Thursday, December 30, 2010

Laborers' Union Members Support Brother Courtney for Confirmation to SFPUC Commission Post.

Brothers & Sisters:
As many of you are aware, Brother Courtney was nominated earlier this month by Mayor Gavin Newsom to serve on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. This is particularly unique because Vince's appointment would be the 3rd major appointment (Brother Tom Harrison & Sister Theresa Foglio,) for Laborers' Local 261, since Mayor Newsom took office a little less than 7 years ago! I know this has everything to to with the strength, effectiveness, and commitment of the membership of our Union!
We all have reason to be encouraged by the fact that our Brothers & Sisters in the Building & Construction industry would have representation on this important Board if Vince is confirmed, and we should also be proud of the fact that we have received strong support from the Northern California District Council of Laborers, the SF Labor Council, the Alliance for Jobs & Sustainable Growth, Unite-Here Local 2, the A. Philip Randolf Institute, Brightline Defense, the Chairman of the SF Democratic Party and many others.
This is an excellent opportunity for both Brother Courtney and our Union because we know Vince has been assisting LiUNA! Vice President Oscar De La Torre in both the public and private sectors throughout Northern California, while the SFPUC's private sector construction plans result in job opportunities for our members in Local Unions 261, 270, 304, 389, 324, 67, 185, and 1130 which Brother De La Torre represents...its a great fit for the 35,000 members that count on our Union in Northern California.
Because Brother Courtney is respected by Business, Labor, and the Community alike, and because he is highly ethical, extremely dedicated & effective, and most importantly, OUR BROTHER, I encourage you all to appear at the Rules Committee meeting at City Hall Monday January 3 at 10am, to show unity while Vince is interviewed.
Please also be prepared to attend the swearing in ceremony following the full Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, if everything goes smoothly and Mayor Newsom decides to schedule such a ceremony. Naturally, all 3000 members of Local 261 are invited to attend, so Orange Up!
Brother Ramon Hernandez

You may choose to call Supervisor David Campos (415) 554-5144 (Chairman of the Rules Committee,) Supervisor Eric Mar (415) 554-7410, and Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier (415) 554-7752 to let them know the great membership of the Laborers' Union is behind Brother Courtney 100%!

Friday, December 17, 2010

LiUNA!, Local 261 City Committee Hosts 3rd Annual Holiday Open House at Laborers' Union.

3rd Annual City Committee Holiday Open House
Thursday: The City Committee & Ramon Hernandez and the LiUNA! Local 261 Executive Board thank Senators Mark Leno & Leland Yee, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, Board President David Chiu, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Assessor Phil Ting, Treasurer Jose Cisneros, CAO Ed Lee, Supervisors John Avalos, David Campos, Bevan Dufty, Ross Mirkarimi, Dem Party Chair Aaron Peskin & Labor Council President Mike Casey for joining us... Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SF Supervisors David Chiu, Carmen Chu, and Eric Mar know that Prop B is Bad Medicine for San Francisco!

Today, Local 261 Business Manager Ramon Hernandez, Secretary-Treasurer David De La Torre, and myself were very proud of our SF Leadership for "walking the walk," not just talking the talk. The No on B campaign knows what Tom O'Connor and the Firefighters (IAFF Local 798,) already know, the more the voter learns about Proposition B, the more they know that it does not "Make it Fair!" (click for pics)
The Chinatown merchant walk started around 2pm, as dozens of voters joined Supervisors Chiu, Chu, and Mar at getting the word out on the streets in a critical voting District.
"It is critically important for the voters to know that our membership suffers a greater burden under this proposed measure because our membership makes a far lower compensation than many of the targeted city employees." - Ramon Hernandez, LiUNA! Local 261 Business Manager.
Many folks around town think that Prop B is a winner. Our membership has negotiated reform with this administration and will continue to openly and honestly engage in order to do what's right for San Francisco. For this measure to simply ignore that entire process is disrespectful to the working men and women we represent, but more importantly, is simply not progressive!" stated David De La Torre of Laborers' 261.
There are still many volunteer opportunities for workers and their families to get the message out to the voters that Prop B does not really "make it fair," visit and volunteer today.
All members, join us October 30 at 10am for the GOTV!

Monday, October 4, 2010

142 Union Members Hit the Streets on a Friday Nite to Oppose Meg Whitman and Proposition B!

On Friday nite, the Union Members celebrated a successful campaign walk in which 142 members in both the public and private sector walked precincts before returning to the Local Union Offices for a Solidarity BBQ event. Ramon Hernandez and the Executive Board were joined by SF Board President David Chiu, SF Supervisor David Campos, Democratic Party Chairman Aaron Peskin, Labor Council Director Tim Paulson, School Board Member Kin Shree Maufas, Candidates Janet Reilly, Debra Walker, Rafael Mandelman, and Steve Moss at the celebration. Congratulations Chief Stewards and Dept. Reps Adrian Field, Joan Vellutini, Nikki Mixon, Terry McDevitt, Dan Feerick, Edison Fincher, Jose De La Mora, Alex Alvarez, Larry Montoya, Anthony Travis, Tony Lucero, and all the others for getting the word out.
Now, the real test...Saturday, October 30, 2010 at 10am Laborers Union Members precinct walk to Get Out the VOTE! See you then.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Time is Running Out! Election day is around the corner. Call (800) 345-8683!

Brothers & Sisters:
Things are really heating up and Ramon & I wanted to hit you with this message to maximize participation because our future depends on it. We are under attack so please work hard to attend or participate in the following and forward this message-

September 20 11:30 Mon
County Fair Building (9th ave in GGP)
RPD Rank & File informational meeting. Mandatory for anyone who does not want to lose money.
September 20 2:00 Mon
DPW Trailers
DPW Rank & File informational meeting. Mandatory for anyone who does not want to lose money.
September 25 10am Sat
291 Connecticut (Potrero Hill)
Turnout only in ORANGE. Steve Moss kickoff/make a difference!
October 1 3:00pm Fri
Precinct walk (easy) against Adachi/Whitman followed by solidarity BBQ at 6.
October 30 10am Sat
Precinct walk (easy) against Adachi/Whitman followed by solidarity BBQ at 3.
November 2 Tues
All Day (Union advocates for membership-wide furlough day to GOTV) "posting up" with voter information at the polls.

