evidence of an operational
necessity for such a radical change in the accepted practice" (p.
29, U's brief).

Article 4.7

Current Language:   Training Days. Every effort will be made to
                    schedule training at least (14) fourteen or
                    more days in advance of occurring. Training
                    which is posted (14) fourteen or more days
                    before it occurs shall be considered the
                    employee's assigned shift for that day. If
                    such scheduled training is cancelled within
                    (14) fourteen days of occurring and no other
                    training is substituted, the employee has the
                    option, with approval of affected
                    supervisors, of either working the scheduled
                    training hours for that day (usually 077-
                    1700) or move back to their regular shift
                    hours.

County's Proposal:  Notification of training shall be made at
                    least by the end of the employees regularly
                    scheduled workweek, prior to training.
                    Training in which posting or other
                    notification was made by the end of the
                    employees regularly scheduled work week shall
                    be considered the employee's assigned shift
                    for that day. The Sheriff shall determine
                    the days and hours of such training. If the
                    scheduled training is cancelled after the end
                    of the employees last regularly scheduled
                    workweek, and no other training is
                    substituted, the employee shall work their
                    regular shift hours.

Guild's Proposal:   No Change.

County's Position:  The Employer's basic position is that the
                    above change is operationally effective since
                    it provides that employees will work their
                    regular shifts when a training activity is
                    cancelled and thus allows the Employer to
                    avoid having to arrange for substitute
                    activity.

Guild's Position:   The schedule set forth in Article 4.1
                    provides for overlap days, Thursdays, which
                    are typically used for training. The
                    County's proposed language would eliminate
                    the option for employees to stay on their
                    scheduled shift when occasionally training
                    does not take place. The County's concern,
                    that everyone would elect to stay, is
                    baseless. Once again, the County is
                    proposing a change without any evidence to
                    support the need to change the status quo.

Article 4.9

Current Language:   None

Guild's Position:   Green-time. Employees shall be allowed a
                    rest period of eight (8) hours from the time
                    they are released from any type of work
                    related assignment to the start of their
                    shift without loss of any paid time.

County's Proposal:  No change

Guild's Position:   The purpose for providing Deputies with eight
hours of free time between work activities is clear: to provide
adequate rest. The dangers and demands of law enforcement are
made more strenuous by sleep deprivation and on-the-job
exhaustion. Common sense as well as scientific studies tell us
that our, as well as our deputiesf, judgment is significantly
impaired by lack of rest. At the present time the only option
available to a Deputy who is too tired to work is to use vacation
time or sick leave. The County does not believe that mere
fatigue warrants the use of sick leave. The question then
becomes should a Deputy Sheriff have to burn their vacation or
compensatory time in order to insure that they get adequate rest,
when the reason that they are tired, is that they were performing
work for the employer" (Uf s brief, pg. 25) .

County's Position:  The novel "green time" proposal would mean
that the County would pay employees for time that they do not
work. The justification for this proposal is that it would
increase safety and performance. However, the Guild has
presented no evidence to the effect that fatigue is a salient
problem for Cowlitz County Deputies recently. None of the
comparator counties have such a provision. "The Guild has not
met its burden of persuading the Arbitrator that there is an
actual problem to be remedied, or that a novel green time
allowance would be a reasonable and appropriate remedy" (p. 34
E's brief).

Award               ARTICLE 4 - HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME

                    The Arbitrator directs the Parties to
                    maintain the language found in the prior
                    agreement on Articles 4.1, 4.2 and 4.7.
                    
                    The Arbitrator does not grant the Union's
                    request for a new provision on "Green Time"

Arbitrator's Analysis:   Most of the Parties arguments focus on
the desire of the Employer to substitute the word "may" for the
word "will." While the Employer raises some reasonable arguments
around staffing needs and the realities of a small department, in
the Arbitrator's view the proposed change is seriously flawed.
The primary problem with the proposal is that it makes the
language meaningless. When the language reads that employees
will have a certain schedule it means that the employees know
when they will be working. When the language is changed to say
that the employees may work a schedule it provides the
possibility of when work will be done but leaves open the fact
that the employees may also work any number of other
alternatives. If the Sheriff is to be permitted to set and reset
the schedule at any time, then there is no reason to have the
language in the agreement. The Arbitrator does not believe that
this is the Employer's purpose but it is the outcome of the
proposed change in language; no restrictions on the setting and
resetting of the schedule. Thus the Employer's proposal is
rejected by the Arbitrator.

The Union's Green-time proposal is intriguing, appears to have
some merit and is not supported by the comparables. While the
Arbitrator basically agrees with the Union that an officer needs
eight hours for rest between active duty assignments, he cannot
support the proposed language as it places the Employer in the
position of paying employees for not reporting to work. If there
is a continuing problem around the issue of too little sleep,
then there must be a better answer than the Union's proposal.
The Arbitrator urges the Parties to continue to study the
problem.

                   ISSUE III: ARTICLE 6 - VACATIONS

Article 6.4

Current Language:   Vacation leave shall accumulate to a total of
                    two hundred forty-eight (248) hours, after
                    which time, if no leave is taken, no
                    additional leave shall be credited. That is,
                    an employee at no time shall have more than
                    two hundred forty-eight (248) hours of
                    accumulated vacation leave due, unless
                    extended by the Employer.

