Local 21-endorsed Proposition G Leads to More Equitable Wages for Members
For years, Local 21 members at the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) have been fighting to close the gap between what city employees in similar positions are paid and the lower wages of workers at SFUSD. During negotiations in 2017, this chapter secured 3% equity adjustments and a 3-year deal with 9% wage increases. But workers at SFUSD have continued to be strong and advocate for fairer wages at the District.
Voters approved Local 21-endorsed Proposition G in June, which authorized San Francisco to levy an annual parcel tax with revenue provided to the San Francisco Unified School District to fund educators’ salaries, staffing, professional development, technology, charter schools, and oversight of funding. As a result, SFUSD workers will see additional wage increases that will make their jobs more competitive and equitable.
“This is great news and brings us closer to our goal of closing the gap between what city employees are paid and what we are paid,” said Jan Gyn, president of the Local 21 SFUSD Chapter. Negotiations for this money were led by Gyn, Chapter Vice President Susan Chan, Haydee Diaz, and David Lanham.
Local 21 members will be receiving 4% raises on top of the 3% raises that took effect July 1.
This additional 4% will be retroactive to July 1, 2018, though no firm date has been set for when the new salary scales will take effect. Given this development, Local 21 SFUSD members will receive more than 16% in raises over the life of this current three-year contract, which began July 1, 2017. The agreement also has a wage reopener that could yield additional wage increases in the event more District funds become available.
Kudos to members at SFUSD for all their hard work! When we have strong chapters, and we get involved on propositions that support workers and public services, we win!
Court Reporters and Court Professionals Negotiate a 1-Year Deal Despite Major Funding Challenges
Court Reporters and Court Professionals in San Francisco have just ratified a 1-year extension deal that is impressive, given the tough funding environment at the Courts. Last year, members at the Courts agreed to 11 furlough days to protect jobs, due to sharp funding cuts that have come as a result of a deeply flawed funding mechanism at the state level.
While the funding situation remains serious, the Court Reporters and Court Professionals were able to negotiate a 1-year deal that completely eliminates furlough days, increases the employer healthcare contribution by 10.5%, secures 3 one-time floating holidays for this year and 2 additional permanent floating holidays (in addition to the 4 existing in the contract), and a 1-time ability to cash out up to 5 days of accrued leave.
Local 21 members Orin Johnson, Trudy Verzosa, Sonji Walker, Gordon Aiavao, Ann Mendoza, and Maria Viscio led the way for these chapters along with Representative Angela Long. Orin Johnson says, “Union participation gives us a say in the circumstances we are placed within. It keeps us aware of what’s going on locally, statewide and nationally in terms of labor and gives us the best support through our representatives so that we make informed choices in today’s highly politicized rhetoric regarding labor pensions and the fate of the everyday San Francisco employee.”
In difficult funding environments, being part of a union ensures deals that not only protect jobs and services, but concrete wins too.
Port of Oakland Members Show Solidarity During Contract Fight, and Overwhelmingly Ratify Tentative Agreement
Local 21 members at the Port of Oakland overwhelmingly voted to ratify the Tentative Agreement (TA). Over 85% of the members turned out the vote, with 81% of the votes in favor of the TA.
The new contract provides for 14% salary increases through the period of four and a half years, effective January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2022.
Port of Oakland Local 21 members fought for, and won the fight to fully incorporate Port Attorneys into the unit. The members also fought successfully for stronger anti-discrimination language, continued funds for professional development, a lump sum payment of $1,500 per employee in the unit, seven “use it or lose it” floating holidays for the duration of the contract, sick leave buyback from employees with more than 10 years of service, and an additional retirement benefit for beneficiaries of employees.
The Local 21 bargaining team worked diligently with Local 21 Representative/ Organizer and Chief Negotiator Sharon Jenkins to prepare proposals that were important to their colleagues and Local 21 members. Thank you to Local 21 bargaining team members Ron Brown, Carletta Starks, Barbara Bally, Joshua Polston, Steve Gordon, Larry Vitatoe, Mary Richardson, and Donnell Choy for spending so much time and effort working to ensure Port of Oakland members got a good contract.
But getting a good contract that benefits all unit members isn’t possible with just a strong bargaining team. Strong union members made the current contract win possible. Port of Oakland members stood together in unity to show management that Local 21 members meant business. During the contract fight, employees showed up in numbers to address the Port Commissioners during their meeting with a serious message: “We deserve a fair contract as employees who have helped pave the way for the Ports success!” The new contract is overwhelmingly due to the activism and solidarity of our Local 21 members. Thank you to all the Local 21 members who participated in the contract fight, and congratulations on a hard-earned new contract!