Janet Reilly - Dist #2
Carmen Chu - Dist #4
Debra Walker - Dist #6
Rafael Mandelman - Dist #8
Steve Moss - Dist #10

No on B (Adachi attacks our families)

State Stuff:

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

SF Port membership-

Maintenance Division Directive 10-01
DATE:​August 31, 2010
 TO:​All Maintenance Staff
 FROM:​Tom Carter, Deputy Director, Port Maintenance Division
 SUBJECT:​New Sign In/Out Procedure, Work Schedules, and Requests for Time Off
Due to the high volume of complaints from staff, supervisors, management, the Executive Director, the Department of Human Resources, and the unions around timekeeping abuses including but not limited to: tardiness/leaving early, absences without authorized leave, non-adherence to work schedules and overtime inequities it has become necessary to remind all Maintenance Staff to comply with and adhere to Port established policies, procedures and protocols; and to also enforce compliance with the Port policies and procedures around these issues.
Please find included in this memo, excerpts from the Port of San Francisco’s Personnel Policy and Procedures Manual, Section 7 – Work Hours and Authorized Absences.
It is recommended that employees read the policies contained in this section in their entirety in order to re-familiarize themselves with Port Policy.  Additionally, this directive serves to introduce a new procedure for recording time in/out from work each day.
Effective September 7, 2010, all Maintenance Division employees are required to sign-in and sign-out of work daily.  Supervisors are required to be present at the start and end of the work-shift to verify arrival and departure times of each employee.
When employees arrive at their shop at the beginning of each work-shift they must sign-in on the Shop ‘Sign In/Out Sheet’.  Each employee shall print and sign their name, record the date, and record the time-in, (in the order of arrival) for the workday.  The Supervisor is responsible for verifying the employee’s time-in entry on the ‘Sign In/Out Sheet’ by initialing the time-in.
When employees are prepared to leave work at the end of their work-shift they must sign-out on the Shop ‘Sign In/Out Sheet’.  Each employee shall print and sign their name, record the date, and record the time-out, (in the order of departure) for the workday. The Supervisor is responsible for verifying the employee’s time-out on the ‘Shop Sign In/Out Sheet’ at the end of the workday by initialing the time out.
Supervisors are required to initial each employee’s time-entry/ies at the beginning and end of the day as verification that the information is accurate.
Employees that report to work after the scheduled start time and/or leave work prior to the scheduled end time will be subject to being docked (receiving no pay for the time absent.)  Each employee is responsible and accountable for signing in/out for his/herself only. Employees that falsify their own time entry; or record time or sign-in/out for another employee; or are absent from work without authorized leave may be subject to progressive disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Normal Work Schedules - Most schedules consist of 8 hours work per day within 8 1/2 to 9 hours; 40 hours work per week.  Employees in the Maintenance Department generally work from 7:30 AM to 4:00 PM, or 6:30 AM to 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday, with one unpaid half-hour for lunch.  These schedules may vary depending on the operational needs of the Port and when employees have requested and received approval for alternative work schedules.
Employees are expected to sign-in at their assigned work site; prepared to commence work at the scheduled start time; and to remain on the job except when they have permission from their Supervisor/Manager to be absent.  Employees must also be prompt in returning from lunch and/or coffee breaks which are limited to the time allotted.
All employees must be scheduled for a minimum of one half-hour to a maximum of one hour lunch break at or near the middle of each work day.  Employees may not skip the lunch break as part of an alternate work schedule.
Sick Leave/Absence - Employees who are unable to report for work on a given day due to illness or other reasons must contact their Supervisor as soon as they know they will be absent, but no later than 15 minutes after their scheduled time to start work.  Unless the employee and supervisor know that the employee will be off for a pre-stated period of time, the employee must contact his/her Supervisor no later than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time on each day of absence.
An employee who knows in advance that he/she will be absent from work for one to five continuous work days should request approval from her/his supervisor at least one week in advance.  Absences that require the use of sick leave in excess of five continuous work days must be referred to Human Resources.
Requests for Time Off - Employees requesting furlough, vacation, floating holidays, and compensatory time-off must submit the Request for Time-Off form to their Supervisor for approval at least one week (5 consecutive work days) in advance of the requested time off.  Submission of the request form by the employee and receipt of the request by the Supervisor do not constitute approval.
New Procedure - All Requests for Time-Off forms must first be submitted to the Office of the Maintenance Division Deputy Director prior to Supervisor or Manager approval.  Once received, the request will be date and time stamped and subsequently forwarded to the Supervisor/Manager for approval.  Supervisors and Managers are advised to turn-around the approved/refused time off request form within one day of receipt from Deputy Director’s office and no later than 3 business days prior to the scheduled absence.  All absences and time off requests will be noted on the sign-in/out sheet for the day scheduled and will be reconciled by management.  Any discrepancies found may subject the employee to progressive disciplinary action up to and including termination.
cc: ​M. Moyer
​L. Holmes-Williams
Maintenance Division Staff

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Congratulations to all the recipients of the Gardener of the Month Awards. Thank You to our Sponsors!

McLaren Lodge:
Union Members volunteered to assist at preparation for the second annual celebration and party at the Commission Meeting Room this after noon. Mayor Gavin Newsom and Oscar De La Torre started the tradition along with many of Union members which has grown into an event for all to look forward to. State Senator Leland Yee showed up to congratulate the recipients and spoke to the membership and guests at the event. Our Majority Whip of the California State Assembly, Fiona Ma had certificate presentations for all 12 gardeners! Ed Reiskin, Mke Farrah, Rafael Mandelman, Debra Walker, RPD Commissioner President Mark Buell and commissioners Tom Harrison, Gloria Bonilla, and our own Tom Harrison showed up to watch Ramon Hernandez and Phil Ginsburg present the honors to each member. Special thanks to Margaret McArthur and Theresa Foglio for all the extra help as well as the SF Parks Trust, the Neighborhood Parks Council, the Arboretum Society, Scoma's, and Local 261 for their contribution & sponsorship. Enjoy your Parks!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

SFRPD/SF Parks Commission/SF Botanical Society/Parks Trust/SF NPC/ and Scomas host Second Annual William Hammond Hall Celebration Tuesday 7/27 1-4pm.