Guild's Proposal:   Vacation leave shall accumulate to a total of
                    three hundred (300) hours, after which time,
                    if no leave is taken, no additional leave
                    shall be credited. That is, an employee at
                    no time shall have more than three hundred
                    (300) hours of accumulated vacation leave
                    due, unless extended by the Employer.

County's Proposal:  No change.

Guild's Position:   "The Guilds proposal for increase in the
                    vacation accumulation is supported by an
                    analysis of the comparable jurisdictions. As
                    Exhibit G-14 obtained reflects, Cowlitz
                    County is 57.2% behind the comparable
                    jurisdictions in vacation and holiday hours"
                    (U's brief, pg. 30).

County's Position:  The Guild proposed on average a 19.7%
                    increase in vacation hours per month without -
                    any economic or performance rational for
                    support. The County does not propose any
                    change to the vacation schedule because it is
                    already meeting its goal of being "in the
                    middle of the pack" with regard to comparator
                    counties. "The Guild has not shown that its
                    membersf vacation is inadequate or below
                    average for any of the comparators, whether
                    proposed by the Guild or by the County.
                    Taking into account the actual scheduled
                    hours of work per month, monthly vacation
                    hours, and monthly holiday hours, the
                    benchmark County deputy [works less] " (E's
                    brief, pg. 34).

6.7
Current Language:   The provisions of this Article are not
                    applicable to persons regularly working less
                    than twenty-one (21) hours per week, or to
                    persons in temporary, intermittent, or
                    occasional employment status.

                              BONUS LEAVE

Section 1
     Bonus vacation days shall be granted to the employees and
credited to their account on the anniversary date of employment
and in accordance with the vacation schedule shown below.

                             VACATION SCHEDULE 

Number of Years
of Employment
Completed
Vacation Hrs
Earned
Bonus Hours Total Hours of
Vacation Earned
Per Year
1 96 8 104
2 96 16 112
3 96 32 128
4 96 32 128
5 96 40 136
6 96 40 136
7 96 40 136
8 96 40 136
9 96 40 136
10 96 48 144
11 96 56 152
12 96 64 160
13 96 64 160
14 96 72 168
15 96 72 168
16 96 80 176
17 96 80 176
18 & over 96 88 184
       
It is understood that a vacation day is eight (8) hours pay or leave, whichever is applicable. In one year the minimum accrual is 104 hours per year, maximum accrual is 184 hours. Guild's Proposal: The provisions of this Article are not applicable to persons regularly working less than twenty-one (21) hours per week, or to persons in temporary, intermittent, or occasional employment status. BONUS LEAVE Section 1 Bonus vacation days shall be granted to the employees and credited to their account on the anniversary date of employment and in accordance with the vacation schedule shown below. VACATION SCHEDULE
Number of Years
of Employment
Completed
Vacation Hrs
Earned
Bonus Hours Total Hours of
Vacation Earned
Per Year
1 126 8 134
2 126 16 142
3 126 32 158
4 126 32 166
5 126 40 166
6 126 40 166
7 126 40 166
8 126 40 166
9 126 40 166
10 126 48 174
11 126 56 182
12 126 64 190
13 126 64 190
14 126 72 198
15 126 72 198
16 126 80 206
17 126 80 206
18 & over 126 88 214
       
