Tuesday, August 13, 2013

2013-08-13 "1021 strikes back"

from "1021 NewsWire"
You’ve seen them. They’re all over the news.
Maybe you’re wearing one now. You know, those purple SEIU 1021 “Will Strike If Provoked” t-shirts.

With BART and the cities of Oakland and now Hayward going on strikes this summer, Local 1021 has been making national headlines by taking a stand against the politics of austerity that are destroying our communities to enrich a few. What has not made the news -- until this issue -- are the many contracts our members have settled without a strike (although some came close). Large or small, pretty much all of them passed under the media radar, but they’re notable for a reason: Unlike the concessionary contracts that filled these pages a couple years ago, members are winning good contracts in the upswing economy, with long-delayed cost-of-living adjustments and an end to furloughs.
Strike or no strike, SEIU 1021 members have been striking back everywhere.

Part 1: Cooling off, heating up

City of Hayward -
Hayward city workers are holding a strike of their own this week (pictured throughout this issue). Workers began a three-day Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) strike on Tuesday after the City subjected them to seven months of delays, surface bargaining and intimidation. In response, workers have filed almost a dozen ULPs against the City and voted in June to authorize a strike. The city declared impasse on July 26, refusing to negotiate and ending contract talks.
“Since July 1, the City of Oakland has done a one-day strike, the BART workers did a four-day strike, and now Hayward workers are doing a three-day strike,” SEIU 1021 Lead Director Pete Castelli told striking workers at a Tuesday noontime rally joined by BART workers from Local 1021 and ATU 1555. “There’s something going on here. Workers are standing up and saying we’re not going to watch you hide money in your budget, hire managers, and put in it other places, and then dictate to us, ‘more austerity, more concessions, more cutbacks’ while refusing to negotiate.”
SEIU 1021 represents more than 350 full-time and part-time Hayward workers who fix roads and sewers, trim trees, find homes for stray animals, read to children at libraries and safeguard our neighborhoods. They feel they were forced into a strike by the city’s bad-faith bargaining tactics at the table, and now they are urging the city's elected officials to return to the table for productive negotiations. SEIU 1021 members will continue to provide essential services like 911 dispatch, animal control and services at the wastewater treatment plant.
Workers' incomes have been stripped away since 2010. First, it was furlough days. Then it was a 12 percent cut in take-home pay. Now the city is demanding five percent more -- a total of 17 percent. City of Hayward workers gave up over $4 million in the last contract and over $7 million over the last four years. Since 2010, the City has eliminated over 43 positions Citywide, saving approximately $5.8 million over that period.
“We have drawn the line. This is the line,” Senior Utility Leader Daryl Lockhart told the Tuesday crowd. “No more concessions, no more bullying. It’s time to stand up. It’s time to let them know we are part of this city just like anybody else. Our back is against the wall. We come out swinging.”

Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) -
It’s not over until it’s over, and over is when we have a fair, equitable contract for BART workers. Gov. Brown ordered a 60-day cooling off period to keep the trains running, but if we have not reached an agreement with BART management by midnight on October 10, the next day our members will be back on strike, and the governor won’t be able to intervene this time.
This fight is not about one transit district. We are not taking on only BART but the entire system that wants to destroy good jobs and blame working people for bringing down the economy instead of the real culprits, the big banks and financial industry.
“We are not ashamed to be defending middle classes wages and benefits,” the union team told a panel of state investigators looking into the stalled negotiations last week. We reject the “race to the bottom” propounded by the media and public opinion. We call upon the media to have the courage to tell the truth and the stories of BART workers instead of just repeating management’s point of view.

Part 2: Contracts we settled without a strike -

City of Fairfield -
The Fairfield chapter ratified 3–1 a two-year no-concessions contract that puts an end to more than three years of furloughs. In addition, the City picks up all health premium increases for the term of the contract and will provide training pay.

Blood Centers of the Pacific -
The contract contains significant pay increases and salary range adjustments, including a 4 percent raise over the three years of the agreement. Other merit and equity adjustments range from one to 10 percent. Educational Assistance doubles to $5,000 per year, and members can reopen the contract to discuss health and dental options without reopening the entire contract.

Asian Health Services -
Members get five percent over two years plus a three percent flexible spending account folded into their base salary. They also get step increases back, plus an additional floating holiday.

City of Oakland -
Oakland workers got management back to the table after a one-day strike and left with a no-concessions contract and three percent in COLAs over the two-year term. They also got a variety of allowances and reimbursements and several non-economic benefits.

San Joaquin County -
This was the largest contract we’ve settled lately, but only after coming to the brink of a countywide shutdown. Members won a four percent COLA over three years and the end of furlough days. Part-time medical benefits will continue for those working 25 hours/week. The contract also creates an ongoing health care committee and a part-time committee to develop a path to full employment for current part-time workers.

City of Berkeley, CSU Chapter -
The bargaining team fended off takeaways, including a 30 percent employee health care contribution, and got a wage reopener next year.

City of San Ramon -
Members opted to take an increased pension contribution (per PEPRA regulations) to install a merit pay system which, if the last performance evaluations are a guide, should result in an average raise of 3.75 percent per year.

Hayward Area Park and Recreation District (HARD) -
Part-timers unanimously ratified a no-concessions contract that provides a nine percent COLA over two years and vacation accruals up to five years instead of the previous two.

San Francisco Unified School District -
Workers won a 2.5 percent wage increase for the first year and reopeners in years two and three. Also a 75/25 split on medical (a big improvement), a 10 cents/hour longevity increase, and an increase in uniform allowance.

City of Sutter Creek -
Members in this small Sierra foothills city signed a one-year contract with a five percent step increase added to each classification (current employees get an additional five percent if at the top of a step).

River Pines Utility District -
The one-year contract includes a $3/hour pay increase and a wage and retirement reopener in January, as well as premium pay for being on call for 24 hours during the week.

Cities of Sebastopol, Rohnert Park, Santa Rosa (Police Techs) -
Sebastopol workers won two percent plus an increase in hours during their wage reopener. Santa Rosa’s police techs and the employees of Rohnert Park both secured one-year contracts with no concessions and an end to furloughs amounting to a six percent pay increase.

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