What Agreements Did the City Make With The Unions?

We know that City Council is hoping to vote on a budget today at 4:30.  We know that the budget depends on the agreements reached with all five of Oakland’s employee unions.  We know that the agreement with Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21 is on line here.

But exactly what has Oakland agreed to with the four other unions?

We’ve asked the City to make all agreements public.  Our letter to that effect follows:

June 30, 2011

Via E-Mail

 Honorable Jean Quan, Mayor, City Council President Larry Reid,  Vice Mayor Desley Brooks, City Council Members Jane Brunner, Pat Kernighan, Ignacio De La Fuente, Nancy Nadel, Libby Schaaf and Rebecca Kaplan

Re:  City Budget

Dear Mayor Quan, Council President Reid and Council Members:

As we have publicly announced in several forums, and as our board member Joe Tuman stated at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Make Oakland Better Now! has been very encouraged by the City’s reported success in negotiating concessions with the five major bargaining units representing Oakland’s uniformed and miscellaneous employees.  We were also impressed that all participants in the process made diligent efforts to negotiate only at the bargaining table, not in the media.  We are sure that by negotiating in private, the City and the unions made success much more likely.

Now that the negotiations have been concluded and the agreed terms are being submitted to both the City Council and the unions for approval, transparency and full disclosure are in order.  As Joe mentioned Tuesday night, our congratulations are premised in part on the assumption that the reported annual savings of $40 million are real, and that the final deals include no significant adverse offsets that would limit the potential savings to the city for which purpose the new agreements were made.    Toward that end, and with a view toward transparency in the budget process, we ask that the City now release all the terms agreed to between the City and each of its unions.

The citizens of Oakland are entitled to scrutinize all components of the city budget in a public forum, even those negotiated behind closed doors and before the budget is voted on by the City Council.  The details of each agreement, along with memoranda clearly showing the net  financial benefits of each set of agreements, should be provided to the public with an opportunity for comment before the City Council adopts the 2011-13 budget.


Bruce Nye

Board Chair, Make Oakland Better Now!

CC:  Acting City Attorney Barbara Parker

Make Oakland Better Now!

OakTalk Here is the blog of Make Oakland Better Now!, an Oakland community grassroots group of a grass-roots group of voters, volunteers, and policy advocates committed to improving the City of Oakland by focusing on public safety, public works, and responsible budgets. Founded in 2003, we’ve researched, lobbied, and successfully campaigned for a number of new, impactful policies, including the city’s Rainy Day Fund, Measure Z and Operation Ceasefire.

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