Join SFRPD General Manager Phil Ginsburg and LiUNA! Local 261 Business Manager Ramon Hernandez in Celebrating our Public /Private Partnerships, State Certified Apprenticeship, and our Gardeners of the Month and recipients on Mayor Gavin Newsom's William Hammond Hall Award marking this special occasion.
The 2010 recipents are:
Ray Goodenough, George Olivera, Jason Martinez, Bob Fiorello, Christopher Campbell, Hugh Mallaney, John Smith, York Martin, Virginia Aubry, Joe Chmielewski, Ben Martin, Nick Soumie

CCSF/LIUNA! 261 JLMC REACHES FINAL F-DAY POLICY. For questions related to minimum staffing or other specifics kindly contact your Dept. personnel.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Organize Or Die!


Media Advisory

July 21, 2010


WHAT: The newly formed Stand up for Working Families will hold a press conference after delivering a letter to City Attorney Dennis Herrera asking for an investigation as to whether the City’s Grand Jury process was misused and utilized as a political vehicle for Jeff Adachi and Craig Weber. A letter, sent by Mr. Herrera to San Francisco Superior Court addressing his concerns, will be distributed as well as the letter from Stand Up for Working Families to Mr. Herrera requesting an investigation into the appropriateness of Mr. Weber’s behavior, including the exclusion of a minority juror report and asking for details as to Mr. Weber’s conversations with Jeff Adachi’s initiative campaign. Mr. Weber served simultaneously as a committee chairperson of the Civil Grand Jury examining the City’s pension system and as Treasurer of a political committee to support a ballot initiative dealing with the same issue.

WHO: Stand up for Working Families; Firefighters; Police Officers; City Workers.

WHERE: Steps of City Hall (facing Polk St.)

WHEN: Thursday, July 22, 2010

TIME: 1:00 PM

CONTACT: Tom O’Conner (415) 717-5322

Bob Muscat (916) 761-5995

Stand Up for Working Families is a coalition of San Francisco Firefighters, Police Officers and other City workers and their families who are unified against threats to their family’s health care and retirement benefits.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Adachi's Smart Reform is Attack on Public Employees/Collective Bargaining!

(i) It is the express intent of the voters that employers participating in the Health Service System and Retirement System, as well as active employees who are members of those systems, each pay an equitable share of pension and medical care costs. With respect to City employees, should a court of competent jurisdiction render a final judgment determining that any portion of this section cannot be enforced, then there shall be no increase in the cost of bargained compensation for a period of five years after the expiration of any memorandum of understanding in effect as of November 2, 2010 covering employees covered by such judgment. If, notwithstanding the voters' intent, an arbitrator awards an increase in wages or other economic benefits for employees under section A8.409-4 or A8.590-5, or the City is otherwise compelled to negotiate or arbitrate wage or benefit increases, such increases shall be presented to the voters for approval before they may become effective, for a period of five years after the expiration of any memorandum of understanding in effect as of November 2, 2010 covering such employees.
more here

DPW Bids save M-F, Ciy Committee sets deadline for F-day Policy, Various

DPW bids to take place all next week. Nice work by the bid committee in securing the M-F schedules that mean so much to the members. Edison, Nikki, Dan, Robert, Sam, and Theresa all worked to assist in this important effort that makes a difference in terms of keeping family commitments, getting training and promotional opportunities, as well as a simple change of scenery.
City Committee sets F-Day Policy deadline: At the June Committee meeting, the membership expressed displeasure at the apparent inability of the respective Departments to accept furlough day requests. The subject was discussed at length and after thorough debate it was agreed that the the City would have until midnight July 23, 2010 (the same day ast the Joint Labor Management Committee Meeting,) to finalize and articulate written policy for distribution. It is possible that we will have it sooner than that as well.
Adachi ATTACKS Workers: Stay tuned and join Facebook
to learn more about this bullshit effort against working men & women by our Public Defender headed to the Ballot this November.
New City and County Personal Service Contracts are found here

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

LiUNA! Membership turns out to Support SFRPD effort to capture responsible Revenue!

San Francisco City Hall: Today over 50 men & women from Laborers' Local 261 converged on the SF Board of Supervisors Budget & Finance Committee in order to assist the SF Recreation & Parks Department in its effort to persuade the Committee that a modest Non-Resident fee collection at the SF Botanical Gardens/Coit Tower was responsible. City Workers represented by LiUNA!, Local 261 are all too familiar with the need in these challenging economic times to pay more (or be paid less.) Having given back to the City big economically with additional Health care contributions, the introduction of "second tier" workers, and a severely reduced workweeks (all by a ratification vote of over 99%!) they know fees need to be reasonably raised upwards to simply keep pace. Please support this effort and let the SF Board of Supervisors know, Revenue moving forward is critical! Sister Theresa Foglio, and Brothers John Raulli and Vince Courtney addressed the Board's Committee on the issue. See meeting discussion here.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rank & File Slam Dunk! 261 City Committee Team gets mandate vote: 398 YES, 12 NO, Alternative Ratified!

Brothers & Sisters:
Congratulations on negotiating and ratifying an acceptable alternative to the layoff/rehire scenario! Special thanks to the Chief Stewards and Department representatives who worked long hours to get the job done. From the Mayor's Office on down to the SF DHR, everyone worked toward this end. Keep in mind that it is critical to stay together and always move with one strong voice as we continue to confront challenges that are before us.

Monday, April 26, 2010

City Committee Negotiators and Local 261 Business Manager Ramon Hernandez finalize agreement with City!

