SEATTLE -

The city of Seattle wants a federal judge to weigh in on a contract dispute with the Police Department's management union.

The Seattle Times reports that in a request filed Tuesday, City Attorney Pete Holmes asked U.S. District Judge James Robart to hold a hearing to clarify the effect of an unfair labor practice complaint filed by the Seattle Police Management Association.

Robart is the judge overseeing police reforms under a 2012 consent decree with the U.S. Justice Department that resolved allegations of unconstitutional policing. The management union argues that the process laid out by the court for moving forward on officer discipline and other accountability measures to be presented to the City Council violates the city's obligation to first bargain with the union.

The state's Public Employment Relations Commission has agreed to hear the complaint, and Holmes says that puts the city at risk of "being subjected to conflicting legal obligations in different forums."