Report From Oakland: Gearing Up for Negotiations

Our 20-member bargaining team has begun meeting to prepare for upcoming negotiations.  We’ve set a date to open on March 11.  The City team will be led by Renee Mayne, the new Employee Relations director, along with management representatives from various City departments.  This is a departure from the City’s practice the last three negotiations when they used an outside legal team and we are hopeful that this will set a new tone for negotiations.
 
Contract expiration for our contracts along with those of SEIU 1021, IBEW 1245 and the Oakland Police Officers Association is June 30, 2015.  For the first time in memory, Port of Oakland contracts for Local 21 and SEIU also expire on June 30. Mayor Libby Schaaf sent a letter to all City Unions requesting that we consider extending our current contract to October 17, 2015, to allow her time to get her management team in place.  She also suggested that all City Unions form a budget work group to work with budget staff to better understand the City’s financial position (similar to the one we have in place already).  Local 21 convened a meeting of all the City Unions on February 13 to informally talk about a response.  While we all concurred that we would not extend our contracts, we did agree to send a letter together to meet with the Mayor about the budget and the 5-year projection.