This afternoon, the Local 261 City Committee and Business Manager Ramon Hernandez concluded months, weeks, days, and hours of negotiations with the City to come up with an alternative to the layoff/rehire scenario which would have resulted the vast majority of Union membership being reclassified as part-time workers at 37.5 hours a week to start. The 261 negotiators took part in many of the discussion with the PEC (central table) which was chaired by Bob Muscat and Tim Paulson. The 261 team also worked closely with the SF Building Trades Council and Larry Mazzola of UA 38. Most of the items agreed to in those sessions have been incorporated into the LiUNA! Local 261 agreement with the City.
The Local 261 Committee had a number of items that were specific to the bargaining unit, and as such had several sessions with the City to address those concerns as well. In the end, the team unanimously agreed that it had the best possible alternative agreement (see it on the right of this page,) to the layoff/rehire scenario available.
In addition to those named above, the Union greatly appreciates all of the work that City representatives Mary Hao, Ileana Samanc, Vitus Leung, have done for the City the past several months and all the others who were committed to the process and professionalism.
Finally, without Negotiators/City Committee members Adrian Field (Chair,) Nikki Mixon (Co-Chair, ) Terry McDevitt, Joan Vellutini, Dan Feerick, Edison Fincher, Zac Salem, Larry Montoya, Alex Alvarez, Jose De La Mora, Manuel Bustos, and Theresa Foglio we may have not had such a fair agreement for the membership to ratify tomorrow as an alternative to the layoffs.
Voting is at 10am Tuesday, April 27 (juice & 200 donuts,) City Committee meeting is at 12 (10 pizzas) and voting will close at 5pm (6 more pizzas at 2:00.) See you there, results at 6 on

Friday, April 23, 2010

LiUNA! Local 261 Today. City Committee members including Chairs Nikki Mixon and Terry McDevitt reached tentative agreements with the city this afternoon on significant economic items. Although the parties have not concluded all discussions related to an agreement which is likely to go until July 2013, the parties are very close to finalizing on items such as "seniority," "weather," "special" assignments," among other things.
"It has been a very long road for our team. Without committed members like the Brothers & Sisters we have at the table now, we have very little hope of convincing our public sector membership that the tentative agreement reflects the best effort any labor organization could make. I believe that the dedication of our City Committee negotiators is unmatched City-wide." Ramon Hernandez, LiUNA!, Local 261 Business Manager
The next session is set for City Hall on Monday 1-3pm. The Ratification Vote will be held at the Laborers' Union Hall the following day between 10-5pm. Election results to be announced via

Thursday, April 15, 2010

City and Union meet to move closer. Next Negotiation set for April 23, 2010. Vote still set for 4/27!

Today, the City and the Local 261 Negotiations team met for several hours to discuss non-economic items as well as the actual mechanism for taking days off if the membership were to ratify the tentative agreement. Notices will go out next week and it is the Union's current position that employees treat them as real and act accordingly because there is always the possibility that he membership will not vote for the tentative agreement, so protect yourself by taking these notices seriously. This has been a terribly frustrating time for all involved. The Mayor has always said the the "part time" 37.5 hr/week was a proposal to close the budget gap and that it was up to the Union to come up with an alternative. Here, at Local 261 we have and we are almost ready to sign, seal, and deliver it to the membership. Adrian, Nikki, Joan, Terry, Theresa, Dan, Edison, Larry, Jose, Alex, Manny, and Zac have represented us well. We are on our way. If other Unions fail to ratify that will be their concern. In the end there will be no question that the Committee put forth the best effort to secure the best possible alternative to the "part time scenario." Keep posted!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Negotiations moved from Monday to Thursday at City Hall. New tentative vote date is 4/27. Leland Yee gets Rock Star Treatment!

The City negotiations have stalled with other bargaining units. The situation has made it necessary for the Monday session which was set for 2:30pm at City Hall to be moved to Thursday at 9:30am. Since we had hoped to move for a membership ratification vote on Thursday and we will be still at the bargaining table the same day, the new tentative ratification date for membership to vote on the alternative to the 37.5 "part time" work week is now April 27, 2010 at the Union Hall. Please do not be discouraged by the scheduling change as the parties are very close to an agreement especially as it relates to furlough days.
Also, earlier today State Senator Leland Yee, a friend of the Laborers for years, kicked off his Re-Election campaign in the Sunset District (pics.) Thank you Brothers Bruce Ricci & Dan Feerick, and Sister Theresa Foglio, the 261 E-Board and others for turning out for the event and precinct walk.

Friday, April 2, 2010

City and Local 261 back to table to wrap up this Thursday morning. Shooting for a VOTE April 15, 2010!

The Laborers' Local 261 City Committee negotiators will be back at the Table on Thursday morning for a scheduled 3 hour session with City Representatives. The goal is to finalize and tentatively agree to matters such as medically single employees and the City Plan, "lead" pay application, inclement weather, privatization models, departmental reorganizations/accountability, uniforms, seniority (shift bids,) supervisory opportunities, Horticultural standards through apprenticeship, Continuing Education, Camp Mather, and alternate work programs, among other things as well as to engage in a thoughtful discussion resolution surrounding the impact on the bargaining unit of 12 furlough days given the membership's overwhelming determination last negotiations that funding the retiree healthcare was a joint responsibility. It is our great hope that we will present the best possible tentative agreement for the members to ratify (as opposed to the "part time" layoff/rehire scenario,) that the members can adopt through a VOTE on April 15, 2010 at the Laborers' Union Hall! Remember to follow updates and possible changes.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Mayor's Press Press Conference with the SFLC PEC Coalition. Tentative Ratification date for Local 261 on complete version of MOU set for 4/15!

We will be ready to vote against the "part time" 37.5 hour work week at the Union Hall on April 15, 2010, unless negotiations with the City on all matters are not yet completed. Keep checking back for details.

Friday, March 26, 2010

SFLC PEC reaches agreement with City on two year deal which, if ratified puts an end to the 37.5/part-time layoff/rehire.

