After four days of voting, Local 21 members in Oakland chose to ratify the latest offer from the City this month with 82% of participating members voting YES.
Local 21 members voted to ratify the following agreement:
- 4% wage increase retro to July 1, 2017
- 1% wage increase in Jan. 2019
- Additional potential revenue-triggered 1% in Jan. 2019
This Agreement will now go to the Oakland City Council for ratification. We will be working diligently to ensure the new Agreement, which includes the more than 70 tentative agreements, gets implemented the way they were intended.
The Oakland City Council will meet to conduct a first reading of the Tentative Agreement and vote on a resolution on March 20, 2018. If approved, certain terms and conditions of the new Agreement will go into effect before the full contract is ratified; the shift differentials, uniform allowance, one- time floating holiday, professional development, and other wins we bargained for will be implemented. Local 21 Oakland members will see the floating holiday on their pay slips starting March 29, 2018.
The Oakland City Council will convene again on April 17, 2018, where they will have a second reading of the salary provision of the contract. If the Tentative Agreement is approved, payroll can implement the first 4% salary increase, which should be reflected on members’ April 26, 2018 pay slips. Retro paychecks are currently estimated to be implemented 6-8 weeks from when City Council approves it.
The City’s original starting offer was 0% wage increases. By the time IFPTE Local 21 went on a 7-day sympathy strike with SEIU 1021 in December 2017, our members had been working for 6 months with an expired contract, and the City of Oakland was offering Local 21 members 2% increases the first year with no retroactive pay, and 2% in July 2018. The pressure members built through the strike drove the City to move on several key issues, including wages.
The membership participation in the various contract campaign activities, especially during the strike, has been extraordinary. The dedication and sense of community among Oakland members during the 7- day strike was inspiring.
The political environment we were bargaining in was not ideal, and we know there needs to be changes in this area if we hope to do better in the future.
We had an anti-union mayor who tried to make city employees appear unreasonable by misrepresenting the city’s offer, and pitted us against the city’s most vulnerable populations, who we actually serve. We also had a City Council that didn’t stand up to the mayor and for city employees. We need to work together to ensure that during the next round of bargaining, we are working with elected leaders who value city employees.
We commend Local 21 members, the Bargaining Team, Contract Action Team (CAT), and Local 21 staff for all our efforts. Local 21 members showed Oakland what true solidarity meant, the Bargaining Team met for countless hours to deliberate on how to get us to the best possible deal, the CAT Team made sure members were engaged, and Local 21 staff worked long hours on organizing the logistics of the strike, researching the financial status of the City of Oakland, and creating a plethora of strike and bargaining materials. It was a long and hard fight, but the tenacity and collective action of public employees has moved us toward a better contract. We are extraordinarily proud of all our members.