Employee News - April 21, 2020

A service of the King County Department of Human Resources

King County Employee News



2020 General Wage Increase and looking ahead to 2021-22 

A message from Dwight Dively, Director, Office of Performance, Strategy and Budget, and Whitney Abrams, Chief People Officer 

Rumors have been circulating that the July 1 1.5% general wage increase may not occur. This is not true: the increase has already been decided by leadership and bargained, and is part of the compensation awarded for 2020. 

It is important to recognize that the County’s ability to provide wage increases in 2021 and 2022 is much less than it was only three months ago. The COVID-19 shutdown and the ensuing recession have already dramatically affected County revenues, especially sales taxes and other economically sensitive revenues. Read more. 


Employee deployment program and how you can help 

The Emergency Deployment Program was developed to support the critical staffing needs that are part of this emergency response. These roles do not have contact with patients but do provide the vital backbone of support needed to run our facilities, which house individuals, families, and small children during this difficult time. We also have staff who have worked tirelessly organizing emergency operations and are in need of relief. You can play a huge role in supporting the County’s ongoing response to this emergency. Please consider applying for the Emergency Deployment Program. 

Work assignments include: 

  • Emergency Site Worker III - Administrative staffing for quarantine facilities, assessment and recovery facilities and the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Some weekends and OT may be needed. 

Learning about your benefits: Out-of-pocket expenses 

A short series of benefits videos has been created to help employees make informed choices about their options, and better understand their employee benefits package. 

The second video, below, is about the out-of-pocket expenses associated with your medical, dental, and vision plans. View all the videos here, and get more information and resources on the Benefits, Payroll and Retirement website. 


How Public Health officials decide when to order closures 

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Health Officer for Public Health — Seattle & King County recently interviewed with ProPublica and The Seattle Times to discuss his and the department’s thinking related to the timing of Public Health recommendations to avoid and subsequently prohibit large public gatherings, and in particular in not prohibiting the Sounders match on March 7th. The following is an overview of information Dr. Duchin shared in his conversation and through e-mail. 

Early response and initial outbreak 

Starting in late January, when the first United States COVID-19 case was recognized in Snohomish County, and with relatively few recognized COVID-19 cases, our public health response was based on a resource intensive “containment” strategy. It involved extensive investigations of suspected and confirmed cases, isolating ill people and identifying and following up with their close contacts to arrange isolation or quarantine as needed in an effort to interrupt transmission from person to person. Read more. 


Celebrating Administrative Professionals Recognition Day, April 22 

Wednesday, April 22, is Administrative Professionals Recognition Day, an opportunity to say “thank you” to the Administrative Professionals that keep our teams, divisions, and departments running smoothly. 

While we have had to cancel this year’s annual Administrative Professionals Recognition Day Celebration Event in line with Governor Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and our ongoing efforts to practice social distancing and stop the spread of COVID-19, we can still use this opportunity to express our gratitude to our Administrative Professionals.  

This extraordinary group of people is greatly appreciated by all employees across King County, and we look forward to celebrating our Administrative Professionals in-person in 2021. Learn about our Administrative Professionals Development and Recognition Program at www.kingcounty.gov/administrativeprofessionals.

Hope and inspiration for 50th Earth Day 

For this year’s Earth Day, the 50th year of the annual celebration of our planet, King County Executive Dow Constantine shared a video message of hope and inspiration. 

“I find more hope, more inspiration, this year than any Earth Day before,” Executive Constantine said in the video. “The global response to the COVID-19 crisis really does offer us a kind of blueprint for saving our planet.”  

Thank you to the dedicated employees working hard every day – oftentimes behind the scenes – to sustain our environment and promote the health and safety of our community. We appreciate your efforts this Earth Day and every day. 


King County goes digital for Earth Day, April 22 

As we respond to the call to stay home and stay healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic, many King County employees and residents have a renewed appreciation for – and look forward to once again fully experiencing – the healing qualities of King County's natural spaces. The global response to the pandemic also offers a blueprint for environmental resiliency which relies on the power of collective action, and basing decisions on the latest science.  

In commemorating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, this lesson of resiliency and ingenuity resonates, and is why the Department of Natural Resources and Parks (DNRP) is celebrating by going digital, at www.kingcounty.gov/earthday. This webpage highlights actions that residents can take to protect the natural environment while promoting social distancing, including advice for planting native gardens, removing noxious weeds, and offering activities like green-themed coloring pages and crossword puzzles. You can also find King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks on FacebookInstagram,
 and Twitter.  