It is understood that a vacation day is eight (8) hours pay or leave, whichever is applicable. In one year the minimum accrual is 104 hours per year, maximum accrual is 184 hours. County's Proposal: No change. Guild's Position: See Guild's Position for Article 6.4. County's Position: See County's Position for Article 6.4. Award ARTICLE 6 - VACATIONS The Arbitrator directs the Parties to maintain the language found in the prior agreement on Articles 6.4, and 6.7. Arbitrator's Analysis: The Guild calls for a significant increase in the accrual limit for vacation hours and in the number of annual vacation hours. The Union found support for their position in the comparators. The Employer argues that the Guild's data is flawed and that the current vacation benefit is the average for the comparators. The Arbitrator used Guild exhibit 14 to complete his analysis on this issue. First, working in the column labeled Vac-Hrs Enf, the Arbitrator changed the 19.33 for Grant County to 11.33. The Arbitrator is convinced by Employer rebuttal evidence that the 11.33 is the correct number. Second, the Arbitrator used the figure from Grays Harbor County (11.33) instead of Island County (12.00). These two changes create a new market average of 11.00 Cowlitz County is currently above the average (11.33) and thus the Arbitrator agrees with the Employer that no improvement is warranted. ISSUE IV: ARTICLE 8 - SICK LEAVE Article 8.8 Current Language: An employee separated from County service due to death, retirement, or termination short of retirement age shall be compensated for accrued and unused sick leave at the following rate: twenty percent (20%) up through ten (10) years; forty percent (40%) eleven (11) years through nineteen (19) years; sixty percent (60%) twenty (20) years and over. County's Proposal: An employee separated from County service due to death, retirement, or termination short of retirement age shall be compensated for accrued and unused sick leave at the following rate: Fifty (50%) percent of his/her accumulated sick leave to a maximum of three hundred and sixty (360) hours. Guild's Proposal: No change. County's Position: The County's reason for changing the sick leave cash out policy is to promote internal parity. Most of the County's other employees can cash out 50% of their sick leave up to 360 hours, while the Deputies are currently able to cash out on a sliding scale. Depending on the situation of an employee, the effects of the County's proposal may be negligible or even positive. Guild's Position: The County is proposing a significant change in a negotiated benefit, and this without any economic justification. Sick leave cash out is a crucial part of some employeesf retirement strategy. Those with the greatest longevity stand to lose the most. For example, Deputy Dave Smith, would lose the equivalent of approximately six thousand dollars. "The County bears the burden of proof, it is incumbent upon the County to present some form of justification before an economic hardship of this nature is placed upon Deputy Smith. The County has failed to meet that burden" (p. 31, U's brief). Award ARTICLE 8 - SICK LEAVE The Arbitrator directs the Parties to maintain the language found in the prior agreement on Article 8.8. Arbitrator's Analysis: The Employer's proposed language changes modify an existing benefit in two ways. First, it limits sick leave accrual to 360 hours. Second, under the current agreement there is a sliding scale for cash out of unused sick leave upon leaving employment with County. The proposed change eliminates the sliding scale and substitutes a 50% cash out. As the Union argues, this is potentially a significant change for senior employees which could amount to the loss of several thousand dollars in a negotiated benefit. While the Arbitrator can find some merit in the Employer's equitable treatment of employees argument, ultimately he is not persuaded that this concern is sufficient to take away a significant portion of the existing benefit for senior employees. What is primarily missing in the Employer's evidence is the actual impact on the bargaining unit of the change and evidence that the negative consequences would be minimal in light of the overall impact on the whole bargaining unit. Thus the Arbitrator agrees with the Guild and does not award the Employer's proposed language change. ISSUE V: ARTICLE 14 - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE Article 14.1 Current Language: Any dispute that might arise over the application or interpretation of any article of this agreement shall be handled as follows. County's Proposal: Any dispute that might arise over the application or interpretation of any article of this agreement shall be handled as follows. Any grievable action or potentially grievable action shall be preceded by a good faith effort on the part of the Guild and the Sheriff to establish the basic facts of the event, and the Parties shall meet within fourteen (14) calendar days after knowledge of the event giving rise to the grievable action or potentially grievable action to attempt a settlement prior to the formal filing of a grievance. Guild' s Proposal: No change Guild's Position: See Guild's Position for Article 14.2. County's Position: See County's Position for Article 14.2. Article 14.2 Current Language: All disputes must be stated in writing and shall include the following information: 1. Statement of grievance and relevant facts. 2. Specific provisions of this contract alleged to have been violated. 3. Remedy sought. STEP 1 The dispute in the above form then shall be taken up between the designated representative of the Sheriff, the employee and the Guild representative within seven (7) calendar days after knowledge of occurrence of grievance. The Parties then have seven days, from the date the grievance was received by the Administration, in which to attempt settlement of the dispute. If no agreement is reached the employee and Guild representative may proceed to step 2. The employee and Guild representative have seven (7) calendar days, from the date of the step 1 impasse, to present written notice with the Sheriff or designated representative of their intent to proceed to step 2. STEP 2 The Sheriff and the Guild representative have fourteen (14) calendar days, from the date step 2 written notice was received, to attempt settlement of this dispute. If no agreement is reached the employee and Guild representative may proceed to step 3. The employee and the Guild representative have seven (7) calendar days, from the date of the step 2 impasse, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County Commissioners and the Director of Personnel of their intent to proceed to step 3, along with all the material described in 14.2 STEP 3 The county Commissioners have fourteen (14) calendar days, from the date step 3 written notice was received, to attempt settlement of this dispute. If no agreement is reached the employee and the Guild representative may proceed to step 4. The employee and the Guild representative have seven calendar days, from the date of the step 3 impasse, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County Civil Service Commission or FMCS for arbitration. Step 3 may be waived if the dispute has no budgetary/monetary impact. STEP 4 The employee and Guild representative will submit the dispute to either the Cowlitz County Civil Service Commission or an Arbitrator selected from FMCS at the preference of the employee. Any or all time lines may be waived by mutual consent of the parties. County's Proposal: All disputes must be stated in writing and shall include the following information: 1. Statement of grievance and relevant facts. 