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February 25, 2014 > Hayward releases fact-finding report on labor impasse with union

Hayward releases fact-finding report on labor impasse with union

Submitted By Kelly McAdoo

The City of Hayward has released the findings of a three-person panel charged with Òfact findingÓ in the CityÕs continuing labor impasse with SEIU 1021. The panel, consisting of one representative from the City, one from SEIU, and one neutral third party, met for four days late last year to examine the circumstances leading up to the impasse and to hear evidence from each side.

The CityÕs contract with SEIU 1021 clerical, maintenance, and confidential employees expired on April 30, 2013. Talks stalled in July, leading the City to declare impasse on July 26. SEIU employees staged a three-day strike from August 13 -15. The deadlock continued through the late summer and fall, as SEIU steadfastly refused to meet Council-directed compensation guidelines established to address the City's structural budget deficit.

Many of the CityÕs eleven employee groups have already agreed to various packages of structural compensation reforms to meet the benchmarks established by Council. Throughout the negotiations, SEIU 1021 representatives rebuffed requests for their members to further share in the cost of their valuable City-provided benefits; and unlike other groups that have accepted salary concessions to meet the established target, SEIU leadership stood firm on their refusal to participate further, demanding a 10 percent raise over two years and a $1,000 signing bonus.

The fact finding hearings were conducted on November 18, 19, and 22, and December 17, 2013. The fact finder issued the non-binding report and recommendations on February 4, 2014, which could not legally be released to the public until February 14.

Although the City agrees with some of the neutral partyÕs findings, the sheer number of items in contention made a nuanced analysis of the issues impossible given the neutral partyÕs limited time and relevant background on the topic. Ultimately, the City disagrees with the fact finder on many of her core observations, which value short-term labor peace over the CityÕs long-term fiscal stability.

Members of the public are encouraged to visit www.haywardworks.com to see a summary of concessions from other bargaining groups, the full breakdown of the CityÕs offers to SEIU, and more detailed information about the impasse.

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