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Local 21 EXPRESS
 

November 18, 2015


New Office Update


After more than 25 years in the historical Orpheum Building at 8th and Market, Local 21 is starting its move down the street to a new office space at 1167 Mission on Thursday, November 19.  While we have taken every measure to minimize any disruption, there will likely be  complications.  Chapter meetings and other meetings normally held in the Local 21 office have been cancelled or moved to other locations.  Our phone number will stay the same (415-864-2100)  and our goal is to be moved by Saturday. Our offices should therefore be up and running by Monday, November 23 if all goes according to the “Big Move” plan.  


 
The address of the new San Francisco main office will be:
 


1167 Mission Street, Suite 201
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: (415) 864-2100


Membership Solidarity at the Port Results in Contract Settlement  


The contract settlement comes after the L21 Port of Oakland Chapter showed solidarity by voting to authorize a strike and turning out in mass to the November 12th Oakland Board of Port Commissioners meeting. At the following negotiation session, Port of Oakland management dropped their proposal to take away Port Deputy Attorneys (Unit J)’s Just Cause protections and agreed to settle the issue in arbitration. The new 30-month contract also gives Port of Oakland employees a 4% raise retroactive to July 1, 2015, a 2% on July 1, 2016 and another 2% on July 1, 2017.
 
Leading up to the November 12th Board meeting Local 21 members had already submitted a petition with 130 signatures to the Board, participated in a “Keep Just Cause for Unit J” sticker day and voted 89% “Yes” in support of strike authorization to favor of their Unit J colleagues.
 
At a packed Port Commissioners meeting last week, Ronald Brown, L21 Chapter President spoke in public comment and questioned why the a small group of Port employees should be exempted from the union protections the rest of the Port of Oakland chapter enjoys. “We want fair treatment for all of our members,” he told Board of Port Commissioners.
 
Brown, like many of the members present that day, would not be personally affected by the Port’s proposal. Nevertheless he emphasized the importance of challenging the Port’s last-minute takeaway proposal.
 
Brown made the remarks on Nov. 12 to a sea of Local 21 T-shirts worn by over 80 chapter members who turned out to support their Unit J coworkers.

L21 Director of Field Services Alex Tonisson accompanied the members to the Board meeting and spoke at the open session.
 
Addressing the Commissioners, Tonisson criticized Port negotiators for upsetting the contract settlement framework at the very last minute over this misguided attempt to take away one small group’s basic union’s rights.  He pointed out, it wasn’t even an economic consideration; no money would be saved by making Unit J members at-will employees.  He urged the Commissioners to drop the proposal before it came to a strike.
 
“No union member wants to go on strike and this is the first time that the professionals that work at the Port have had to resort to the possibility of a strike. However, the illegal violation of our agreed upon negotiating ground rules and continued attempts to deny the basic union rights of our Unit J Deputy Port Attorneys, has forced our membership to take this extreme step” Tonisson said to the Board.
 
After the board session closed, Brown walked out feeling confident about the member turnout to the Board meeting, and now we see that union solidarity helped put the pressure the Port needed to come to a settlement.
 
“I am glad to see so many of us energized and coming together around protecting Unit J’s right to just cause,” he said.




Local 21 members packed the Oakland Port Commission in support of their Unit J colleagues.
Ronald Brown, L21 President and Port maritime employee; Alex Tonisson, L21 Director of Field Services speaking during the open comments at the Port of Oakland Board Commissioners meeting, Nov. 12, 2015.


Solano County Bargaining Team Stands Firm Against Concessions


After more than six months of difficult negotiations, the Solano County Executive & Senior Management Chapter of IFPTE Local 21 secured its second contract since joining Local 21. The Board of Supervisors approved the agreement on Tuesday, November 3.
 
Member ratification took place during the final week of October. Over 97% of voting members cast a ballot in support of the agreement recommended by the L21 Bargaining Team.
 
The Bargaining Team stood firm during the negotiations, rejecting proposed takeaways on health care and disciplinary action.  
 
All told, the agreement provides base salary increases of six percent (6%) over two years, and contains no takeaways of any kind.  It builds on the progress that was made in securing our first contract.  Despite the County’s insistence on moving away from a percentage-based health care contribution by the employer in favor of a flat cap — in large part due to concerns around rising health care costs and the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax — the Bargaining Team prevailed that the County’s heavy-handed proposal was the wrong approach.
 
