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Updates from the ground:
IFPTE Local 21 

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Local 21 EXPRESS

December 19, 2014



Local 21 Executive Committee Election Results Are In
 
Local 21's new Executive Committee was elected earlier this month.  The leadership and decision-making body functions in between Delegate Assembly meetings.  All but one of the races was uncontested.  In the one competitive race, Gus Vallejo and Shawn Holle ran for Vice President for San Francisco.  See the election results below.  
 
Contested Races:
Candidates are listed in order of the number of votes they received. To win, a candidate needed to receive a majority of the votes cast in the race.
* = winner of race

Vice President for San Francisco:
A total of 468 ballots were counted out of 3296 eligible voters.
Gus Vallejo*: 345 (74%)
Shawn Holle: 121 (26%)

Uncontested Races:

President:
Dean Coate*
Executive Vice President:
John Mukhar*
Vice President for Membership & Organization:
David Herring*
Vice President for Legislative & Political Action:
Tom Manley*
At-Large Vice President:
Larry Griffin*
Secretary:
Eileen Housteau*
Treasurer:
Mikhael Hart*
Vice President for East Bay:
Sue Guest*
Vice President for Oakland:
Renee Sykes*
Vice President for South Bay:
Ananth Prasad*
 
The officers will be installed at the Local 21 Delegate Assembly on January 24, 2015, and will serve three-year terms.
 
 
Election Committee Officers complete vote count

January 24 Delegate Assembly Features "Activating Millenials" Discussion
 
The next Delegate Assembly is on Saturday, January 24, at the Oakland Marriot. There will be a continental breakfast available at 8:30 a.m. and the assembly will begin at 9:00 a.m.; it will adjourn mid-day.  Activities include a special "activating the millennials" training and discussion, midyear financial report and other important business.
 
If you are planning to attend please RSVP to Sara Golden at sgolden@ifpte21.org. The deadline to RSVP is Friday, January 16; if you are a delegate or will be an acting delegate for this Delegate Assembly, you must RSVP by that date. 

Courts Members Push to Share Budget Surplus
 
Members of both the san Francisco Court professional and reporter units finally reached a agreement after many months of bargaining over a wage reopener with the Court. The Court finished the fiscal year with a $16 million surplus which they are required to spend down by July 2014 or return to the State.  Although we were told three years ago that if there was money in July of 2014, it would be shared with employees, the Court reversed course and took the position that there was not enough for an increase or bonus.  All $16 million was spent or earmarked with nothing for the employees. 
 
After months of negotiating and a strike called by SEIU that both Local 21 bargaining units participated in, the Court made an economic proposal.The proposal included five floating holidays that had to be used or cashed out before the end of the fiscal year.  Both Local 21 units ratified the agreement which will take effect January 1, 2015.  
 
SFER’s Board Update: Hedge Funds Are the Least of Our Worries
 
What started as a debate (though misinformed from the outset) on an investment strategy about pension fund asset allocation has unfortunately turned in to a much more serious concern about the governance of our pension by the SFER’s Board.  The discussion centers on whether Hedge Funds should be included in the City and County of San Francisco pension’s portfolio.
 
In recent months, meetings have been rescheduled when board members were absent, new proposals are submitted days before hearings with little to no analysis by staff, and conversations surrounding the proposals are confused, misstated or worse. Board members have called in to question the integrity of our Members who work for the Retirement System. Profanity has been yelled during meetings and unusual motions have been made (such as tabling issues or leaving them to the Call of the Chair) in curious ways.
 
While we have acknowledged there are smart people who differ on hedge funds, we have serious concerns over a Board tasked with making critical decisions on your pension.  The SFER’s December 3 Board meeting was the apex of such concern. After a long and contentious debate, the Board decided to defer the matter again until February 2015. The reason for the delay was largely based on the fact that President Makras put forward three new allocation proposals on November 25 and December 3, just days before the unusually called meeting (it was held on a day different than its normal meeting, which was scheduled for the next week).

We will reconvene the Committee sometime in January to discuss the new proposals after the staff has conducted their analysis and determine how the information may affect our recommendation. But let our position remain clear: we need to listen to professionals on this topic and put aside our own impressions on complicated matters to ensure that our Pension is fully funded and positioned to weather the next financial downturn.
 
Good News and Bad News From San Jose Mayor-Elect
 
Here is the good news - Mayor-elect Sam Liccardo sent out a memo December 10 that directed City staff to return to the table to negotiate with Unions on Measure B fixes.  Measure B is an illegal pension reform initiative that voters approved in June 2012 that Local 21 and other city employee unions are challenging in court and at the Public Employee Relations Board. (PERB). He also calls for delaying, yet again, implementation of parts of Measure B until July 1, 2016.  Click here for the memo.
 
We are glad to see that Mayor-elect Liccardo has chosen to return to the negotiating table and we are cautiously optimistic about the City's desire to negotiate a true, comprehensive fix to Measure B that addresses San Jose's severe recruitment and retention issues.  Measure B sets retirement benefits below California's new PEPRA pension lower levels. 
 
Now the bad news – While we are pleased to read Mayor-elect Liccardo's memo, the City Council sent a contradictory message by continuing to appeal key pieces of Measure B they lost in Superior Court, and by voting in mid-November to appeal the recent PERB decision validating Local 21's charges that the City did not bargain over Measure B. 
 
And, more bad news - The outlines of a compromise settlement — one that provides for substantial costs savings — were tentatively agreed to in discussions between the Police Officers and Firefighters associations and the City Manager last summer. The tentative agreement brought forward by the City Manager provides the framework for a negotiated solution to one of the most divisive and vexing problems facing the City. Unfortunately, the City Manager was forced out this week after a strange string of events that had the city buzzing.
 
In no Local 21 jurisdiction have our members faced a more aggressively anti-union employer than in the City of San Jose.  Local 21 members, along with other union members threw everything into campaigning to prevent Liccardo - who was handpicked by the former mayor who led the anti-employee, anti-union effort – from becoming mayor.  The November mayoral election  was a heart breaker and Liccardo won by less than 1%.  Political insiders believe he never would have succeeded if there was normal voter turnout.  The hope is he begins to see neither he nor the City has much to look forward to in 2015 if he doesn’t change course from the former Mayor ‘s attack on city employees and services.  
 
Local 21 Chapter Holiday Party Program Grows in Popularity
 
Local 21’s member holiday party program brings together hundreds of members in almost all Local 21 chapters.  Individual chapters are provided budgets relative to their size and can organize and host a party or contribute the funds to a charity or spend part on a party and donate part.  Chapters can combine and host joint parties with other chapters of their choosing. Members celebrate the holidays and the year of activity and wins that were achieved The variation and flexibility seems to be working well.  The Oakland and the South Bay combined chapter parties are the largest.  More than 200 Members attended our 9th annual South Bay Holiday gathering. .  Executive Director Bob Muscat attended the South Bay party and thanked Leaders for their tireless efforts and Members for their continued support.  Bob also urged everyone to take time away from work and Local 21 to relax and recharge with friends and family.
 
Some of the events include organized food drives and in the South Bay, the chapters organized a canned food drive for the Second Harvest Food Bank.  This year, we collected 550 pounds of food and $220 in donations. 


 
AEA Members Ravi Kachhapati, Albert Wong, and Ben Hong mingle at the South Bay Holiday Luncheon
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