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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Hayward Looks to Impose Pay Cuts on City Union Workers

Hayward city employees striking in front
of City Hall last August.
PHOTO/Steven Tavares
HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | LABOR |Ten months after contracts for nearly 300 Hayward city employees expired, the City Council may decide Tuesday night to unilaterally impose its last, best and final offer despite declining to meet with labor negotiators since July. Both contracts represent immediate five percent cuts in pay.

If approved, union officials said Monday, the city’s proposal will decrease paychecks an average of $350-per-month. In the past, city employees have agreed to givebacks in wages and benefits of 12 percent since 2010, said union leaders.

Hayward’s aggressive move follows a fact-finding report issued last week recommending negotiators from the city and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 narrow the list of items currently under consideration.

The three-person panel comprised of an appointed member of both bargaining groups and an independent chairperson urged the city to institute gradual pay increases for clerical and maintenance workers of 4 percent through January 2016 and an additional 2-3 percent depending on the financial health of the city pegged to the consumer price index. A $750 bonus upon the signing the agreement was also recommended.

Hayward city officials portrayed the panel’s findings in a positive light, according to an official response to the report, yet its rejection notice heavily opposes a majority of the panel’s suggestions, including raises.

Meanwhile, the city is sticking to its demand of across-the-board pay cuts of five percent leading to the recommendation the City Council take the unusual step Tuesday night of potentially imposing its final offer on city employees.

Over the past year, Hayward city officials have taken a hard line against both bargaining groups, citing a disputed 10-year fiscal outlook projecting its finances fall into the red starting in 2018. At the same time, City Manager Fran David has consistently voiced alarm over the city’s ability to pay rising unfunded liabilities. For the most part, the Hayward City Council has followed David’s lead even though the city is decided pro-labor and includes a mayoral election this June featuring three members of the current council--all counting on union support as a path to victory.

At the same time, union members have routinely filled the City Council over most of the past year. The tenor of negotiations has also been both public and vitriolic with both sides claiming the other is acting unreasonably. Last August, union leaders openly charged management with threatening layoffs if the city's offer was not approved. In fact, finding common ground has been difficult since last spring.

The union approved a strike in June, while the city declared negotiations at an impasse in late July. In August, union members staged a three-day strike followed by mediation talks that went nowhere. A fact-finding panel was then ordered and conducted in late November and December of last year and culminating with the report released to the public last week.

John Stead-Mendez, deputy Director of SEIU Local 1021 and lead negotiator said. “We have tried to work with city officials over and over, but since July 2013, they have refused to meet with us nor move off their original position of ‘no.’ That’s not bargaining.”

However, the fact-finding panels report may be a ray of hope for a resolution to the city's labor strife, if the City Council refrains from imposing its final offer. “The report represents a good compromise, which we can accept,” said Stead-Mendez.

33 comments :

That reduction translates to an average annual paycheck of $84,000 ...cry me a frickin river.

When this is finished Fran David is getting the axe.

Agree with 9:08....

Means that the "average" employee salary will drop from $84,000 to only a paltry $79,800.

Of course that is only the average salary.
You need to throw another $30,000 to $40,000 on top of that to cover medical, dental, vision, and pension contributions.

Now, I'm sure some will chime in that they aren't getting any $80,000 a year.
But that is what the data in the article suggests is average.

The union says they have already given back 11 percent since 2010. That would suggest that the average salary was $94,000 in 2010.

Please give us the correct figures if you don't want us to do the simple math and arrive at the figures we do.
Don't expect us to just take slogans from either side, both of which probably think the average guy won't take the time to analyze the figures.

When ever I see employees mentioned in the articles saying this or that, I always look up their salary.
It can be very interesting to do so.

Cuts through lots of the false impressions given out.
Can work either way. Some folks are low. Many others are very high.
Just the facts please. We just want the facts.

By MW:

If their salaries were really in the 84K to 94K range, then they were making considerably more than the majority of the taxpayers they were and are supposedly committed to serving.

Still furthermore, public employees usually have considerably better fringe benefit plans than workers in the private sector, and also are much less likely to be laid off than workers in the private sector.

In other words and looking at the big picture, government has evolved into a big sleazy parasitic mafia whose major function is to rip off the general public.

The 5% cut includes wages and benefits. Maintenance workers make far more than clerical workers. Some clerical workers will lose their homes if this takes place. In the last four years they have lost 12% in wages and benefits and are barely hanging on. A 2% increase in each of the next 2 years won't even keep up with the cost of living which is projected to be in the 3-4% range for each of the next two years. The fact finding panel got it right.

