Employee News - April 10, 2019


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Executive Constantine discusses new labor agreement, importance of strong partnerships in article 

King County Executive Dow Constantine signed a new two-year Total Compensation Agreement this week with leaders of the King County Coalition of Unions representing nearly half of the County’s 14,000 employees, and penned an op-ed article in the Washington State Labor Council’s TheStand.org publication about the agreement. 

In the article the Executive talks about significance of the agreement, its key elements, and the importance of King County’s strong relationship with labor. 

“I appreciate the value that unions bring to their members and to the broader community,” Executive Constantine wrote. “Our employees are the backbone of our organization. They choose public service because they want to make a difference in their community. Our role is to work together as partners, even when it is across the negotiating table, so we can provide compensation and a workplace culture that supports them.” Read the full op ed. 

Pictured: Executive Dow Constantine, administration officials, and labor leaders in the King County Coalition of Unions at the April 9 signing ceremony.



Employee Transportation Program makes it easy to get around 

King County employees are saving time and money while reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions by making the most of their Employee Transportation Program benefits.  

In January 2019 alone, almost 7,300 employees used public transit at least once, saving money on gas, parking costs, and wear-and-tear on their personal vehicles. Last year King County employees took more than 2.2 million transit trips across 12 transit services, saving $3.5 million in fares.   

“Over time, the Employee Transportation Program has been adding more services so County employees have even more choices to commute to work, go to a game, or run an errand,” said Hossein Barahimi, Employee Transportation Program Manager. “Most recently, Link Light Rail, Sounder Trains, and Kitsap Fast Ferry have been providing reliable commute services for employees, decreasing commute times, increasing flexibility, and improving work/life balance. During the past five years, our employee transit ridership has grown three-percent each year.”  Read more.

Employee Spotlights


Ukulele Club builds bonds, welcomes all  

When Stef Frenzl, an educator consultant with the Department of Human Resources, saw an opportunity to strengthen team unity, improve employee engagement, and have fun at his last county role, he took it. 

“The thing that’s cool about a ukulele is that you can’t help but smile when you play it, because it’s a silly little instrument – you can’t take it too seriously,” said Stef. 

What started as a light-hearted conversation soon became a small group of people playing ukuleles together before blossoming into a movement within the workplace to bring people together. Read more. 

Pictured from left: Terri Hansen, Diana Wurn, Stef Frenzl, Elaine Porterfield and Glenn Evans. 


Scenes from the late 1980s: Looking back at the construction of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel 

On March 23, the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) converted to Link light rail trains only, and bus service was moved to surface streets. At the Archives, we’re reminiscing over these photographs of its construction, showing a glimpse of 1980s Seattle and the people who built the tunnel. 

The photos below come from Series 1844: Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel project files and Series 1147: Office of Information Resource Management Printing and Graphic Arts photographsAsk an archivist if you have any questions about any of these photographs or the other transit-related records held at the King County Archives. 

View more photos from this collection and read more. Pictured: From left to right, Tunnel station construction Aug. 5, 1987, International District Station construction Sept. 26, 1988, and Station construction Dec. 19, 1989.

tunnel pix


Reminder: New mobile device management solution coming soon 

During the months of April and May, KCIT will be implementing a new mobile device management solution, Microsoft Intune. 

This new solution will provide an improved experience when accessing King County digital resources like email, calendar and contacts from a mobile device. Intune supports current iOS and Android mobile devices and will enforce security policies improvements such a change to 6 digit passcodes. In fact, you can prepare for Intune now by changing to a 6-digit pin code today; devices’ built in fingerprint reader and facial recognition are also acceptable passcodes on phones that support them. 


Professional development program encourages employee success and workplace development 

The Professional Development Scholarship Fund is a new opportunity for employees to learn new skills and further their careers. It comes as part of the Investing In YOU initiative, and in collaboration with the King County Coalition of Unions, sets aside available funds for employees who have applied to take training that occurs in 2019.  

A one-year pilot program, the scholarship fund comes as a direct result of the annual employee engagement survey. From the 2017 survey, it was noted that employees are passionate about their career growth, and actively seeking ways to develop their abilities. These results helped prompt the County and the Coalition of Unions to come together during Master Labor Agreement negotiations and offer this opportunity for employees to enhance their work related skills. 

