San Francisco Members Ratify New Contract by 93%

On April 26, Local 21 and the City and County of San Francisco reached an agreement for a new contract through June 30, 2014. The following week, after a series of informational roadshow meetings sharing the details of the new agreement, Local 21’s membership ratified that agreement by 93%. The overwhelming positive response demonstrates that the contract reflects an intelligent and equitable settlement of all our economic and non-economic issues.

The new agreement was reached with the assistance of Arbitrator Carol Vendrillo, and will be effective July 1, 2012. Following years of concessions to help save jobs and services, the two-year agreement resists the City’s call for more concessions and provides three 1% raises, a one-time award of two additional paid floating holidays in 2012-2013, and modest increases in employees’ contributions to health care for those at the “employee-only” level. No changes will be made to health contributions at the Employee +1 and Employee +2 levels, or for employees assigned to worksites outside of the service area. The contract also calls for a joint labor-management committee to address wellness programs and other ways that can help stabilize growing health care costs.

Aside from the major provisions on wages and health care, the new contract also includes an increase in the Educational Development Fund, improvements to the arbitration process for terminations and long-term suspensions, more inclusive parental leave language to provide rights for non-traditional caretakers, uniform allowances for certain classes, and stronger protections to monitor and fight abuses of contracting out and exempt appointments.

We are proud of this agreement and the hard work that went into it. There are many arguments to support larger salary increases including an increasing cost of living, the rapidly improving City budget, much higher average wage increases in the private sector, and the concessions that members made over the last few years. On the other hand, our salaries compare well to other public agencies which are not yet granting raises, and state revenues are coming in lower than projected, which could result in cuts to local government funding.

Further, a high unemployment rate in San Francisco supports a call for modest COLAs. We believe the 3% salary increase is a fair settlement and begins to turn the tide for our members. Admittedly, it is less than we deserve, but reasonable under the circumstances.

Our thanks go to Local 21’s skilled negotiating committee and all our staff for their determined effort, as well as the 1,066 Local 21 members who took time to attend informational meetings about the agreement and cast their vote. For more information, including details of the health care agreement and the schedule of wage increases, read the latest SF Cityline newsletter or view the signed agreement.