Union Officials learned today that a press conference will take place to announce a deal reached between Public Employee Labor Unions and the City on a plan which would effectively undo the layoffs and rehire scenario for the foreseeable future. Early indications are that the Unions have been successful at counter proposing that employees be required to take furlough days (mandatory time off or, MTO) at a rate of 12 per year for the next two years. It is possible that in the second year of the deal, employees will take less than twelve depending on the budget situation. Also, changes were agreed to related to "medically single" employees and the healthcare plan. "We are delighted with the fact that it appears that we are well on our way to scheduling a ratification vote for members of Laborers' 261. There is still lots of work for us to do but we're confident we can resolve all issues which remain. I applaud the efforts made by our negotiating team as well as our rank & file. It is apparent to me that the Labor Coalition was able to stay on point and remain focused to the very end, they were committed from the onset to get where we are today." - Vince Courtney, Business Representative Laborers' Local 261
Over the next couple of weeks, Local 261's negotiations team will dot the "i's" and cross the "t's" in our own agreement before asking the members to show up and vote for this very important change!
News from Local 21, City Insider Chronicle, KTVU Channel 2, ABC Channel 7, SF Examiner, KCBS

Negotiations continue as workweek plan lingers | San Francisco Examiner

Negotiations continue as workweek plan lingers | San Francisco Examiner

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Laborers' Union PEC Team talks Contracting Out, Seniority, Expedited Arbitration, etc at City Hall this am. Votes out of PEC talks re: messaging.

City Hall Today: The 261 PEC negotiations committee met earlier today with city representatives to continue our discussions surrounding alternatives to the 37.5/”part time” work week. From the beginning the Mayor’s Office has consistently represented that the scenario was a “proposal” and that they were open to alternatives through the “process” whether by collectively bargaining or meeting and conferring to reach agreement. Many, many meetings have taken place since the layoff/rehire notices dropped. The Mayor’s office has on two occasions since then, granted moratoriums on letter distributions. The new date at which the scenario would actually take place is May 15, 2010. From the onset, including at the Laborers’ Union Hall last month when we all (SFBCTC, Mayor Newsom, the Laborers, and contractors and developers,) advocated for creating work opportunities for construction workers with Fee Deferral legislation for development, the Mayor invited us to “open” in order to come up with alternative…so, you did. With respect to the Laborers Union membership, the parties are closing in on a solution and preparing for a ratification vote. It should be noted that while we have been negotiating with the City individually as a result of our unique bargaining unit realities (alternate work programs, stimulus, apprenticeship, public outreach, volunteers, park advocacy groups, and public-private partnerships,) we have participated in discussions at the so-called “big table” ie. SFLC PEC coalition. Most recently, at that table counter-proposals have been hard to come by as a result of the as of yet determined SEIU input. In the meantime, it has been necessary for the participants (other Unions,) to engage in direct (public) messaging to their own membership which at times has been inconsistent with our own. Unfortunately, this resulted in our own team’s decision this morning to unanimously move away from these discussions while continuing our own as well as discussions at the SFBCTC table where Larry Mazzola of the UA has represented our joint interests well. "I'll tell you this, if we don't get a handle on messaging quickly, we'll take more steps backwards in the public eye. WE have been honest and the Mayor's office has been with us too. I am proud of our team and of our progress...WE will get this thing done!"
- Vince Courtney Laborers' Union Representative
(pictured: Mayor Newsom and L261 Business Manager Ramon Hernandez talk alternatives at the Laborers' Union Hall,) Keep checking in to be informed as we work towards "GETTING IT DONE!"

Friday, March 19, 2010

City Insider : Another reprieve for pink-slipped city workers

City Insider : Another reprieve for pink-slipped city workers
Lots to still do with little time to get it done. After knocking off after 10pm following our session at City Hall last nite, the Local 261 negotiators were back at the SFLC PEC table past five o'clock today as well. Special thanks to Adrian, Theresa, and Nikki for representing! At the PEC meeting today, the the Unions were joined by the Mayor's Chief of Staff, the Director of DHR, and the head of the Employee Relations Division. Bob Muscat (IFPTE 21,) Tim Paulson (SFLC,) and Larry Mazzola (UA-38,) chaired the long sessions as the parties discussed in detail many of the outstanding issues related to finance, revenue, and layoffs.
Local 261 PEC negotiators will meet with the City all next week to try to come up with a tentative agreement so that the membership can vote on it. We meet Monday with the PEC and CCSF in the afternoon, on Tuesday morning with the Building Trades/CCSF, on Wednesday with the City and PEC, and again on Thursday. It is our hope that we will have something for the membership to ratify by the end of the week that "lifts" the layoff/rehire part-time status scenario. We may call for a vote soon, so stay posted. Keep in mind that Departments still have cuts. Keep following on the Twitter for real time updates!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

City and Union inch closer to agreement on alternative to "Part Time" workforce. Scheduled to meet again Thursday in the am.

SF City Hall, tonite:
The LiUNA! Local 261 negotiations team met with City representatives, this evening at City Hall to go over the Union's proposals related to the current 37.5 hour work week proposal. Joined by the Mayor's Chief of Staff as well as the Director of the SF Department of Human Resources, team members are optimistic about the potential for an agreement on an alternative to the part-time plan currently underway. The parties agreed to meet again on Thursday morning. Team members will also be meeting again with the Labor coalition and the city representatives tomorrow afternoon because it is likely that such economic agreements/solutions will be reached City-wide, while unit specific details are worked our accordingly.

Monday, March 15, 2010

City Committee Negotiators Back to the Bargaining Table at City Hall this Thursday Night!

Today, following the Rally for Jobs at City Hall, we met with the San Francisco Labor Council Public Employee Coalition at IFPTE, Local 21. Mike Thieriault of the SF Building Trades, Tim Paulson of the SF Labor Council, Mayor Newsom's Chief of Staff, Steve Kawa, DHR Chief Micki Callahan, and ERD Director Martin Gran were just a few of those in attendance.
Many Public Sector Union representatives were present if not most. There were lengthy discussions related to the fiscal picture as well as talks surrounding topics such as staffing, accountability and efficiency. The parties will continue to talk and Local 261 will continue to be involved in all discussions. Meanwhile, our negotiations committee has committed to forward progress on alternatives to the 37.5/hr work week.
To all of you who showed up at City Hall today, it was an absolutely perfect effort. The message was heard and the Laborers' Union was certainly recognized by all.

Laborers Union Members Rally for Board support for Jobs!

