Updates from the ground:
IFPTE Local 21 

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Local 21 EXPRESS

February 27, 2015

Report From Oakland: Gearing Up for Negotiations

Our 20-member bargaining team has begun meeting to prepare for upcoming negotiations.  We’ve set a date to open on March 11.  The City team will be led by Renee Mayne, the new Employee Relations director, along with management representatives from various City departments.  This is a departure from the City’s practice the last three negotiations when they used an outside legal team and we are hopeful that this will set a new tone for negotiations.
Contract expiration for our contracts along with those of SEIU 1021, IBEW 1245 and the Oakland Police Officers Association is June 30, 2015.  For the first time in memory, Port of Oakland contracts for Local 21 and SEIU also expire on June 30. Mayor Libby Schaaf sent a letter to all City Unions requesting that we consider extending our current contract to October 17, 2015, to allow her time to get her management team in place.  She also suggested that all City Unions form a budget work group to work with budget staff to better understand the City’s financial position (similar to the one we have in place already).  Local 21 convened a meeting of all the City Unions on February 13 to informally talk about a response.  While we all concurred that we would not extend our contracts, we did agree to send a letter together to meet with the Mayor about the budget and the 5-year projection.
Report from East Bay MUD: Members Win Deferred Comp Grievance

Our East Bay Municipal Utility District chapter had a large win last month by settling our longstanding deferred compensation grievance.  During our 2013 negotiations, the District proposed removing language in the contract which provided an allotment of money the District would pay to a provider for administering the deferred compensation plan. 
Upon further research, we discovered that the plan had been renegotiated and the District was no longer paying the amount provided for in the contract.  For at least the past five years, the fees have been paid for solely by participants.  The District maintained that they have the right to shift the cost in this manner and no longer contribute the amount stated in the contract. Both Local 21 and AFSCME 2019 filed grievances on the issue and the grievances were combined earlier this year.  Prior to arbitration, the employer suggested we have a settlement meeting, which we agreed to. After a full day of bargaining and a few weeks in between, the employer agreed to our remedy.  The unit received two years of the allotted amount, ($105,000) retroactive to the date the grievance was filed and the District agreed to contribute the $105,000 specified in the contract going forward.  The details of how this allocation will be applied to the account will be decided by the deferred compensation committee which has representatives from all Unions on it. 
Report from San Jose: Campaigning for Swing Vote on City Council

In two weeks, mail ballots will hit North San Jose homes as voters choose a new City Councilmember.  This April 7 Special Election is crucial to getting a fix to San Jose's recruitment and service delivery issues.  The winner will be a swing vote on the Council, deciding how to fix the City's illegal Measure B (pension reform), remodel retiree healthcare and negotiate new MOUs with all 11 City Unions.
Local 21 has adopted nights for phone banking and Saturdays for precinct walking -- please consider helping talk to voters.  This election will see low voter turnout (around 25 percent), with an estimated 90 percent of those who do vote casting ballots via mail.  This is when our outreach efforts make the MOST IMPACT.
We train you, we feed you, you make a difference. Local 21 nights are March 3, 10, 25 and April 6 (5 to 8:30 p.m., 2102 Almaden Road in San Jose) and Local 21 Saturdays are March 7 and 28 (stop by between 9 and 10 a.m. to get a partner and packet, 2102 Almaden Road in San Jose).  RSVP or more information:, 408-291-2200

Link to flyer for event here

Keeping Local 21 Strong

With many of Local 21 Members and Leaders nearing retirement, it's critical to recruit the next generation of activists.  Nearly 100 Members from across the Bay Area brainstormed ways to reach out to newer, sometimes younger colleagues at our January 24 Delegate Assembly.
As promised, we wanted to share some of the thoughtful, insightful, and quirky ideas for recruiting new activists that came out of the breakout sessions at the Assembly.  These included: hosting happy hours/social events like bowling or movie nights; rebranding Local 21; increasing millenials' exposure to Labor/Local 21; visibly representing the next generation; offering career trainings, or workshops on topics like student loans; developing a new social media presence that increases Member engagement; utilizing new technology; offering smaller group meetings; collaborating more with social/community groups that overlap with labor values; and much more.
Local 21 Staff and Leaders are reviewing all of the input and developing next steps.  If you would like to help or have an idea, email

Breakout session at last Delegate Assembly
Know Your Rights: Changes At Work

Has your supervisor or department issued a new policy lately? Even if a policy has not been changed, are there new practices that impact your terms or conditions of employment? Did you know that new policies or practices  are supposed to go through the Union? 
The Meyers-Milias-Brown Act requires employers to notice the Union on any changes to terms and conditions of employment and meet with us over the impacts of those changes.  Some examples of changes that may require meet and confer: increased workload, office moves, new required technology, policies on tardiness, scheduling changes, and many others.
Changes  that affect more than one person should be noticed to the Union and we have the right to sit down with the department to negotiate over how the changes will affect our Members. As part of preparing for a “meet and confer” session we talk to affected Members about questions or concerns they have about the new policy or procedure.
Not every change requires a meet and confer – but let us know and we’ll work with you to determine if the change requires a meeting.
If a new policy or procedure has been issued to you lately, forward the policy to us at we can be sure that you have a voice in changes in your workplace.

Q&A with SF Retirement Director

San Francisco Members: SAVE THE DATE for an information session and Q&A with San Francisco Employees' Retirement Services Executive Director Jay Huish on Monday, March 9, from noon to 1 p.m. at Local 21.  More info to follow.
Copyright © 2015 IFPTE Local 21, AFL-CIO, All rights reserved.

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