(The Center Square) – The Seattle City Council is addressing a staffing shortage within the Seattle City Attorney’s Office by approving a memorandum of agreement that increases the pay of assistant city prosecutors by 20%.
The city council voted 8-0 in favor of the ordinance on March 14. Earlier that day, staff members of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office said they were still working to fill staffing as it lost 12 prosecutors over the last two years. One of the biggest impacts the office cites is its ability to pay prosecutors a competitive salary.
According to the report presented to councilmembers, the salary range for a city prosecutor is approximately $81,000 to $110,000 – lower than six other Western Washington cities. This includes Tacoma, Auburn, Bellevue, Renton, SeaTac and Redmond. Between city prosecutors, public defenders and county prosecutors, Seattle city attorneys remain competitive with their salaries up until five years of experience where the average is around $100,000, according to the office’s report.
The ordinance approves an agreement between the city of Seattle and the Washington State Council of County and City Employees to increase wages for the Local 21-PA Assistant City Prosecutors bargaining unit. The city attorney’s office expects the 20% salary increases to bring the office closer aligned with other local jurisdictions’ salaries.
“This agreement will allow us to recruit and hire in order to fully staff our prosecutor positions in the criminal division,” City Attorney Ann Davison said in a statement. “Our prosecutors are the heart of our improved close-in-time filing and providing timely justice.”
The ordinance also appropriates $933,000, which represents the amount the city attorney’s office will need to fulfill the terms of the memorandum of understanding in 2023. The increased labor costs will be included in the city attorney’s office base budget in future years, as previously reported by The Center Square.
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