Oakland MOU Bargaining Opens on the “Ides of March”

For weeks the City of Oakland has been trying to break up our chapters across three bargaining tables. This issue was finally resolved last week when the City agreed to sit with Local 21 bargaining at one table.

Although we have three chapters with separate MOUs, much of their contract language is the same and we have a long-standing practice of bargaining together. The City has tried to change this practice the last three rounds of negotiations but, in the interest of efficiency and solidarity, we have resisted any change. After a flurry of correspondence between the City and the Union, we agreed to open negotiations today, Friday, March 15. On a non-precedential basis, we agreed to a side table to discuss non-economic issues specific to the attorneys’ chapters in this round of negotiations.

The City has hired Jonathon Holtzman from legal firm Renee, Sloan, Holtzman and Sakai to negotiate on the City’s behalf. In the past, Holtzman led the City’s negotiation team in 2008-2009, and also negotiated with us on changes to Civil Service Rules. Negotiations with the other city unions, SEIU 1021 and IBEW 1245, opened this week as well. Local 21 members joined SEIU in a kickoff rally in front of City Hall on Monday. The theme, “Enough is Enough,” echoed through all the rally speakers, including Local 21’s Oakland Vice President, Renee Sykes.