Other provisions of the agreement include a number of salary realignments meant to provide an incentive to promote into executive and senior management, a requirement that the County reimburse employees for costs associated with continuing education, a doubling of the dollar amount available to all employees for tuition reimbursement, the creation of a joint labor management committee to foster collaborative problem solving while in contract, improvements to sick and bereavement leave, and a variety of other important measures. 
 
Much of the agreement fell into place over the last four weeks, after the previous contract expired.  The negotiated wage increase exceeds regional CPI, and reflects an improving regional economy and local job market.  


 


San Leandro Bargaining Team and City on the Way to Final Agreement


The Local 21 Bargaining Team and the City of San Leandro have agreed to nineteen (19) Tentative Agreements so far since they first kicked off bargaining last July. 
 
The agreements include new and amended provisions on personnel files, new hires, life insurance, pay rates, standby pay and other issues such as voluntary participation in the City’s deferred compensation plan. There are also more issues that the team is working on including salary increases.
 
The San Leandro Bargaining Team is hoping to reach a final agreement with the City by December 4 – just in time for the holidays and before the current MOU (contract) expires on December 31, 2015. However, the Bargaining team will not settle if their goals are not met.

 

Every L21 Candidate Plus L21-Endorsed Housing Initiatives Win in SF Election  


Every candidate endorsed by Local 21 was successful in the November election.
 
Endorsed by L21, Mayor Ed Lee won re-election as did City Atty. Dennis Herrera, City Treas. José Cisneros and Dist. Atty. George Gascon. Additionally, longtime Local 21 ally Aaron Peskin won a hard-fought race to return to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. 
 
Peskin's fight for the District 3 Board of Supervisors seat was one of the most visible in the November election. Local 21 members stepped up for Peskin and affordable housing by volunteering   125 times along with a coalition of a dozen labor unions and community organizations. Members walked door to door to talk to voters, reached out by phone and helped get out the vote.  Peskin took an early lead and eventually won by a margin of 54% to 46%.
 
Affordable housing was a big winner in the election. Three of four affordable housing ballot measures backed by Local 21 won voter approval. Proposition A, a $310 million bond to build low, moderate and middle income housing garnered 74% of the vote. Proposition D won easily with 74% of the vote, giving the green light for the conversion of
40% of the eight acre Mission Rock parking lot area into affordable housing. Proposition K also received more than 74% of the vote. It gives first priority for surplus City property to affordable housing for low, moderate and middle-income people.  Unfortunately, Proposition F to regulate short-term rentals like AirBnb was defeated.
 
Among the other ballot measures that passed was Proposition B by Supervisor Katy Tang. It expands paid parental leave in cases where both parents work for the city. Each parent will now be eligible for a full paid leave. 

For a complete look at election results and Local 21’s endorsements please click http://www.ifpte21.org/content/political-action.

 
Thanks to member action to get out the vote -- ringing doorbells, phone banking -- every L21-endorsed candidate and many housing affordability initiatives won in the 2015 San Francisco elections.


Employers Overreach on Health Care Proposals


As a union that spans the entire length of the Bay Area, constantly involved in negotiations somewhere, we have our ear to the ground when it comes to employer trends.
 
One trend we have noted is occurring around employers overreaching on healthcare proposals dealing with the Affordable Care Act, or more specifically, the ‘Cadillac’ tax. From the Golden Gate Bridge to Solano County to Contra Costa Water District, employers are pushing extreme proposals seeking to either gut our members’ healthcare plans or to push unrealistic contribution increase on to our members.
 
Local 21 most recently saw this in Solano County and the Contra Costa Water District, and we expect to see more of it. For this reason L21 continues to conduct in-depth research on possible changes to the Act under consideration in Washington D.C. We are also beginning a sweeping review of the law and how other unions and employers across the country are beginning to prepare.
 
We will continue to fight the introduction of bronze plans, the full assumption of the 40% excise tax, and other proposals we have seen on the table. We will do so with thorough research, sound principles, and a strong membership.

 
Stay Tuned!
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