I don't want a strike. Settle the damn contract now! The fact finding group came up with a compromise that seems reasonable to me. Quit messing around. If you don't live in Hayward STFU.

1:00pm, you are delusional if you think the average clerical SEIU employee earns anything near 84K in salary a year. More like 55-60K at best. And, 60K doesn't go very far in California. I'm so tired of seeing union workers vilified, especially since it's the rank and file workers who are out there busting their butts every day getting the work done. But, hey, the rank and file need a total 17% salary and benefits reduction? Fine - let's have the same reduction for management AND the city council. Nothing screams "...we appreciate your hard work..." like another pay cut. And, say what you will, but MANY employees of the city are dedicated and work VERY hard in their positions every single day.

Fran David needs to be fired. She knows very little about running a City like Hayward.

If you take cost of living into the equation the workers are suffering severely. If you consider the cost of living + the 12% cut, their wages are buying about 20% less over the last 4 years. This is why our downtown is hurting. People don't have enough money to spend on goods and services like they used to. We need to keep the middle class wages and benefits to support our businesses. I agree, fire Fran David.

9:28, Just look at your first sentence.
I never said clerical workers are getting $84K a year.

I said, ALL we have to go on is this article and from the numbers supplied, it appears that the AVERAGE salary is $84,000 a year.
That is what the MATH computes to if you do the simple math using the figures supplied in the article.

Why do you argue about that. I was merely asking for more accurate figures if you want the public to be swayed to the unfairness of it all.
BTW, the $60,000 you suggest doesnt' go very far is substantially higher than most people are making, especially when you throw in substantial benefits that come with public employee jobs.

I don't know if the city has the money to do what you want.
If they don't then where does the extra money come from?
Would you propose a new tax on Hayward residents?

BTW, when I look up some Hayward City employees I see most of them making more in base salary in 2012 than they made in 2011.
How is that possible with all the "cuts" ?

Here, two street sweepers
Base salary in 2011, $62,680... 2012... $63,937
Base salary in 2011, $$57,045...2012... $66,104

Utility worker
Base salary in 2011, $65,862,...2012...$67,971

How come so many workers are making more in 2012 than in 2011 in their "base salary"..?

If they are getting cuts every year, why does their base salary go up?

I don' t believe the "facts" coming from either side.

It's possible because there's more work for less workers...the cuts have led many Hayward employees else where. But the same amount of work usually run by a department of 30 reduced by 10-15....the extra load forces the few to pick up the slack. Many of the jobs are essential services such as water, treatment, sewer, police dispatch, etc...so naturally their wages would increase. Not by choice, but obligation.

Between time-in-steps/reclassifications/certification increases/overtime/ maybe unused vacation increases cashed out...if you're losing a house it might just be too many dollars being considered as dicretionary or a poor decision at purchase, not a salary issue.

The web site below provides actual (W-2) salaries and benefits for each position in the City of Hayward. In 2012 each of the four Street Equipment Operators had a total compensation in excess of $90,000. The average retirement and benefit costs of Hayward ($37,220) are among the highest of the 482 cities providing this information to the State Controller Office of California.


http://publicpay.ca.gov/Reports/Cities/City.aspx?entityid=65&fiscalyear=2012

Sweeper Equipment Operator
Department: Maintenance Services Dept.
Entity: City of Hayward
County: Alameda
Year: 2012
$98,067 total wages
$66,663 regular pay
$31, pay
$0 lump-sum pay
$0 other pay
$58,514 – $68,170 regular pay range for classification
$37,107 total retirement & health cost
$2,619defined benefit
plan
$12,688employee's ret.
cost covered
$880deferred compensation
$20,920health/dental/vision contribution
2.5% @ 55 applicable defined benefit pension formula
Click a term for a definition
For more information go to http://www.hayward-ca.gov/CITY-GOVERNMENT/DEPARTMENTS/HUMAN-RESOURCES/
Last Updated: 12/16/2013

8:39 and 9:13... I don't know if you are one person or two.

However your response is most misleading.
My post about the examples I used had nothing to do with there possibly being fewer employees.

I was giving you "BASE" salary, not overtime.
I made that deliberate choice on purpose, exactly because I expected answers like you cooked up.

Base salary, base salaries went up from 2011 to 2012 at the very time we keep hearing about 11% and 12% cuts having been made.

When one digs into the actual figures, we always find gross exaggeration being used by one side or the other.
As though they think the public is too stupid to figure it all out.

We just want the true facts. Please try to stick to actual facts.
Stop trying to tell me that $60,000 a year plus $30,000 to $40,000 a year in benefits is a paltry wage for clerical staff.
As though $20,000 to $24,000 for that worker and their family's health care and dental care is not of fantastic value

Where do the candidates for mayor and city council stand on this?