While the pandemic prevents us from safely organizing volunteer habitat restoration events, education fairs, or other in-person events this year, our employees continue to provide essential work protecting the environment, public health and our quality of life. We want to take a moment to thank all the dedicated essential workers that are keeping King County safe and functioning. Your work is important and we value your commitment to public service. 


Join us for a question and answer session about COVID-19, April 23 

In a virtual seminar, this Thursday, April 23, 2020 at 7 p.m., we will talk about the impacts of coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) on the Latinx community. We will respond to your questions, and more If you have a specific question, we would love to hear it. You can write your questions into the comments on the Facebook event or announcement. Follow us on the Condado de King Facebook page to receive a reminder the day of the virtual seminar.
This event will feature Matias Valenzuela, Director of Equity for Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Dr. Julian Perez, family medicine physician for Sea Mar Community Health Centers. 

¡Acompáñenos a una sesión de preguntas y respuestas sobre COVID-19! 23 de abril 

En el seminario virtual este jueves 23 de abril a las 7 p.m., hablaremos sobre los impactos en la comunidad Latina del coronavirus, también conocido como COVID-19. Responderemos a sus preguntas ¡y más. Si tiene una pregunta específica, nos encantaría escucharla. Por favor ¡anótelo en los comentarios abajo. Síguenos en la página Condado de King para recibir un recordatiorio el día del seminario virtual. Este evento presenta a Matias Valenzuela, Director de Equidad para Salud Pública - Seattle y Condado de King, y el Dr. Julian Perez, médico de Los Centros de Salud Comunitarios Sea Mar con una especialización en medicina familiar. 


Metro is redeploying security personnel for safety and social distancing support 

King County Metro is redeploying transit security staff to help promote an atmosphere of safety and equity for all. Officers will help ensure King County Metro’s code of conduct is upheld and encourage riders to heed Public Health – Seattle & King County’s guidance for riding transit safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting Monday, April 20, transit security staff will be monitoring coaches and terminals that are experiencing crowding, defined as when it is difficult to maintain six feet of distance among riders and Metro staff. 

We are also coordinating with the Healthcare for the Homeless Outreach Taskforce to share information with service providers to help give non-destination riders more information about available resources during the COVID-19 public health crisis. As always, our operators are encouraged to contact the control center when there are safety concerns. Read more.  

Tech Tip: Virtual meeting tips 

When you work remotely, you have options for video conferencing. Here is what you need to know to get started:  

Skype for Business   

Skype for Business is King County’s standard solution for video conferencing and should meet your needs in most cases, especially for meetings of less than 250 attendees. We have a site which can answer many of your Skype questions: Skype for Business

  • Skype works well when communicating both internally and externally—just send an invitation. 
  • It’s a comprehensive voice, meeting, presentation and collaboration platform all in one. 
  • It’s our county standard for communication. 
  • Did you know Skype has many little-known but useful features, such as the ability to conduct polls or create unique meeting URLs? This helps prevent other County employees from just appearing if you’re having back-to-back meetings. 
  • If you have any issues using Skype, please open a ticket through the KCIT Customer Support Services portal at https://helpdesk.kingcounty.gov/ or call 206-263-4357 (3-HELP). 

We know that sometimes, Skype for Business may not meet your needs, so we have alternative solutions. Read more. 


My Secure Advantage: Tips for navigating the COVID-19 financial crisis 

As the number of businesses impacted by COVID-19 continues to rise, so does the number of unemployed and furloughed workers in our community. Members of your household may have been impacted by reduced work hours or lay-offs. An unexpected change in one earner’s income can greatly impact household budgets. 

Fortunately, there are ways that you may be able to get financial help. Balanced You partners with My Secure Advantage to provide free financial wellness resources to King County employees. Resources include webinars with the latest fiscal information on coronavirus, budgeting spreadsheets and calculators, and personalized Money Coaches. Read the Balanced You blog for more information on My Secure Advantage, including their recommendations for steps you can take if your household income is impacted by COVID-19. 

Featured Job: Project Program Manager III - Long Term Care Facility Specialist 

Salary: $42.14 - $53.41 Hourly 

Location: Seattle, WA 

Job Type: Special Duty Assignment or Term Limited Temp (TLT) 

Department: DPH - Public Health 

Job Number: 2020AB11585 

Division: Prevention 

Learn more about this position or view all available positions. 

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