San Francisco Members Begin Bargaining First Full Contract In Six Years

For more information, visit our San Francisco 2012 Bargaining Page.

Local 21’s 24-person Bargaining Team representing members employed by the City and County of San Francisco sat down at the negotiating table in mid-February for the first full contract negotiation in six years. Our last MOU was negotiated in 2006 and was originally set to expire in 2009. At that time, members voted to extend the contract for one year, and then in 2010, extend it again for two years because of the economy and the need to preserve many contract provisions already in place. Collectively, we saved the City $250 million with our willingness to accept temporary furlough days, and we saved jobs and critical services in the process. Our contract, and the temporary 4.62% wage reduction we agreed to is set to expire in June. However, if we can’t reach a negotiated agreement by late April, outstanding issues will go before an Arbitrator, as required by the San Francisco Charter.

To date, negotiations have proceeded in an efficient and constructive manner. We finalized “Ground Rules” for negotiations and resolved two outstanding issues related to communicating with the media and for the City Attorney reviewing agreements. The City originally proposed that neither party should be able to communicate publicly about bargaining. We objected and the City withdrew its proposal. Additionally, in the past, the City would sign tentative agreements (TAs), and then forward them for review to the City Attorney’s office. What resulted was that the City inevitably returned to the table with changes from the City Attorney, and got a second chance to shape agreements. Now, because of our insistence, tentative agreements will not be signed until the City is certain that no further changes will be required per the City Attorney’s review. All legal review must take place before the City signs any TAs.

With Ground Rules out of the way, Local 21 is now in the process of presenting our non-economic proposals, and receiving the city’s initial proposals. Both parties have until the mutually agreed upon deadline of March 9, 2012, to submit any remaining proposals on new subjects. Proposal deadlines are important for the Union because we want to know the full package of what the City will be proposing before we move towards major agreements.

Over the next few weeks, several developments are expected that will better inform our economic proposals and overall bargaining strategy. Local 21 has hired Economist Tim Reilly to conduct an analysis of the City’s true economic state. This report, along with the release of the City’s Joint Budgetary Report, will include key information about the City’s financial projections.

 For more information, visit our San Francisco 2012 Bargaining Page.