The Kirkland City Council on Thursday unanimously approved giving a one-week credit to residential and commercial solid waste customers in the city to compensate them for loss of service during the one-week strike by Waste Management truck drivers last summer.
In a memorandum to the council, city staff said the cost of the credit will be about $278,000 that will be withheld from Waste Management, which is allowed by performance language in the company's contract with Kirkland.
“This credit was developed out of fairness to all residents, can be easily calculated, and does not result in excessive administrative costs to the city,” Amy Walen, chair of the council’s Finance Committee, said is a press release.
The city had originally explored having Waste Management provide a one-time credit to Kirkland waste customers. For example, the City of Redmond has tentatively agreed with Waste Management for the company to provide a $10 credit to residential and commercial customers in that city as compensation for the loss of service during the strike.
But Councilmember Walen suggested the idea of a one-week credit in the interest of fairness at an October council meeting. The council met in special session Thursday to consider the credit before a scheduled discussion of the upcoming biennial city budget.
Kirkland city staff continues “productive” negotiations with Waste Management on a compensation arrangement, according to the memorandum, and the one-week credit poses little financial risk to the city due to the terms of the contract.
Members of the Teamster’s Local 117, including recycling and yard waste truck drivers for Waste Management, went on strike July 25, which resulted in disruption of garbage, recycling, and yard waste collection service for residents and businesses in Kirkland and other cities served by the company.
The amount of the one-week credit each customer receives will vary depending on their garbage service level. Credits will appear in utility statements beginning with the November billing cycle, the city’s press release said.
For the complete city staff memorandum on the credit, see the attached PDF file.