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San Francisco | Labor & Workers

Tentative Agreement With SF For 11,000 Union Workers
by Michael Steinberg ( blackrainpress [at] hotmail.com )
Wednesday May 14th, 2014 5:09 PM
On May 9 Service Employees International Union Local 1021 announced a tentative agreement with the City and County of San Francisco that would significantly improve workers health care costs, wages and other benefits.
Union SEIU Local 1021, which represents 13,000 San Francisco city workers, announced on May 9 that 11,000 of them had won a tentative victory in contract negotiations.

According to a union press release, “San Francisco’s largest union of public workers—SF SEIU 1021—today won a major victory in its ongoing battle to stop shifting of healthcare costs onto workers.”

The press release went on to explain how the win “comes in the form of contract language awarded today by Arbitrator Robert Hirsch, which sets forth a process for the City and Union to work together on health care price and quality transparency, prevention of anti-competitive practices and fair hospital prices.”

The union has been fighting for more than two years against City Hall efforts to shift more health costs onto the city workers backs, thus bringing down real wages. The press release asserted,

“Throughout bargaining, healthcare remained the top priority of member negotiators, who argued that the City’s cost-shifting scheme wouldn’t address the real cost-drivers in healthcare—anti-competitive pricing, waste and profit.”

Full details of the arbitrator’s award were to be available at workplaces on Monday, May 12, and workers had three weeks to vote on the proposed contract. Other conditions included “reasonable wage increases, life insurance, improved training and safety provisions, as well as agreements to create good jobs by putting restrictions on the use of outsourcing and limiting City Hall’s reliance on part time and as-needed workers.”

In addition, the union announced that it was continuing “to bargain for contracts for Registered Nurses and workers in the Service Critical Unit of the MTA.”

Meanwhile, SEIU 1021 “vowed to continue their efforts to tackle income equality in the City.” The union has tied its contract negotiations with the City to campaigning on the issue of income inequality. It has marched on Twitter headquarters, twice, to protest multimillion dollar City Hall tax giveaways to Big Tech, while SF residents suffer from cuts in services. The union is supporting a measure that would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour. And it has called for affordable housing and tenant protections from Ellis evictions.

SEIU 1021 Vice President Larry Bradshaw commented, “We are pleased with the contract for the Union. But we hope we have succeeded in amplifying the conversation about wealth inequality in the city. Income inequality is the defining issue of our day, and should be the priority for our city. San Francisco has such wealth and technology that there is no excuse for the level of inequality that we suffer under.”
§More info on this story
by Michael Steinberg ( blackrainpress [at] hotmail.com ) Friday May 16th, 2014 5:15 PM
A colleague sent me the following relevant info;

The arbitrator also provided all 2604s and 2606s (Food Service Workers = FSW),which includes a friend, with an additional step raise beginning July 1, 2014 (one step equals 5%). FSW were most of the lowest paid city employees (I think only the cadets were paid less). My friend has been fighting for this step raise since Feb 2012. There are also decent COLAs and lower employee out of pocket health care costs in this contract. I haven't heard the details on the as needed employees.