“We want employees to have the opportunity to develop and learn new skills so they can get better at the job they’re already doing or take their careers in a new direction if that’s their goal,” Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer said. “The Professional Development Scholarship Fund provides funding so employees can learn, grow, and advance with us.”

Application deadline dates are throughout the year, with the current opportunity to apply closing Friday, April 12. Awards will then be made by May 10 for training that begins on or after May 17. Read more.


PeopleSoft outage beginning 3 p.m. Friday, April 12 

To allow for system maintenance, the PeopleSoft system will not be available this weekend beginning 3 p.m. Friday, April 12. During this planned outage, the Business Resource Center (BRC) will apply vendor updates and maintenance. 

This work will begin on Friday, April 12, at 3 p.m. and is scheduled to be completed by 6:30 a.m. on Monday, April 15. The system will not be available for access by any County staff during this outage window. There will be a communication sent out to all County staff when the system becomes available. 

We realize that this outage impacts PeopleSoft users. We appreciate your understanding and support. 


Reminder: 4th Annual Administrative Professionals Recognition event, Wednesday, April 24 

King County will celebrate the many contributions of our Administrative Professional employees at the 4th Annual Administrative Professionals Recognition event on Wednesday, April 24, from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., in room E-942 of the King County Courthouse. 

This year’s event will focus on our “Gratitude” for the contributions of all Administrative Professionals. There will be guest speakers, and light refreshments will be provided. Space is limited so please register for the event, and arrive early so as to allow extra time for security screening. 


Discount available for Seattle Symphony performance, June 16 

King County employees are welcome to take advantage of an available discount for upcoming Seattle Symphony performance on Saturday, June 16 at 2 p.m. 

This performance, featuring conductor Steve Hackman and titled Harder, Better, Faster, Stravinsky, weaves together pop-classical matches like Brahms’ Academic Festival Overture  with Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” and Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony with Muse’s “Uprising” and Chance the Rapper’s “Paranoia,” creating a compelling musical landscape that is both strikingly modern and enchantingly classical. Three vocalists join the full orchestra for this special presentation. 

Buy tickets using promo code CONDUCTOR19. Purchase tickets here. 

Training Spotlight

Team Building For Success, May 23: Want to showcase your strengths and make a positive impact in your organization? Your ability to participate, collaborate and resolve issues will set you apart as a “go-to” person in any organization. In this interactive course, learn skills to develop group understanding, evaluate team roles, develop methods for resolving underlying conflict within a team, and use these skills to collaborate with team members to achieve workplace objectives. Register and learn more.  

Introduction to Career Development, June 11: In this workshop you will learn the key elements of career development, identify your individual interests and values as they relate to career options, explore similar job classifications, learn the importance of competencies when identifying career options, leverage tips for engaging in conversations with your leadership, and gain the knowledge of how to research and seize career opportunities. You will choose a partner and participate in various exercises together. Register and learn more. 

View more training and development opportunities at www.kingcounty.gov/learning. 

Tech Tip: Be wary of odd emails or messages 


Featured Job: Animal Care Technician 

Salary: $19.14 - $24.25 Hourly 

Location: Kent, WA 

Job Type: Multiple job types-career service and/or temp 

Department: DES - Executive Services 

Job Number: 2019JI09726 

Closing: 4/29/2019 11:59 PM Pacific 

Are you someone who takes great interest in the health and wellbeing of animals and can also work considerately and effectively with their human owners? Are you interested in being a leader in service excellence, committed to building an enduring legacy of continuous improvement and employee engagement? Are you a team player? Regional Animal Services of King County (RASKC) is seeking dynamic and experienced Animal Care Technicians!   RASKC provides animal services to 24 cities and unincorporated King County, this includes: rescuing stray, injured, neglected or abused pets; reuniting orphaned pets with families and/or helping them find forever homes through RASKC's pet adoption centers in Kent and Kirkland, including several other partner locations; providing pet licensing services; a wide array of volunteering opportunities and much more. King County is a national leader in improving animal outcomes as a municipal shelter, using data and model practices to achieve a 92% live release rate in 2017.   Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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