Public employee unions in Whitman's crosshairs

Public employee unions in Whitman's crosshairs

Friday, March 12, 2010

Local 261 Negotiations Team, Ramon Hernandez, and Tim Paulson of the SF Labor Council meet to move forward!

City Hall: Friday March 12, 2010
On the same day Mayor Newsom officially declared his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor, the Union and the City met for over two hours to discuss the current "proposal" which has taken on a life of its own in recent weeks. LiUNA! Local 261 Business Manager Ramon Hernandez, and Executive Director of the SF Labor Council Tim Paulson also joined us. Throughout this process the Mayor's Office has consistently maintained that the layoff/rehire (37.5 hour "part time" work week,) was the current proposal and that he invited Labor to engage him in the "process" of coming up with alternatives to address the massive (522 million dollar budget shortfall.) By an overwhelming majority of membership vote, the MOU (which expired on June 30, 2011,) was opened so that the Union would have an opportunity to "counter" the 37.5 hour work week plan. All workers who weighed in had hoped for an alternative that would result in Mandatory Time Off (MTO or furlough days.)
Although an actual agreement is far from being reached, the Parties are very, very, close.
"At this point, it appears to me that the Mayor has kept his promise to listen to the Unions who truly desire to work together to come up with an alternative to the layoff/rehire scenario in order to avoid all of the unnecessary (and unintended,) consequences while honestly addressing the Budget reality. We are very, very close."
- Vince Courtney, Labor Rep. LiUNA! Local 261
On Thursday afternoon, Local 261 Representatives Adrian Field and Deshelia Mixon met with the Labor coalition as the group highlighted topics for discussion with the Mayor throughout this process. SFLC Executive Director Tim Paulson and a handful of Labor Representatives also met with the Mayor to move toward common ground the same day.
"The numbers appear to be real. As an alternative, the City is looking for valuable Labor Concessions (roughly 6.25% for the fiscal year.) While still painful, if we can deal with these issues on a year to year basis, whether that be a 1, 2, or three year deal it would be much better for the membership and City moving forward...nobody wants to be "part time."
- Adrian Field, LiUNA!, Local 261 PEC Chair
Because the Local 261 MOU is officially open, the Committee also addressed;
RFPs at RPD, OLSE appeals, "Bargaining Unit Work" the Supe II, Horticulture Apprenticeship, The Education Fund, Seniority, Retiree Health, Camp Mather, Lead Worker, Stimulus Workers, and Ballot initiatives and various revenue ideas.

The Parties meet again next Thursday afternoon.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

LiUNA! Local 261 Chief Stewards attend coalition meeting today. 261 Negotiations team at City Hall tomorrow.

Click here for information from DHR and FAQ on the letter/survey re: SFUSD

Additionally, DHR's Workforce Development has scheduled "I Received a Layoff Notice, What Happens Now?" workshops for interested employees to attend. The following are the current available locations/date/times:

LIBRARY - March 16 @ 4:30PM - Koret Auditorium
HALL OF JUSTICE - March 15 @10AM, 1PM or 3PM AND March 17 @ 8:30AM or
10:30AM - 350 Bryant 7th floor Auditorium
DEPT OF PUBLIC HEALTH - March 16 @ 8AM - Laguna Honda Hospital A300 AND
March 16 @ 2PM - San Francisco General Hospital Carr Auditorium AND
March 18 @ 8:30AM or 10:30AM - 101 Grove Room 300
DEPT OF TECHNOLOGY - March 16 @ 10AM - One SVN 2nd floor Atrium

NOTE - dates/times/locations may be added or changed, so please verify by checking the DHR layoff website at

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Thousands Of SF Heath Workers Get Pink Slips; Most To Be Rehired - News Story - KTVU San Francisco

More news: Thousands Of SF Heath Workers Get Pink Slips; Most To Be Rehired - News Story - KTVU San Francisco
With an agreement to the reopening, we continue to work very hard with the Department of Human Resources and the Administration to come up with alternative solutions to the current proposal. We will need all the help we can get! Next Monday at 11:30am, we rally at City Hall to help persuade the SF Board of Supervisors to defer development fees and fast track construction to jump start the local economy and put the Laborers and Building Trades back to work! We will be there because we know its all connected when it comes to needed revenue!
Also, today, the Mayor introduced a new financial tool with members of Local 261, non-profits, and the Business Community (visit and

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Process Continues, Alternatives to be contemplated.

SF Arbor Day! (yeah, were still on the job,) and DPW Clean team celebrate 10 year anniversary event at Alemany Gardens.

This morning, the City kicked off the annual Arbor Day celebration in District 9. Joining the volunteers and workers were Department Heads and SF Supervisors David Campos, John Avalos, and Board President David Chiu. CAO Ed Lee, Director Ed Reiskin, and Mohammed Nuru had many speakers to introduce including Walgreens which submitted a $10,000 check. Ramon, Vince, Nikki, Javier, and David accepted an award on behalf of LiUNA!, Local 261 for the membership's contribution and efforts. Ramon welcomed the workers and thanked them for their labor during this popular event with the public, while Vince assured that those suffering from the "pink flu this morning, try not to believe everything that they read in the papers or see on TV," because "we're closer to alternatives than you might think."

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Usual Suspects - San Francisco’s Political Homepage » Blog Archive » Two Point Five Hours Per Week. A Half Hour Each Workday. $100M.

Usual Suspects - San Francisco’s Political Homepage » Blog Archive » Two Point Five Hours Per Week. A Half Hour Each Workday. $100M.

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San Francisco City Unions Want To Block Proposed Layoffs - KCBS

San Francisco City Unions Want To Block Proposed Layoffs - KCBS

Mar/Campos Pension Measure Moves Forward. Set up for future battles with Labor.

March 3, 2010, 9:12 am
City Pension Vote Lays Groundwork for Labor Battles

Mr. Elsbernd has been fighting labor unions in recent months in the name of fiscal prudence. For that, he has won widespread support, from the former mayor, Willie Brown, and even from his onetime political nemesis, the public defender Jeff Adachi . But if Tuesday signaled that labor in this labor town remains hardly a pushover, then recent events suggest he could soon confront even stiffer opposition.

