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AGO Opinions with Topic: SALARIES AND WAGES
AGO 1991 No. 13 >  March 28, 1991
CITIES AND TOWNS - SALARIES AND WAGES - JUDGES - SALARY OF MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES
CITIES AND TOWNS ‑- SALARIES AND WAGES ‑- JUDGES ‑- SALARY OF MUNICIPAL COURT JUDGES Chapter 3.50 RCW empowers certain cities to establish a municipal court that is not part of the state's district court system.  If a city establishes a municipal court pursuant to chapter 3.50 RCW, the salary of its municipal court judges is set by the city by ordinance.  A city may pay its municipal court judges less than full-time district judges receive when serving in a municipal department established pursuant to chapter 3.46 RCW.
AGO 1991 No. 15 >  March 29, 1991
COMMUNITY COLLEGES - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION - AUTOMOBILES - REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES
COMMUNITY COLLEGES ‑- SALARIES AND WAGES ‑- COMPENSATION ‑- AUTOMOBILES ‑- REIMBURSEMENT OF TRANSPORTATION EXPENSES 1.  Prior to its amendment in 1990, RCW 28B.50.140(3) empowered a community college board of trustees to fix the salary and duties of community college presidents.  RCW 28B.50.140(3) only empowered the board to pay salary.  Payments to reimburse a president for the president's transportation expenses did not constitute salary and were not authorized under RCW 28B.50.140(3).    2.  In 1990 RCW 28B.50.140(3) was amended.  Laws of 1990, ch. 135, § 1, p. 926.  Amended RCW 28B.50.140(3) authorizes a community college board of trustees to fix the compensation and duties of community college presidents.  Payments to reimburse a president for the president's transportation expenses are not authorized as compensation since RCW 43.03.060(1) provides the procedure to reimburse state employees for travel expenses.  RCW 28B.50.140(3) does not authorize the board to supplant this reimbursement system.
AGO 2003 No. 2 >  March 3, 2003
WASHINGTON CITIZENS’ COMMISSION ON SALARY FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS - SALARIES AND WAGES - PUBLIC OFFICERS
Authority of Citizens’ Commission to consider economic and budget issues in setting elected officials’ salaries The Citizens’ Commission on Salary for Elected Officials may consider such factors as the state of the economy and the size of the state budget when setting the salaries for state elected officials.
AGO 1976 No. 1 >  January 12, 1976
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION - INCLUSION OF TERMINAL LEAVE OR SEVERANCE PAY IN COMPUTING PENSIONS OR RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES
RETIREMENT ‑- PENSIONS ‑- SALARIES AND WAGES ‑- COMPENSATION ‑- INCLUSION OF TERMINAL LEAVE OR SEVERANCE PAY IN COMPUTING PENSIONS OR RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES (1) Terminal leave or severance payments for unused sick leave or vacation leave are not to be included in determining the salary or compensation base upon which retirement allowances or pensions are to be computed under the laws governing the Washington law enforcement officers' and firefighters' retirement system (chapter 41.26 RCW) or either of the two judicial retirement systems (chapters 2.10 and 2.12 RCW); however, such payments are to be included in determining the salary or compensation base upon which retirement allowances or pensions are to be computed under the laws governing the Washington public employees' retirement system (chapter 41.40 RCW), the Washington state teachers' retirement system (chapter 41.32 RCW) and the Washington state patrol retirement system (chapter 43.43 RCW).  (2) Where terminal leave or severance payments for unused sick leave or vacation leave are to be included in determining the salary or compensation base upon which retirement allowances or pensions are to be computed, the only such payments thus to be included are those reflecting such leave actually earned but not taken during the time period being utilized in each case to determine the appropriate salary or compensation base.
AGO 1992 No. 13 >  June 30, 1992
WASHINGTON CITIZENS' COMMISSION ON SALARY FOR ELECTED OFFICIALS - COURTS - JUDGES - SALARIES AND WAGES - COUNTIES - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS - ELECTIONS
Applicability of Amendment 78 to Part-time District Court Judges and Qualifications for Nonattorney to be Elected District Court Judge 1.  Article 28 of the Washington Constitution (Amendment 78) provides that an independent salary commission shall set the salary for district court judges.  With regard to part-time district court judges, the commission has set the salary based on the proportion of full-time work for which the part-time judge is authorized.  The county legislative authority determines the proportion of work for which the part-time district court judge is authorized. 2.  Prior to 1991 the commission had not established a salary for part-time district court judges.  Amendment 78 provides that salaries in effect in 1987 shall remain in effect until changed by the commission.  Thus, part-time district court judge salaries were set pursuant to RCW 3.58.020 until 1991 when the commission changed the salary.  At that time, the salaries were properly set by the commission. 3.  RCW 3.46.060 provides that a nonattorney can seek election as a district court judge under certain circumstances.  A nonattorney district court judge can seek reelection if he or she is a registered voter of the district court district, and has been elected and has served as a district court judge.  A nonattorney district court judge with these two qualifications can seek reelection even if the population of the district is between 5,000 and 10,000.
