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  Union Conditional Agreements Go Public
October 24, 2004

After some confusion regarding a premature release for which I was subsequently, but perhaps unfairly, chastised, I am pleased to announce that the prospects for agreements with the City’s six bargaining units are now public. The Agenda for October 26, 2004, which has, inexplicably, not yet been published on the Internet includes Items M-1, a through f, which describe two alternate resolutions.


The first alternative for each union is “Conditionally approving Three-Year Tentative Agreement.” The second alternative is “Authorizing the City Manager to unilaterally impose the Wages, Terms and Conditions of Employment and other aspects of the City’s One-Year Last Best Offer in the event that the Bargaining Unit does not ratify the Tentative Agreement.” The only resolution included in the Agenda package is that for SEIU Local 790, which is attached to this email as a PDF file. It may be reasonable to assume that the other tentative agreements are similar.


In addition to the six bargaining units, there are two additional measures (M-1, g and h) that apply to City management and City Council, which shift to employees the responsibility of paying their share of PERS contributions and capping the City’s Health Premium to the Kaiser North rate. The City Council already pays its own PERS contributions.


The general idea is to spread the pain equally among all City employees, including City Council and management.


These Agenda items bring to a head an opportunity to conclude a challenge that began in July of 2003 when the City Council adopted an unbalanced budget that could only work if there were reductions in the cost of employee benefits. As it turned out, the budget was far more unbalanced than City management reported, and massive layoffs of a magnitude beyond what was contemplated occurred during 2003 and 2004.