The Service Employees International Union Local 1021, which represents some 15,000 city workers, voted overwhelmingly over the weekend to elect new leadership. Sin Yee Poon, a human services agency worker who won the presidency, will enter office after three years of bitter infighting. Some members complained that the former president appointed by the international, Damita Davis-Howard, was transferring control of the union from local members to the top officials in Washington.

The union was hamstrung by disorganization during that period.

NEWS MEDIA: sf city workers - Google News

sf city workers - Google News

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Members take BIG Step forward. Ramon Hernandez and Chief Stewards "open" Current Agreement in order to come up with alternatives to 37.5/hr work-week!

City Hall: Today, Chief Stewards and Vince Courtney met with City representatives to go over many particulars related to to the City-wide layoff proposal. For the past few weeks, the labor unions have been meeting to come up with alternatives. At the Local 261 meeting on 2/24, the members voted to open the contract in order to move forward, even though the contract expires 6/30/2010. In his letter (see post from earlier today, below,) the Mayor indicates the potential of an "alternative," so long as City-servcies are not significantly impacted. Therefore, today, the proposal was made by our TEAM and the City accepted. Later, the move was authorized by Business Manager Ramon Hernandez. The negotiations team meets again with the City on Friday, March 12, 2010 at 10:00am. Check back often for updates!

Mayor Newsom to City Employees.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Watch the DHR Director's Message!

DHR Directors Message

San Francisco Department of Human Resources : 2010 Seniority Rosters

San Francisco Department of Human Resources : 2010 Seniority Rosters

UPDATE: City continues to move forward while SF Labor Coalition looks for a continued unified front.

On Wednesday, the Chief Stewards will meet with the City to get answers to questions that the members have indicated need to be addressed in light of the layoff notices. Such as:
1) Will "rehire" be done on a seniority basis?
2) Will 37 1/2 hour workweek constitute a "part time" status?
3) If "part time", what contract language/CSC rules govern?
4) If "part time", what state labor code(s) governs?
5) What is duration of "new" scenario?
6) If duration is (infinity,) then, subject to collective bargaining?
7) For new hires, orientation & Union orient critical? (Union bust???)
8) Sick day, floaters, pension?
9) Health care - COBRA?

We will continue to stay in concert with the SF Labor Council Public Employee Committee in an effort to have maximum effect with these critical discussions.

Friday, February 26, 2010

City to move forward! Local 261 to meet with City Wednesday with counter.

City Moves to Implement 37.5 Hour Workweek Proposal – Local 21 Responds
In a move that signals the severity of the budget crisis but is also certain to embroil the City in an expensive and time-consuming legal battle, the City has announced that it plans to issue layoff notices to between 10,000 and 15,000 employees this Friday, March 5. The layoff notices are being issued a mere 15 days after the City sent letters to Local 21 and other city employee representatives requesting that they “Meet and Confer” on the proposal.
From IFPTE Local 21

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Outrage grows over Muni operators' pay

Outrage grows over Muni operators' pay

Even in San Francisco, a union town where labor issues are treated with kid gloves, politicians and transit riders are teeing off on the drivers like they stole rent money from little old ladies.
"There is no question in my mind that they (the Union) completely misread the public," Mayor Gavin Newsom said Wednesday. "Either they step up or the people of San Francisco will."

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A "Somewhat Unprecedented Discussion." Budget Shortfall 522 million dollars!

Mayor Gavin Newsom answers questions about San Franciscos projected $522 million budget deficit for the 2010-11 fiscal year during his internet budget town hall. Veteran City Hall journalists Barbara Taylor of KCBS and Rachel Gordon of the San Francisco Chronicle moderate.

400 Trade Unionists Support Mayor's efforts to stimulate construction job opportunities in San Francisco.

San Francisco: This afternoon, before almost 400 working men and women Mayor Gavin Newsom advocated for a plan to defer construction fees in order to fast track construction projects and assist Local Unions with their increasing out of work lists. The event was coordinated between the SF Building Trades Council and the Laborers' Union, Local 261.
(read the Mayor's press release)
Following the discussion, LiUNA!, Local 261 City Committee members met for sometime to discuss the budget and alternatives to the 37.5/hr work week. All Chief Stewards presented and there was in-depth discussion on every issue currently being discussed.
Following a presentation from the Mayor's office (a powerpoint illustrating the 522 million dollar deficit,) many members stepped up to the mic and let the Brothers and Sisters know what was on their mind.
Most agreed that the crisis was for real and, furthermore, that it would be proper to meet with the City and propose "opening" to counter the current proposal. It was also decided after some discussion, that there would be some potential economic movement by the Union related to collective efforts at reaching resolution moving forward.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Local 261 Chief Stewards and City Committee meet at 12pm Wednesday at Local 261 to come up with alternatives to the City's 37.5 hour proposal.

Brothers & Sisters:
When we read in the newspaper here that
The mayor has the authority under the city charter to reduce workweeks after consulting with union leaders, and the plan doesn't need approval from the Board of Supervisors. Layoffs, though largely a formality, would be required because 40-hour workweeks are inscribed in union contracts with the city.
while its always debatable, we had to consider that the meetings which would be taking place would be done so pursuant to the state labor code (ie. meet & confer,) rather than via the normal collective bargaining process. (Note: contract changes require ratification while, "meet & confer" is simply an obligation the employer has to its employees prior to making such changes.)
When "labor officials" from all affected unions (Vince Courtney, Adrian Field, Theresa Foglio, and Nikki Mixon for 261,) met with the Mayor at City hall that same afternoon, the Mayor indicated that the 37.5 hr work week was a "possible proposal," (we have since learned through the very public discussion of the issue related to the deficit that it is an overwhelmingly popular position with the citizens of San Francisco.)
While the Newsom administration has always indicated a willingness to talk with representatives of Local 261, we have been meeting regularly along with the SF Labor Council Public Employee Coalition on the issue (see powerpoint related to City's $522,200,000 deficit,) because it is City-wide problem and likely requires a city-wide solution.
Last week, the layoff/37.5hr work week became an official proposal across the board. Upon receiving the notice from Martin Gran, the coalition met again. It was decided by the coalition there that there would be no occasion to meet this Tuesday or Wednesday. By law, we must deal with the City in "good faith," therefore, on behalf of Local 261 we sent the following to Martin Gran:
While we have been participating in the "coalition" discussions, our Committee (Local 261 only,) believes that it is appropriate now to indicate our willingness to meet and "begin the process."
I have a scheduled City Committee meeting set for 12pm 2/24, which is open to all members and has already been announced in advance and by flyers throughout the City.
The Union's Public Employee Comittee has decided that they will work together at this meeting to come up with any and all alternatives to the massive layoff/37.5 hr work-week proposal with great hope that one will be ultimately acceptable for purposes our current budget situation.
Because of the meeting date, Tuesday is out and Wednesday as well. Can we set another date sooner, rather than later for such a discussion?
It is critical for us now, through our internal City Committee process to determine together our best course. Many unofficial proposals have already been forwarded to the Local Union. The meeting is intended to bring about proposals for a solution (not to get something off our chest!) Please prepare by asking yourself;
1. Do we accept as factual the 522 million dollar deficit? (see above)
2. What are alternatives that are of similar value? (days off, holidays, straight reductions, etc)
3. Would we be better off proposing to open the contract in order to get better standing on various issues?
By Wednesday afternoon, we will put the proposals up on the Board and will work diligently, transparently, and openly throughout this entire and difficult process.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

