Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

AGO 1999 NO. 1 > Jan 13 1999

1.  A person who is elected to an unexpired term on a city council may not constitutionally receive, during the unexpired term, any changes in compensation previously enacted by the council during that term.

AGO 1976 NO. 1 > Jan 12 1976

(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 1995 NO. 2 > Feb 24 1995

A college may increase the vacation leave of its employees without thereby increasing their "salaries" for purposes of interpreting salary increase limits contained in the 1993-95 state operating budget.

AGO 1989 NO. 5 > Feb 23 1989

1.  Currently serving school directors may lawfully adopt a resolution to receive compensation of fifty dollars or less per day as authorized by RCW 28A.57.327, but they may not constitutionally receive the compensation authorized until the beginning of their next respective terms of office. 2.  If RCW 28A.57.327 were amended to make school director compensation automatic, with no discretionary act of the local board of directors involved, there would be no constitutional bar to the receipt of such compensation on a midterm basis.

AGO 1983 NO. 6 > Mar 29 1983

In the event that the currently serving commissioners of a public hospital district by duly adopted resolution raise their own daily rate of compensation from $25 per day to $40 per day in accordance with RCW 70.44.050 as amended by § 14, chapter 84, Laws of 1982, those increases (as to each such commissioner) may not constitutionally take effect until the commencement of his or her next ensuing term of office.

AGO 1995 NO. 7 > May 19 1995

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. 8 > Jun 1 1992

RCW 41.04.190 provides that insurance benefits are not additional compensation for county elected officials.  RCW 41.04.190 does not apply to insurance benefits provided to water district commissioners pursuant to RCW 57.08.100.

AGLO 1980 NO. 11 > Mar 12 1980

(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.

AGO 1998 NO. 12 > Oct 28 1998

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.

AGO 1995 NO. 13 > Nov 27 1995

Cities and towns of all classes have authority to establish and administer employee incentive programs for their employees, so long as the program and appropriately definite performance standards are established before the period covered by the program.

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