AGO 1995 No. 7 >  May 19, 1995
OFFICES AND OFFICERS - PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICTS - COMMISSIONERS - DISTRICTS - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION
Authority of public utility district commissioners to receive additional compensation for service as president or secretary of the board of commissioners A public utility district commissioner is entitled to receive only the compensation specified for the position in RCW 54.12.080, and is not entitled to any additional compensation for serving as president or secretary of the board of commissioners.
AGO 1992 No. 21 >  September 9, 1992
PUBLIC UTILITY DISTRICTS - COMMISSIONERS - DISTRICTS - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION - INSURANCE
Insurance as Compensation for Public Utility District Commissioners and Manager 1.  RCW 54.12.080(4) provides that any public utility district providing group insurance for its employees may provide its commissioners with the same insurance coverage.  In this circumstance, public utility district commissioners may receive insurance as part of their compensation. 2.  Article 2, section 25 (amend. 35) of the Washington Constitution provides that the compensation of a public officer shall not be increased during his or her term of office.  Article 30, section 1 of the Washington Constitution permits mid-term compensation increases only for public officers who do not fix their own compensation. Accordingly, public utility districts may decide to purchase life insurance policies for their commissioners, but may not actually provide the policies until the next terms of the respective commissioners' offices begin.
AGO 1993 No. 18 >  December 9, 1993
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - CONTRACTS - CORPORATIONS - EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES - SALARIES AND WAGES - GIFTS - INVESTMENTS
Relationship between universities and nonprofit organizations that engage in fund-raising activities for them 1.  Institutions of higher education have the authority to enter into contracts deemed essential to the institution and to accept and solicit gifts.  If there is consideration flowing to the institution, it has the authority to provide goods and services to a private nonprofit organization, including the use of institution employees to solicit gifts, in exchange for fund-raising and other assistance from the organization. 2.  The statute of frauds, RCW 19.36.010, provides that any agreement not to be performed in one year from the making thereof shall be void.  Thus, any agreement between an institution of higher education and a nonprofit organization should be in writing if it is not to be performed in one year.
AGO 1998 No. 1 >  January 20, 1998
COMMUNITY COLLEGES - OFFICES AND OFFICERS - SALARIES AND WAGES - DEFERRED COMPENSATION
Authority of community college Boards of Trustees to grant salary increases to college presidents in light of statutory restrictions 1. When the term of employment of a community college president expires, and the college's Board of Trustees wishes to re-appoint the same president for an additional term, the Board may not increase the president's salary by any amount greater than permitted in the current budget pursuant to RCW 28B.50.140(3). 2. A community college Board of Trustees and the college president may mutually rescind an existing employment contract before it expires, and enter into a new contract with new duties and a different compensation, but increases in compensation are limited to those authorized in the current budget pursuant to RCW 28B.50.140(3). 3. Community college presidents are entitled to the deferred compensation benefits provided to other state employees; changes in these benefits are potentially subject to statutory limitations on increases in compensation.
AGO 1998 No. 12 >  October 28, 1998
COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES - STATE EMPLOYEES - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION - BUDGET AND APPROPRIATION ACTS - APPROPRIATIONS
Extent to which a university may vary individual salary increases given language in operating budget appropriation funds for an “average” increase Under the language of the 1997-99 operating budget, a university may grant individual salary increases larger or smaller than the average 3.0 percent increase funded by legislative appropriation. A university may use its 1997-99 budget appropriation in part to remedy salary disparities discovered by the university through studies or other means. Under the 1997-99 budget act, a university may honor increases previously agreed to in collective bargaining agreements, using “local” or non-appropriated funds for any portion of the increase which the Legislature has declined to fund with its biennial appropriation. If the Legislature fails to appropriate funds for a salary increase for university employees, the extent to which the university may fund such increases with non-appropriated funds depends on the language of the budget act covering the period in question.
AGLO 1980 No. 11 >  March 12, 1980
RETIREMENT - PENSIONS - SALARIES AND WAGES - COMPENSATION
INCLUSION OF TERMINAL LEAVE OR SEVERANCE PAY IN COMPUTING PENSIONS OR RETIREMENT ALLOWANCES

(1) In the case of a Plan I member of the Washington Public Employees' Retirement System (PERS), terminal leave or severance payments for unused sick leave or vacation leave may not be included in determining the member's "average final compensation" for the purpose of computing his or her service or disability retirement allowance to the extent that, in a given case, the payments are made for unused sick leave or vacation leave actually earned by the retiree during a period of service other than the two-year period being utilized to determine average final compensation in that case.

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