2. Specific provisions of this contract alleged to have been violated. 3. Remedy sought. STEP 1 The dispute in the above form then shall be taken up between the Sheriff or a designated representative of the Sheriff, the employee and the Guild representative within fourteen (14) calendar days after knowledge of occurrence of grievance. The Parties then have seven days, from the date the grievance was received by the Administration, in which to attempt settlement of the dispute. If no agreement is reached the employee and Guild representative may proceed to step 2. The employee and Guild representative have seven (7) calendar days, from the date of the step 1 impasse, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County Commissioners and the Director of Personnel of their intent to proceed to step 2. STEP 2 If the grievance is not resolved at Step 1, and unless the County and the Guild agree otherwise, the Guild shall schedule a meeting to discuss the grievance with the Board of County commissioners at a mutually agreed upon date and time and the Board shall respond in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the meeting. The guild has seven calendar days, from the date of the step 2 written response, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County civil Service Commission or FMCS for arbitration. STEP 3 The employee and Guild representative will submit the dispute to either the Cowlitz County Civil Service Commission or an Arbitrator selected from FMCS at the preference of the employee. Any or all time lines and steps may be waived by mutual consent of the parties. Guild's Proposal: No change. County's Position: The County's proposal for Article 14 adds an initial step to encourage settlement of the issue before the filing of a grievance takes place. This step consists of a meeting between the Guild and the Sheriff, to take place within fourteen days of knowledge of the grievable event, and with the aim of establishing basic facts. It is in no way the intent of the County that this step should preclude the filing of grievances. The Partiesf grievance and arbitration history, in which few grievances have been filed and only three proceeded to arbitration since 2003, supports the conclusion that pregrievance resolution is an important avenue and needs to be encouraged. If a grievance is not resolved at Step 1, the Guild could schedule a meeting with the County Commissioners, who would issue a response within 14 days of the meeting. The Guild wishes to impose a strict deadline on the Commissioners of holding the meeting within 14 days. The County believes it is important to grant the Commissioners more flexibility in that regard because, in the words of witness Mr. Zdilar, the Commissioners are "the ones who have to pay the bills" (Tr. 187). The County summarizes its argument as follows: "[the County's proposals] will help foster collaborative investigation and resolution of differences before they arise to the level of formal grievances. The County's proposal also helps to preserve the important step of review by the County Commissioners by making that part of the grievance timeline more flexible" (E's brief, pg. 30). Guild's Position: The Guild's opposes the County's proposals for Article 14. "The effect of the County's proposal is to create an unworkable situation in which one, its next to impossible to file a Step 1 grievance, and even if the grievance is filed the County then can sit on it at Step 2 until basically it's the end of the world" (U's brief, pg. 32) The pre-grievance step proposed by the County would effectively preclude the filing of grievances due to conflicting contract language. The County wishes to add language requiring the Parties to meet within fourteen days of the knowledge of the grievable event, while retaining language according to which the grievance itself must be filed within seven days of the event. Those seven days run out while the Parties are establishing the facts. If the County intends for the seven days to file to run after the expiration of the fact-establishing fourteen days, that would amount to a twenty-one deadline for the filing of grievances. This is precisely what the Union proposes, but in a much more straightforward manner, without creating conflicting language. The Guild supports the County's move to require a meeting with the Commissioners at Step 2 of the grievance procedure. However, the Guild also feels that, in order to prevent the grievances from dragging on indefinitely, it is important to specify a time frame within which the meeting is to take place. Under the Guild's proposal, the Sheriff would have fourteen days to respond to the filing of a grievance, after which time the Guild would have seven days to move the matter to the Commissioners and they would have fourteen days to respond. The Guild indicates that it would also be agreeable to a compromise "For instance setting a meeting date within fourteen days, the meeting to be held within twenty-eight days, and the Board of Commissioners to respond within fourteen days after the meeting. While this compromise would add some length to the grievance process, it has the advantage of meeting the County's desires while at the same time providing a relatively expeditious process" (Ufs brief, pg. 33). Award ARTICLE 14 - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE Article 14.1 Any dispute that might arise over the application or interpretation of any article of this agreement shall be handled as follows. Any grievable action or potentially grievable action shall be preceded by a good faith effort on the part of the Guild and the Sheriff to establish the basic facts of the event, and the Parties shall meet within fourteen (14) calendar days after knowledge of the event giving rise to the grievable action or potentially grievable action to attempt a settlement prior to the formal filing of a grievance. Article 14.2 If the Parties are unable to resolve the matter informally per Article 14.1, then the dispute must be stated in writing and shall include the following information: 1. Statement of grievance and relevant facts. 2. Specific provisions of this contract alleged to have been violated. 