City Committee Prepares for meeting like the one we had way back in the day at the Plumbers' Hall with Willie Brown. This is for Real!

SF City Hall/February 9, 2010
This morning many city workers had to read in the newspapers that the financial condition of the City was deteriorating. This afternoon, the Mayor's Office presented to all of Labor (For us: Adrian Field - RPD 3422, Nikki Mixon - DPW C3417, Theresa Foglio - DPW 7514, and Vince Courtney L261) the projected figures for Fiscal 2010/11 here ! The document shows nothing less than dire news. The group discussed the pending pension reform measures for the November ballot, the SF Firefighters' willingness to contribute 9.0% into the pension, the fact that most the Building Trades Unions are in contract negotiations, the 1.2 billion dollar "discretionary fund" as it relates to the projected $522,200,000 shortfall, the doubling of the unemployment in SF from 2008, and the very, very difficult times ahead.
The story:
40 hours Current workweek for most city employees
37.5 hours New proposed workweek
$50 million Estimated savings per year
26,000 Approximate number of full-time city employees
$522 million Estimated 2010-11 budget deficit
$6.6 billion Approximate size of city budget

Given the overwhelming negative response from membership to the article in the Chronicle related to the massive layoff and the 37.5/hr week, the City Committee will be studying, investigating, and evaluating potential options (read "give backs") over and above the Departments' own 20% cross-the-board cuts already in motion. Unless and until a "state of emergency" is declared, the membership will always vote on contract changes.

Of particular concern may be the overwhelming negative public opinion of our plight. Here is the most popular citizen comment (of over 500 to the article.) We need ideas and positive stories about our service to the city and our meaningful work.
"26 THOUSAND city employees? Amazing. What the heck do all these people get paid to do? How about laying them ALL off and hire back about one-third of them and make them actually work? A novel concept, I know."
Recommend:(1159) Disagree:(374)

Please check the meeting schedule and be prepared to come up with ideas (the City has a figure of 50,000,000 it would save in the 37.5/hr work week were implemented.) This is for real, there will be an agenda, nobody will be saying what we want to hear, just the facts.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tough Economic Times require a jump-start on Departmental Budget Plans.

San Francisco, City Hall:
Today, before the Budget and Finance Committee of the SF Board of Supervisors, the Department of Public Works through its Director Ed Reiskin and, the Recreation and Parks Department through General Manger Phil Ginsburg, presented ideas to the three member group to jump-start the season's budget discussions.
Of particular interest to Local 261 and its many partners throughout the City, was a developing discussion related to California State certified Horticultural Apprenticeship that would not replace existing workers, but rather would elevate the professional standards of the Gardening staff as a whole, create real career opportunities for local residents, and through the City College coursework and the joint administration save money for each Department in dire economic times. "A win, win, win, that started at our own Laborers' Public Employee City Committee level," stated Local 261 member John Raulli during his comments at the meeting. Union members can continue to get up to date information on the progress of the program and other matters affecting the unit related to the budget process at the next City Committee meeting. Adrian Field, Theresa Foglio, Nikki Mixon, Mark Roumbanis, John Raulli, and Apprenticeship Chair Joan Vellutini will continue the sustained effort through adoption.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

City and County Encourages Voluntary Payroll Deduction for Help for Haiti!

Dear Labor Colleagues ---
As you are aware, the devastation left by the earthquake in Haiti has leftthe country and its people in desperate need for aid. In response,organizations around the world have responded to aid in relief efforts.
The Mayor communicated yesterday to Department Heads and DepartmentalPersonnel Officers of the City’s intent to establish a voluntary payrolldeduction program which would provide City employees with the opportunityto donate money to the Haiti relief efforts directly from their paychecks.We wanted to give you a brief overview of the program’s purpose and itsimplementation.
How It Will Work
This payroll deduction program will be an extension of the City’s CombinedCharities effort with the specific goal of directing funds to Haiti reliefefforts. The funds will be directed to four nonprofit organizations: (1)The American Red Cross – Haiti; (2) The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund; (3)UNICEF; and (4) Partners in Health.
City employees who voluntarily choose to donate a portion of theirpaychecks must fill out a form available in hard copy or on-line.Employees elect the exact amount they would like to deduct over four (4)pay periods, beginning March 16, 2010.
Department heads will be asked to use the same basic procedures for thisprogram as the Combined Charities efforts. The Department, throughemployee liaisons, will collect the forms from employees and send them tothe City Administrator’s Office for processing and monitoring.
In the coming weeks, a memo with program details will be inserted intoemployees’ paychecks.
Should you have any questions or concerns in the meanwhile, please contactthe City Administrator’s Office at (415) 554-4852. Thank you for helpingwith this important undertaking.
Martin R. GranDirector, Employee Relations DivisionDepartment of Human Resourcestel: (415) 557-4857