Updates from the ground:
IFPTE Local 21 

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Local 21 EXPRESS

November 21, 2014

Election Update: Minimum Wage, Retiree Health, Revenue Measures, and City Council Victories; Losses in Mayoral Races

The November election saw the approval of badly needed local revenue measures and long overdue raises for thousands of Bay Area workers.   Local 21 backed candidates won all three City Council seats in Oakland but experienced losses in tight races in San Jose.
A San Francisco bond measure for transportation infrastructure, an Alameda County tax for city and county public works, a safety tax in Oakland and revenues in San Leandro and Richmond all won handily.  They will ensure that services that residents rely on are maintained and in some cases expanded.  The Richmond tax will prevent layoffs and service cuts.
In an exceptionally close and hard fought race, Supervisor Dave Cortese lost the race for San Jose Mayor by a handful of votes per precinct.  The new Mayor has made some preliminary overtures to city unions, but it remains to be seen whether he will be willing to honestly address the issues facing city workers.  Local 21 is working with the Labor Council and other city unions to maximize outcomes as city retirement issues remain unresolved after devastating losses by the city in court and the state employee relations board.  Raul Peralez won a seat on the City Council while our other two candidates lost.

Local 21 Executive Vice President John Mukhar in action

The focus in Oakland was on three Council seats and L21 candidates were successful in all of them!  In two open seats, members backed Abel Guillien and Annie Campbell Washington.  Guillien won a 4-way race with 52% of the vote and Campbell Washington beat a candidate with strong name recognition. 
Local 21 teamed with SEIU 1021, IBEW 1245, the Labor Council, Teamsters, and Police and Fire unions.
In one of the quietest Supervisor races in recent times, all incumbents were re-elected in San Francisco.  Supervisor Malia Cohen fended off the same challengers who ran four years ago, winning 52% of the vote.  We also prevailed in a measure, authored by Supervisor Cohen to ensure retiree health benefits for members of the former redevelopment agency as they transition to permanent city jobs, winning 56% of the vote.
Local 21 backed candidates won two school board seats and lost two.  In Berkeley, Josh Daniels won re-election and Shamann Walton won a spot on the San Francisco School Board.  This is just the second time the two school chapters have endorsed.  We were able to help re-elect Santa Clara Valley Water District Board member Dennis Kennedy and replace an incumbent with working family friendly Gary Kamnen.  Challenger Marguerite Young beat a 12 year incumbent for a seat on the East Bay MUD Board to add a pro-environment and pro-labor member.
Our South Bay endorsed candidates for the state legislature Kansen Chu and Bob Wiekowski won while David Campos (SF) and Tim Sbranti (Contra Costa) narrowly lost their races.  All incumbent legislators were re-elected.
We backed South Bay member Pat Showalter for the Mountain View City Council where she placed first!
Thank you to all our Members who talked to voters on behalf of our candidates and issues.  More than 300 Local 21 Members volunteered!
For a complete election summary, visit
Proposed PERB Ruling Invalidates San Jose's Measure B
On November 10, our legal counsel was informed of an important development in our effort to overturn the City's unlawful Measure B pension reform initiative.
California Public Employment Relations Board Administrative Law Judge Eric J. Cu issued a “proposed ruling” concluding that the City violated the law when it failed to meet and confer in good faith with IFPTE Local 21 over placing Measure B on the June 2012 ballot.
This “proposed ruling” details the numerous attempts Local 21 made to reach an agreement with the City over lawful pension cost savings. It also details the city’s failure to bargain in good faith and complete disregard for the established law governing bargaining in California.
Both International Association of Firefighters Local 230 and IFPTE Local 21 filed separate unfair labor practice complaints with PERB alleging the City failed to meet its legal obligation to meet and confer in good faith and exhaust all impasse procedures prior to placing any measure on the ballot.
There are several additional steps prior to this ruling becoming final.  These include an initial 20-day period for both parties to identify elements of the ruling it takes issue with and an almost certain City appeal to the full Public Employee Relations Board attempting to overturn the “proposed ruling”.
The tentative ruling affords City Leaders an opportunity to reassess their position and open a dialogue with city employees in order to find a negotiated solution that can replace the divisive and illegal Measure B.
The full “proposed ruling” can be found here.

Contra Costa County, Local 21 Reach PERB Settlement

The County recently settled a Local 21 Unfair Labor Practice charge over refusing to meet and confer with the Union.
Several years ago, Local 21 filed a grievance with the County regarding representation of temporary employees working in Local 21-represented classifications. After endless discussion, we prevailed and in February of 2014 the Board of Supervisors agreed to amend the scope of representation of our bargaining units to include all temporary employees. On April 15, 2014 -- just days before our new contract was to be approved by the Board -- the County Administrative Officer unilaterally reduced the number of hours retiree annuitant temps could work in a fiscal year from 960 to 900. 
Upon learning of the new cap imposed by the CAO, Local 21 demanded to meet and confer over this change of working conditions. The CAO steadfastly refused to meet and confer at which point Local 21 we filed an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge with the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB).
PERB called for a settlement conference between the two sides after finding that our ULP charge had weight. On November 12, Chapter President Sue Guest and Chief Steward Margie Valdez attended that settlement conference with Local 21 staff.  By the end of the afternoon, a settlement was reached, one that is decidedly in Local 21’s favor.  For starters, the number of hours afforded to temporary employees reverts to the status-quo.  Secondly, an evaluation of historical data revealed that there were a notable number of temporary employees who were negatively impacted by the unilateral action in terms of compensation.  The County agreed to compensate these members for the lost hours, and checks are expected to be issued before the end of the year and in time for the holidays.
Copyright © 2014 IFPTE Local 21, AFL-CIO, All rights reserved.

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