3. Remedy sought. STEP 1 The dispute in the above form then shall be taken up between the Sheriff or the designated representative of the Sheriff, the employee and the Guild representative within seven (7) calendar days after the close of the informal dispute resolution process called for in Article 14.1. The Parties then have seven days, from the date the written grievance was received by the Administration, in which to attempt settlement of the dispute. If no agreement is reached the employee and Guild representative may proceed to step 2. The employee and Guild representative have seven (7) calendar days, from the date of the step 1 impasse, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County Commissioners and the Director of Personnel of their intent to proceed to step 2. STEP 2 If the grievance is not resolved at Step 1, and unless the County and the Guild agree otherwise, within 14 days of the notice of the intent to proceed, the Guild shall schedule a meeting to discuss the grievance with the Board of County Commissioners; the meeting to be held within 28 days of the notice of the intent to proceed. The Board shall respond in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the meeting. The guild has seven calendar days, from the date of the step 2 written response, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County civil Service Commission or FMCS for arbitration. STEP 3 The employee and Guild representative will submit the dispute to either the Cowlitz County Civil Service Commission or an Arbitrator selected from FMCS at the preference of the employee. Any or all time lines may be waived by mutual consent of the parties. Arbitrator's Analysis: A close reading of the Guild's arguments and a thorough analysis of the Employer's proposed changes indicates that the major issue with the changes is the question of workability. For example, the Guild in its arguments proposes a compromise to make the language more workable. This indicates to the Arbitrator both that the Union is willing to consider the changes and that there may be ways to make the Employer's proposal more acceptable to the Guild. The Arbitrator has awarded language changes that should bridge the gap between the Guild and the Employer on this issue. ISSUE VI: ARTICLE 18 - SALARIES Article 18.2 Current Language: Entry and Lateral Employees. New deputies, who are not lateral entry deputies, shall start at step one, on the deputy pay scale, and shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the moth closest to their anniversary date. Lateral Entry Deputies: Qualified lateral entry applicants may be hired providing; (1) their office seniority starts with their first day of employment; (2) lateral entry deputies shall receive credit for placement in the pay scale on a year to year basis for each year of consecutive full time service as a law enforcement officer. Lateral Entry Employees shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the month closest to their anniversary date. County's Proposal: Entry and Lateral Employees. New deputies, who are not lateral entry deputies, shall start at step one, on the deputy pay scale, and shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the moth closest to their anniversary date. Lateral Entry Deputies: Qualified lateral entry applicants may be hired providing; (1) their office seniority starts with their first day of employment; (2) lateral entry deputies shall receive credit for placement in the pay scale on a year to year basis for each year of consecutive full time service as a law enforcement officer. Lateral Entry Employees shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the month closest to their anniversary date. For lateral entry employees advancement to step 10, step 11 and step 12 are discretionary steps with the Sheriff's approval based on the number of years of fulltime law enforcement employment (excludes reserve and volunteer time) verified by the Sheriff. Guild's Proposal: No change. County's Position: The Employer had little comment on this issue since the Guild indicated that it had little objection. Guild's Position: The Guild has no objection to this proposal. Article 18.3 Current Language: Out-of-Class Pay. In the event any employee is temporarily assigned to a sergeant's position, they shall be compensated for the sergeant's rate of pay. County's Proposal: Out-of-Class Pay. In the event any employee is temporarily assigned to a sergeant's position and supervises 2 or more FTEs, they shall be compensated for the sergeant's rate of pay. Guild's Proposal: No change. County's Position: The County's basic position is that it sees no reason to provide sergeants pay if an employee is not supervising other employees. I Guild's Position: Every day, between 3:OOa.m. and 7a.m. there are only two Deputies on Duty with no Sergeant. Currently, one of those Deputies necessarily becomes acting Sergeant and receives out of class pay. The County's proposal to limit out of class pay to those supervising two or more FTEfs simply takes away the acting Sergeant's pay, while still leaving him responsible for making the decisions. In effect, the County's proposal "would take away a significant benefit without the County providing any justification" (U's brief, pg. 33). Article 18.4 Current Language: When an employee is assigned by their supervisor and work as a Field Training Officer (FTO) for one day (minimum of eight hours in one duty) or more that employee will receive an additional 6% to base salary for each day they are assigned and work as a FTO. County's Proposal: When an employee is assigned by the Administration and works as a Field Training Officer (FTO) for one day (minimum of eight hours in one duty) or more that employee will receive an additional 6% to base salary for each day they are assigned and work as a FTO. Guild's Proposal: No change. County's Position: The change is needed to clarify who has the right to assign work that will result in higher level of compensation. Guild's Position: The County has no justification for making this change, supposedly meant to prevent Sergeants from assigning people as FTO's. The County could only point to one example of this happening and, as was made clear at the hearing, the individual assigned as an FTO was actually assigned by the Undersheriff, a member of the Administration. "While this change is not substantial, it is part of the County's continuing effort to find a solution in search of a problem. There is simply no problem" (U's brief, pg. 34) . Article 18.5 Current Language: None. Guild's Proposal: Employees will receive a premium of 4% of base pay for their regular work shift if they pass the WSCJTC Basic Academy physical fitness test on an annual basis. County's Proposal: No change. Guild's Position: The Guild believes that it has been well established that physical fitness is a fundamental component of effective Law Enforcement. Guild witnesses have testified that a fitness bonus would help motivate them to stay in good shape, necessary for the physically demanding aspects of police work. The Employer's objection that the test is difficult to administer is belied by the fact that the same test has been administered for years and the administrative apparatus is already in place. The Employer also makes the argument that the comparables do not provide for such an incentive. The Guild believes that better law enforcement would result from the Guild's proposal and therefore Cowlitz County should be the first to offer it. County's Position: The County believes that the Guild has failed to demonstrate a need for the physical fitness bonus, which proposal is flawed in other ways. "[Tlhe Guild has not offered persuasive evidence