SEIU makes noise in City Hall

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Workers march through City Hall
PHOTO BY ANNA BAKALIS

SEIU Local 1021 workers say ‘’our message was heard” after about 300 marched into City Hall April 30. The city workers marched around the rotunda and then visited the offices of Sups Mar, Campos and Kim and Mayor Ed Lee, demanding that health care costs do not increase in ongoing contract negotiations with the city.

The city has already taken pay cuts that the union had been loudly protesting off the table. 

“We’re making progress, but not enough progress,” said Local 1021 field organizer Frank Martin del Campo.

He added that “this is the first time to my knowledge a union has militarized during the arbitration process since the process was established in San Francisco.”

The union had stated that they planned to demonstrate until 7:30pm, and then attempt to stay the night in a “Wisconsin-style takeover.” But by 6:30pm, the workers had exited City Hall.

“Our goal was to come and reclaim City Hall,” said Local 1021 vice president Larry Bradshaw. “If they wouldn’t let us in we’d occupy City Hall. They let us in.”

He added that "our members aren't afraid to get arrested," referencing an April 18 protest that resulted in 23 arrests.

He said that SEIU will not be on strike for May Day, but many members will be calling in sick and supporting janitors with SEIU Local 87 in their picket at Westfield Mall, scheduled for 11am.

Bradshaw, however, a paramedic. won't be calling in sick. "I'll be in arbitration," he said.

Comments

Your workers are very well paid.

For every wage dollar you earn, taxpayers now pay 30 cents for your guaranteed pension that frankly, no one else in the real world gets. You pay $9 a month for dependent health care and complain while the the taxpayers who support you pay $1,200 a month.

Please - a reality check and stop the greed.

You are bankrupting a great City and most of you don't even live here you so you don't even care There is a reason the streets are not getting paved.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 8:21 am

If SEIU had not wanted to pay higher health care premiums, then SEIU should not have pushed Prop C in last year's elections.

A day late and a dollar short is an understatement.

Posted by guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 9:05 am

They need a reality check. People in the private sector are grateful to have a job, while those working for the city think that they are entitled to wage increases and benefits no one in the private sector gets. After the Matier & Ross column yesterday, why isn't the Mayor calling for significant pay cuts and significant contributions by workers to their healthcare?

"The average pay for all city workers was $93,229, plus benefits. According to the city controller, the average wage earner in the city's private sector, on the other hand, made about $78,228."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/04/29/BAFO1OA7MC.D...

Posted by The Commish on May. 01, 2012 @ 9:13 am

workers and the union know that their goose is cooked.

Funny thing is - these cuts and cost increases is just the beginning. We will see waves of reforms, year after year, until their benefits are on a prudent and sustainable basis. The voters have had enough of this boondoggle.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 9:30 am

where they are immune from economic forces and the City has a bottomless pit of money, taken from funds to pave the streets, to draw from.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 10:35 am

hmmm I happen to work for the city and I don't make nothing near $78,228 nor do any of my co workers. Most of the employees under local 1021 are in the range of $46,000 to $75,000. We hardly get by and live check to check like most of you.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 9:32 am

In the private sector, for the same jobs, you'd be looking at 20K to 40K. And with no benefits. You dont know how well you have things.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

Your pension costs went up by another $60 million this year...so city services (summer school, SF General healthcare, road paving, etc., etc.) will be cut again.

Your defined-benefit pension plans guarantee you 8% annual returns. The shortfalls have to be made up by the citizens of San Francisco. You need to be shifted to defined-contribution pension plans (a la Social Security)...or the city goes bankrupt much sooner than you think...and your pensions will be nil.

The police had 44 officers and brass whose year-end pay exceeded $200,000 last year. Not that city workers earning over $200,000 is all that uncommon.

Payroll records show that about 259 city workers surpassed the $200,000 mark last year. More than a third of the city's 26,182 full-time workers made more than $100,000. The average pay for all city workers was $93,229, plus benefits.

Sweat deals!

Posted by Troll the XIV on May. 01, 2012 @ 9:44 am

Trust me. The Chronicle is reporting the facts wrong. No one who works there understands pension math. Google Joe Eskanazi (sp?) at SF Weekly.

You also have to account for the Retirement Board lowering the investment rare of return in January (to 7.50% from 7.75%) - also not reported in the Chron. This added $500 millon or so in new pension costs.

It'd be great if at some point our citiizens started to pay attention to the fact that our City is on a path to bankruptcy.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 10:43 am

Would like to see a rebuttal from Gabbies-Hissy-Fit to these arguments.

Posted by Guest on May. 01, 2012 @ 9:47 am

Wow. It amazes me how quick some people are to jump down the throat of teachers, nurses, janitors, and immigrants to lament over their own economic immobility. All the while, these misguided attacks on other working people only emboldens the financial institutions that actually caused the economic crisis, and the corporations who continue to bankrupt the city by not paying into the local payroll tax.

Here are some facts:

-SEIU 1021 represents the lowest paid of city employees. Those referenced above who are making upwards of $200,000 are not 1021 members. They are likely managers, directors, or administrators who the Union is negotiating against.

-The average annual pension for SEIU members in California is $24,000. Please tell me if you think an annual remittance of 24K is excessive. I honestly do not know how anyone could live comfortably on that.

-SEIU 1021 members in San Francisco are not afraid of sacrifice for the greater good. Over the past 4 years, SEIU 1021 members, the lowest paid City workers, have taken pay cuts, furloughs, layoffs, and starting July 1st, most will be paying 10% of their salary into their pension. Meanwhile, due to the growing need for City services and declines in staffing levels, SEIU 1021 members are working harder than ever before for less money.

- Also remember what it is that these workers do. They sterilize HIV-infected medical instruments at SFGH, they bleach MRSA-infected rooms, they placate irate mental health patients when they are having violent episodes, and they are the ones who make sure that when you buy a gallon of gasoline, you are actually buying a proper gallon. The work performed by SEIU 1021 members is vital, dangerous, and benefits the safety of you, the tax payer. So, for the love of God, STOP HATING!

All these workers want is not to have to see their each of their future pay checks reduced by hundreds of dollars, as the City is proposing in their healthcare proposal.

This is the real reality check - the public sector has been and now barely remains as the only source of decent paying (around 45K) jobs for folks who have limited education or skill set. There is already an unacceptable disparity between unemployment rates of the Bayview or the Excelsior and that of Pacific Heights or the Marina. We need the public sector to offer middle class jobs so that we do not loose more working families from the Southeast of our City, who have been migrating away in the droves.

If you're angry about the state of our economy, or the City budget, blame the millionaires and billionaires who the Mayor is allowing to skirt around their tax obligations. Do not blame the janitor who makes 45K, is struggling to stay and San Francisco, and who risks her health and safety everyday sanitizing SFGH to ensure that you do not get an incurable infectious disease.

Posted by Guest on May. 02, 2012 @ 7:15 am

Public Employees Are Not To Blame

I completely agree!!

Posted by Guest on May. 14, 2012 @ 4:46 pm

maintain or improve their standard of living. Who doesn't do that?

The problem is that most of us do not improve out economic status by getting others to pay for it, in the way that public sector workers do. And since we pay your wages, we should decide what those wages are, and whether you even have a job. IOW, we are your boss.

That said, I blame the politicians for not having a spine more than I blame you for seeking to prolong your unsustainable gravy train. Addicts always find it hard to quit, which is why they eventually need to go cold turkey, or wither and die.

Posted by Guest on May. 14, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

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