A base salary is just that, 12:44am...a base salary. Most rank and file positions have salary steps, which can account for what appears to be a "raise", when all the employee is doing is reaching another step in the pay scale for their job classification.

Certainly, many workers earn substantially less than 60K a year, it's remains a fact that earning 60K a year in California isn't exactly going to put that worker on easy street.

I'm not going to get into a debate with you - my bottom line point is that this 5% pay and benefits reduction needs to apply not just to the rank and file, but to every employee if the City of Hayward. These workers have been dealt 17% in cuts over the last several years.

7:00 pm... "17% in cuts over the last several years"

I don't believe that figure unless you can describe in detail how it is arrived at.

Describe the worker who was getting $60,000 years ago and who is now getting $49,800.... a 17% cut.

By MW:

Regardless of "studies" that the Hayward municipal employees quote which supposedly "prove" that their financial compensation has declined over the last few years, most likely it has actually increased. and although at the same time the financial situation of a high percentage of the private sector residents. citizens, and taxpayers of Hayward, Alameda County, and California who are paying the salaries of those Hayward municipal employees has declined considerably.

In other words, every single day government is less in the business of providing service to the public and more in the business of being a politically protected parasite.

Union whores need to be broken. Need to stop nuzzling on the public tit and bleeding it dry!

This is a fair start at best. They need to understand that management are their superiors, hence the word and definition that accompanies it. There's always the Patco example!

You're nothing but an inconsiderate, cowardly troll, 8:37am. You certainly seem to have stereotyping down to a science! I'm so tired of people like yourselves who vilify people simply because their job is part of a union. To let people like yourselves tell it, management and corporations are choirboys...when we ALL know that's far from the truth. The union workers have now taken 17% in cuts in wages and benefits since 2010. Management AND the people who voted through these cuts need to also have their wages and benefits cut 17%.

Just curious, of the 17% cut how much was pension based?

Nice try 2:20, but, you've already shown us you're a stereotyping asshole with your 8:37 post. Please do us ALL a favor and crawl back under that rock you live under. I exit with Mark Twain's famous quote.

The Hayward anti union sexist male troll who has multiple posts on every article has run for office in Hayward multiple times and is a very bitter man because he has never come close to winning. Nobody takes him seriously.

Drum Roll 2:17: Live in Hayward like you do, but never ran for office. I did vote against you and laughed at how few votes you got. I think you need to see a shrink to get over your mommy issues. Maybe you wouldn't be such a sexist!

Fran David has destroyed Hayward and the Council is afraid to stand up to her.

6:53-do you know how crazy you sound pretending to be someone else. You need mental help for your sexist foul mouth. Maybe that's how you compensate for your insecurity and inability to get elected. Hayward has rejected you time after time. Get over it. Temper temper loser!

Anon 12:13 You're nothing but an inconsiderate, cowardly troll. You certainly seem to have stereotyping down to a science! I'm so tired of people like yourselves who vilify people simply because their job is part of a union. To let people like yourselves tell it, management and corporations are choirboys...when we ALL know that's far from the truth. The union workers have now taken 17% in cuts in wages and benefits since 2010. Management AND the people who voted through these cuts need to also have their wages and benefits cut 17%.

12:13----do you know how crazy you sound pretending to be someone else. You need mental help for your sexist foul mouth. Maybe that's how you compensate for your insecurity and inability to get elected. Hayward has rejected you time after time. Get over it. Temper temper loser!

Pete Castelli here, president of the Union Whores: UW Local 666 FU!

We've been suckling on the public tit forever, bleeding it dry at the public's expense. What the fuck do we care! WE control the political process, not the fuckin' public. WE decide who gets in, what they do, when they jump and whose ass they lick.

WE are the Union Whores! WE decide what goes. Only us.

You think Mr. and Ms. Public has any voice? Hell no.

WE are the union whores. We'll shit all over you, and that's if we like you.

WE are the Union Whores! Here OUR roar!!

Anon 11:18 Do you know how vulgar and sexist you sound? Try and get your point across like an intelligent and respectful poster if you can. Sexist language went out the window decades ago. We also know you are not Pete Castelli, so why pretend to be someone else? Hopefully your sexist rants will be gone from this article soon.

I think they should have followed the suggestions of the independent fact finder that both sides agreed to.

Since the workers took a 12% cut in pay with no cost of living increases over the last 4 years, they should have got a cost of living increase this year. Instead they got another 5% cut which will mean some workers losing their homes. Some of the lower wage clerical workers were barely getting by after the 12% cut. The City Council should be ashamed of themselves.

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