that the physical fitness of its members is inadequate, or that offering a physical fitness bonus would remedy this hypothetical deficit" (Efs brief, pg. 32). Additionally, the proposal is "unworkably vague" in the details of how the test would be administered or how allowances for injuries etc. are to be made. None of the comparator counties pay a physical fitness premium. Article 18.6 Current Language: None. Guild's Proposal: The following premiums will be paid to those who have achieved the following: 2% of base wage to those who have a AA degree or 90 college credits; 4% of base wage to those who have a Bachelors degree; 6% of base wage to those who have a masters degree County's Proposal: No change. Guild's Position: "Both the research and the experience is overwhelming in support of college education in Law Enforcement" (U's brief, pg. 21). The Guild cites Exhibits 19 and 39 as providing a demonstration of the link between a higher education and more effective Law Enforcement, including effects such as reduction in citizen complaint rates, reduction in corruption, superior performance, reduction in injuries, and reduction in number of work days missed. All of the comparables selected by the Parties provide an education incentive except for Island and Clallam Counties. County's Position: The County is not willing to agree to the education incentive because it finds that its compensation is already above average. The County opposes the Guild's proposal on the grounds that the education incentive is redundant and on the grounds that the Guild has not been able to show that an education incentive would significantly impact the Deputy's performance. There is already language in the contract which provides for step increases for members based on years of service. The effect of the Guild's proposal would be to award the average deputy (who already holds an AA) a bonus on top of the existing longevity pay, without requiring him to take any additional coursework. If a deputy did chose to pursue a higher education, under the Guild's proposal he would be compensated even if his courses were entirely irrelevant to law enforcement. The County believes that the link between higher education and improved performance has not been established by the evidence on the record. And, in the County's experience, no adverse effects have resulted from the sheriff's Department's elimination of a requirement that employees have an AA a few years ago. "The existing longevity provision in the contract already has much the same effect as the Guild's proposed education bonus. Nor has the Guild demonstrated any actual deficit in member's performance, recruitment, or retention that might be remedied by an education bonus" (E's brief, pg. 32) Award Article 18 - SALARIES Article 18.2 Entry and Lateral Employees. New deputies, who are not lateral entry deputies, shall start at step one, on the deputy pay scale, and shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the moth closest to their anniversary date. Lateral Entry Deputies: Qualified lateral entry applicants may be hired providing; (1) their office seniority starts with their first day of employment; (2) lateral entry deputies shall receive credit for placement in the pay scale on a year to year basis for each year of consecutive full time service as a law enforcement officer. Lateral Entry Employees shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the month closest to their anniversary date. For lateral entry employees advancement to step 10, step 11 and step 12 are discretionary steps with the Sheriff's approval based on the number of years of fulltime law enforcement employment (excludes reserve and volunteer time) verified by the Sheriff. Article 18.3 Out-of-Class Pay In the event any employee is temporarily assigned to a sergeant's position, they shall be compensated for the sergeant's rate of Pay. Article 18.4 When an employee is assigned by their supervisor and work as a Field Training Officer (FTO) for one day (minimum of eight hours in one duty) or more that employee will receive an additional 6% to base salary for each day they are assigned and work as a FTO. Article 18.5 Guild's new provision on premium pay for physical fitness is not awarded. Article 18.6 Guild's new provision on a college degree premium pay is not awarded. Arbitrator's Analysis: The Arbitrator awarded the Employer's proposed new language on Article 18.2 primarily because it is reasonable on its face and was not specifically opposed by the Guild. The Arbitrator agreed with the position of the Guild on Article 18.3. The Employer did not present a persuasive case to change the existing language. Even with only one employee to supervise, the acting sergeant must do all the functions of the sergeant. On 18.4, the Arbitrator again agreed with the Guild. The Employer did not present any substantial reasons for the proposed modification. There were certainly no examples of abuses presented by the Employer under the existing language. Moreover, the simple fact is that employees receive their instructions from their supervisor. Thus the current language accurately reflects what happens in the field. The Arbitrator's response to the Guilds proposals on both Article 18.5 and Article 18.6 (premium pay) is no. But this response did not occur without some careful reflection. The Guild provided some persuasive argument as to the importance of promoting physical fitness and supporting the acquisition of a college degree by members of the bargaining unit. The difficulty in awarding the proposals was all in the comparators. While the Arbitrator can find two examples out of five of premium pay for college degrees (Employer #18 & 17), he found no examples of premium pay for passing a fitness test. The bottom line is that awarding premium pay provisions not found with the other comparators alters the mathematics of comparison. The Arbitrator has concluded that the award over all is comparable with the five chosen jurisdictions and therefore no adjustments need be made. ISSUE VII: APPENDIX B - UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT LIST (INITIAL LIST) Current Language: 3 pair of uniform pants (wash and wear) 3 long sleeve shirts (wash and wear) 3 short sleeve shirts (wash and wear) 1 DI hat and rain cover 1 Ackermanfs style Jumpsuit - summer wear 1 OC spray holder 1 key holder (basketweave)* 1 uniform holster (basketweave)* 1 concealable holster or fanny pack 1 baton ring or ASP Carrier (basketweave) 1 bullet proof vest - with two covers 1 shirt badge 1 I.D. case 4 belt Keepers (basketweave)* 1 buck knife and case (basketweave) 1 clipboard 1 raincoat or jacket - lined or unlined 2 single or 1 double handcuff case* 2 magazines and double magazine case* 1 tie tack 1 wooly pully v-neck sweater 1 uniform coat - gortex 3 ties 1 black watch cap with Sheriff on it 2 baseball caps/gortex, wool, or cotton with Sheriff on it 22 shoulder patches 4 cloth badges 1 hat badge 2 name plates 1 pair black shoes or boots 1 dress belt (basketweave) 1 flashlight ring* 1 baton or ASP* 2 pair handcuffs 1 gun belt (basketweave) 1 pair black uniform gloves 1 traffic template 1 radio holster *** 4 cloth name tapes 1 "stinger" flashlight (small rechargeable) with holder* 2 citation book holders *Deputies may choose nylon in lieu of basketweave where basketweave is designated but they must not mix basketweave and nylon items. **Newly assigned K-9 handlers and Mountain Patrol will receive (3) three good quality jumpsuits approved by the Sheriff. These shall include shoulder patches, cloth name tag, and cloth patch sewn on with no cost to deputy. ***If new hire elects leather, he/she shall use the issued holster. If nylon is selected, the county will furnish a nylon holster. Guild's Proposal: 3 pair of uniform pants (wash and wear) 3 long sleeve shirts (wash and wear) 3 short sleeve shirts (wash and wear) 1 D I hat and rain cover 1 Ackermanfs style Jumpsuit - summer wear 1 OC spray holder 1 key holder (basketweave)* 1 uniform holster (basketweave)* 1 concealable holster or fanny pack 1 baton ring or ASP Carrier (basketweave) 1 bullet proof vest - with two covers 1 shirt badge 1 I . D . case/badge 4 belt Keepers (basketweave)* 1 buck knife and case (basketweave) 1 clipboard 1 raincoat or jacket - lined or unlined 2 single or 1 double handcuff case* 2 magazines and double magazine case* 1 tie tack 1 wooly pully v-neck sweater 1 uniform coat - gortex 3 ties 1 black watch cap with Sheriff on it 2 baseball caps/gortex, wool, or cotton with Sheriff on it 22 shoulder patches 4 cloth badges 1 hat badge 2 name plates 1 pair black shoes or boots 1 dress belt (basketweave) 1 flashlight ring* 1 baton or ASP* 2 pair handcuffs 1 gun belt (basketweave) 1 pair black uniform gloves 1 traffic template 1 radio holster*** 4 cloth name tapes Interest Arbitration between Cowlitz County and Cowlitz County Deputies Guild: Page 48 1 "stinger" flashlight (small rechargeable) with holder* 2 citation book holders *Deputies may choose nylon in lieu of basketweave where basketweave is designated but they must not mix basketweave and nylon items. **Newly assigned K-9 handlers and Mountain Patrol will receive (3) three good quality jumpsuits approved by the Sheriff. These shall include shoulder patches, cloth name tag, and cloth patch sewn on with no cost to deputy. ***If new hire elects leather, he/she shall use the issued holster. If nylon is selected, the county will furnish a nylon holster. Each new hire will receive $900 to purchase: (a) a duty handgun from an approved list ($600), and (b) a back-up handgun ($300). Deputies and Sergeants hired prior to the approval of this agreement will receive $900 to cover the cost of personally owned handguns used in the line of duty that heretofore the County has required them to purchase at their own expense. County's Proposal: No change. Guild's Position: Weapons are very expensive and absolutely necessary. New hires and existing Deputies should not have to incur this expense, as the Employer is generally required to provide for necessary personal protective equipment. "This is a proposal that the Guild should not even have to make ... It boggles the mind to think that the County would not be willing to provide that necessary piece of equipment" (U's brief, pg. 34) County's Position: The Guild has not met its burden of demonstrating that a cash allowance for the purchase of guns is reasonable, nor has it provided sufficient information regarding comparable jurisdiction to make a convincing argument. According to the Guild, the following counties provide a service weapon: Benton, Grant, Lewis, and Skagit (Island County does not) . However, no specific details have been provided, as that information is generally not in the labor contracts, according to Guild witness Dana Bennett. For example, any of these counties may be providing one or more guns, rather than a cash allowance. Award APPENDIX B - UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT LIST The Arbitrator directs the Parties to add the following language to the other items on the uniform and equipment list found in Appendix B: Each new hire will receive $600 to purchase a duty handgun from an approved list. Deputies and Sergeants hired prior to the approval of this agreement will receive $600 to cover the cost of personally owned handguns used i n the line of duty that heretofore the County has required them to purchase at their own expense. Arbitrator's Analysis: Once again it is all about the comparables. No comparable in its labor agreement provided two handguns. Two comparables provided a handgun as a contractual requirement (Employer #s 16 & 17); one referenced equipment that was to be provided by the Employer from an equipment list but did not specify that the equipment included a handgun (Employer #17). Two comparables were absolutely silent as to uniforms and equipment (Employer #18 and Guild Resource Book -- Grants County). For two reasons the Arbitrator believes that the two silent contracts probably provided a handgun. The first is the testimony of Dana Bennett in which she indicated personal contact with the two silent comparators to determine whether they provided a handgun (Tr. p. 53) . Additionally, the fact that there is absolutely no provision whatsoever in a labor agreement covering deputies and detectives regarding uniforms and equipment strongly suggest that this issue is handled outside of the agreement. ISSUE VIII: NEW ARTICLE - PAYROLL DATES Current Language: None County's Proposal: The Guild recognizes that the County has the authority to change payroll dates. Guild's Proposal: No change. County's Position: At the present time, the County has four sets of payroll dates for its employees. The proposed Article would allow the County to make the system more efficient, by allowing for a single change so that all employees are paid on the same day. As Mr. Zdilar testified at hearing (Tr. 192), there is no intention to change the dates willy-nilly. "The County presented a simple, cogent reason why it should be allowed to change the payroll dates, as a step towards uniformity among its 11 bargaining units and unrepresented employees. The Guild has not shown that regularizing payroll dates will disadvantage any of its members" (Ef s brief, pg. 33) . Guild's Position: The Guild objects to the County's proposal on the grounds that the language is so unspecific, as to constitute a "blank check", granting the County freedom to change pay dates at whim. Because people arrange their daily lives and finances around when they receive wages, a change in payroll dates can be a significant disruption. The County lacks a plan for what date they want and they have not negotiated with other unions. "If the County is actually serious about consolidating pay dates, the Guild would suggest a better proposal would have been to have a re-opener so that once the County has finally developed a plan, they can negotiate with the Guild. That then would provide the Guild with the opportunity to protect its members from any dislocation that may occur as .a result of the change in pay dates. Absent any other specificity, the County has simply not carried its burden to justify any change in status quo" (U's brief, pg. 35). Award NEW ARTICLE - PAYROLL DATES The Arbitrator directs the Parties to place the following language under a new Article in the collective bargaining agreement: The Guild recognizes that the County has the authority to make one change of payroll dates during the term of this agreement so long as the change is made to standardize payroll dates for all employees. Arbitrator's Analysis: The Arbitrator finds the Employer's arguments persuasive but that the proposed language does not adequately protect employees. The Arbitrator awarded language that grants the Employer the right to standardize payroll dates while insuring employees that there will not be multiple changes. AWARD SUMMARY Issue I: APPENDIX A - WAGES Effective January 1, 2006, all salaries listed in Appendix A will receive a 4% increase above the 2005 level. Effective January 1, 2007, all classifications listed in Appendix A will receive a 3% increase above the 2007 level. Effective January 1, 2008, all classifications listed in Appendix A will be increased by 80% of the percentage increase in the CPI-W, U.S. City Average measured from June 2006 to June 2007. The above wage increases are fully retroactive with each bargaining unit member to receive additional compensation equal to the difference between what he or she has been paid and what he or she would have been paid under the above wage structure. In the event that a bargaining unit member would have received additional compensation (performed work after January 1, 2006) but for the fact that he or she left employment, the County will make a reasonable effort to locate the individual and provide whatever additional compensation is owing. Issue II ARTICLE 4 - HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME The Arbitrator directs the Parties to maintain the language found in the prior agreement on Articles 4.1, 4.2 and 4.7. The Arbitrator does not grant the Union's request for a new provision on "Green Time" Issue III ARTICLE 6 - VACATIONS The Arbitrator directs the Parties to maintain the language found in the prior agreement on Articles 6.4, and 6.7. Issue IV ARTICLE 8 - SICK LEAVE The Arbitrator directs the Parties to maintain the language found in the prior agreement on Article 8.8. Issue V ARTICLE 14 - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE Article 14.1 Any dispute that might arise over the application or interpretation of any article of this agreement shall be handled as follows. Any grievable action or potentially grievable action shall be preceded by a good faith effort on the part of the Guild and the Sheriff to establish the basic facts of the event, and the Parties shall meet within fourteen (14) calendar days after knowledge of the event giving rise to the grievable action or potentially grievable action to attempt a settlement prior to the formal filing of a grievance. Article 14.2 If the Parties are unable to resolve the matter informally per Article 14.1, then the dispute must be stated in writing and shall include the following information: 1. Statement of grievance and relevant facts. 2. Specific provisions of this contract alleged to have been violated. 3. Remedy sought. STEP 1 The dispute in the above form then shall be taken up between the Sheriff or the designated representative of the Sheriff, the employee and the Guild representative within seven (7) calendar days after the close of the informal dispute resolution process called for in Article 14.1. The Parties then have seven days, from the date the written grievance was received by the Administration, in which to attempt settlement of the dispute. If no agreement is reached the employee and Guild representative may proceed to step 2. The employee and Guild representative have seven (7) calendar days, from the date of the step 1 impasse, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County Commissioners and the Director of Personnel of their intent to proceed to step 2. STEP 2 If the grievance is not resolved at Step 1, and unless the County and the Guild agree otherwise, within 14 days of the notice of the intent to proceed, the Guild shall schedule a meeting to discuss the grievance with the Board of County Commissioners; the meeting to be held within 28 days of the notice of the intent to proceed. The Board shall respond in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date of the meeting. The guild has seven calendar days, from the date of the step 2 written response, to present written notice to the Cowlitz County civil Service Commission or FMCS for arbitration. STEP 3 The employee and Guild representative will submit the dispute to either the Cowlitz County Civil Service Commission or an Arbitrator selected from FMCS at the preference of the employee. Any or all time lines may be waived by mutual consent of the parties. Issue VI Article 18 - SALARIES Article 18.2 Entry and Lateral Employees. New deputies, who are not lateral entry deputies, shall start at step one, on the deputy pay scale, and shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the moth closest to their anniversary date. Lateral Entry Deputies: Qualified lateral entry applicants may be hired providing; (1) their office seniority starts with their first day of employment; (2) lateral entry deputies shall receive credit for placement in the pay scale on a year to year basis for each year of consecutive full time service as a law enforcement officer. Lateral Entry Employees shall advance to the next higher step on the first day of the month closest to their anniversary date. For lateral entry employees advancement to step 10, step 11 and step 12 are discretionary steps with the Sheriff's approval based on the number of years of fulltime law enforcement employment (excludes reserve and volunteer time) verified by the Sheriff. Article 18.3 Out-of-Class Pay In the event any employee is temporarily assigned to a sergeant's position, they shall be compensated for the sergeant's rate of Pay. Article 18.4 When an employee is assigned by their supervisor and work as a Field Training Officer (FTO) for one day (minimum of eight hours in one duty) or more that employee will receive an additional 6% to base salary for each day they are assigned and work as a FTO. Article 18.5 Guild's new provision on premium pay for physical fitness is not awarded. Article 18.6 Guild's new provision on a college degree premium pay is not awarded. Issue VII APPENDIX B - UNIFORM AND EQUIPMENT LIST The Arbitrator directs the Parties to add the following language to the other items on the uniform and equipment list found in Appendix B: Each new hire will receive $600 to purchase a duty handgun from an approved list. Deputies and Sergeants hired prior to the approval of this agreement will receive $600 to cover the cost of personally owned handguns used in the line of duty that heretofore the County has required them to purchase at their own expense. Issue VIII NEW ARTICLE - PAYROLL DATES The Arbitrator directs the Parties to place the following language under a new Article in the collective bargaining agreement: The Guild recognizes that the County has the authority to make one change of payroll dates during the term of this agreement so long as the change is made to standardize payroll dates for all employees. This interest award is respectfully given on the 22nd day of October, 2007 by, Timothy D. W. Williams Arbitrator