Tuesday, October 4, 2011

THIS Saturday October 8th, 10am walk, 3:00pm UNITY BBQ & ... on Twitpic

THIS Saturday October 8th, 10am walk, 3:00pm UNITY BBQ & ... on Twitpic
THIS Saturday October 8th, 10am walk, 3:00pm UNITY BBQ & Celebration! (program @ 3:30,) at Local 261. Join hundreds of workers, union members, and Friends of Labor as we blanket the City with our message about what is important to working families, and good for San Francisco.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Chronicle recommends Yes on C/No on D!

How the measures compare

Pension formula for police and firefighters{+1}

Current: 3% of final salary (average final two years) X years of service at age 55.{+1} (Pension for 30-year veteran who earned $100,000: $90,000 at age 55).

Prop. C: 3% of final salary (average final three years) X years of service at age 58. (Pension for 30-year veteran who earned $100,000: $90,000 at age 58).

Prop. D: 2.7% of final salary (average final five years) X years of service at age 57. (Pension for 30-year veteran who earned $100,000: $75,000{+2} at age 57).

Employee pension contribution, $100,000 salary{+3}

Current: 7.5% of salary

Prop. C: Between 2.5% and 12.5% of salary, depending on level of city contribution. As city's cost rises, so does employee's.

Prop. D: Between 7.5% and 15% of salary, depending on level of city contribution.

Employee contribution to retirement health care

Current: None for employees hired before 2009; newer hires contribute 2% of salary.

Prop. C: Pre-2009 employees must contribute 0.25% of salary starting in fiscal 2016, increasing by 0.25% of salary annually to a maximum 1%.

Prop. D: Does not change current system.

{+1}For other city employees, the formula is 2.3% of final salary X years of service at age 62. Both propositions would raise the retirement age for maximum pension to 65. Changes apply to new hires only; would not affect vested rights. {+2}Prop. D reduces the maximum possible pension for public safety workers (now 90%) to 75% for new hires (same as for other city employees). Prop. D also imposes overall pension cap of $140,000; Prop. C has no such ceiling. {+3}Example is for non-public safety employees.

This article appeared on page E - 10 of the San Francisco Chronicle

Friday, June 24, 2011

Mayor Edwin Lee Declares "City Gardener Day!" 3rd Annual William Hammond Hall Award Presentation is a Great Event!

San Francisco Golden Gate Park, Conservatory of Flowers: Many many thanks to all who attended this special event. The men & women of LiUNA!, Local 261 are grateful that the Recreation and Parks Commission has endorsed the continuation of this unique celebration. Mayor Edwin Lee was met with resounding enthusiasm for declaring it to be "City Gardener Day," and for all of his kind words about the work that we do. The Union members are also grateful to State Senator Leland Yee, and SF Supervisor John Avalos for coming by and addressing the membership on matters related to Park funding and the importance of the Park system to the Community that we serve. We were especially pleased with the Parks Trust, for their continued sponsorship and General Manager Phil Ginsburg for championing the Gardeners, their Union, and for proposing an unprecedented budget for the Department. Most importantly, the Subcommittee of Denny Kern, Ana Alvarez, Margaret MacArthur, and Theresa Folgio for making sure that the event went smoothly and was enjoyable for all. Congratulations to the deserving winners, enjoy your Parks, and see you next year.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Ramon Hernandez and LiUNA! Chief Stewards recognize membership at 1st Annual Montoya Award ceremony.

Congratulations to the deserving recipients of the Montoya Recognition Award! In recognition of selection as recipient of the
SFDPW/LiUNA!, Local 261 "Montoya" AWARD
In testimony thereof this certificate is awarded
On this 19th day of May, 2011 to
LaVonda Williams, Toriano Brown, Robert Williamson, Mike Fincher, Chris Banks, Amy Craven, Edward Godsy Jr., Leonard Doss Jr., William Mitchell, Ofelia Buntas, Paul Snow, Eduardo Pacheco

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

San Francisco Supervisor Scott Weiner to join men & women of LiUNA!, Local 261 to talk Parks, Budget.

April 21, 2011
City Committee Agenda

Call to Order - Field
Budget Report - Courtney
Special Guest:
SF Supervisor Scott Weiner
Pension (Ballot) status - McDevitt
Political Action - Courtney
New Business:
May 7th: Leland Yee Kickoff Event
May 26th: SFDPW Montoya Event
June 23rd: William Hammond Hall
Old Business:
Mobile Work Crews
Bid Committee reports
3422 only meeting 4/27

Monday, April 11, 2011

San Francisco's Mayor Lee still formulating pension-fix plan | Joshua Sabatini | Local | San Francisco Examiner

San Francisco's Mayor Lee still formulating pension-fix plan | Joshua Sabatini | Local | San Francisco Examiner

“We are almost at the finish line,” said spokesman Nathan Ballard. “Within weeks we’ll have a finished product that will have the support of the mayor and the supervisors.”

Yet labor is concerned about how much employees will be asked to increase their pension contributions. Most workers currently contribute 7.5 or 9 percent to their pensions. But labor leader Bob Muscat, who is participating in the pension talks, said The City is looking at contributions as high as 14 percent, which he said would be “disastrous” for some city workers. Labor has explored increases of up to 3 percent over the current amounts.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Full Board of Supervisors to decide between Ideology and Pragmatic Decision making next Tuesday.

Strong memories and fond attachments will not lead us out of this recession. While, the Parks are for everyone, the citizens of the City and County of San Francisco are the true owners. It is not logical to suggest that we must also extend the "tax cuts" to folks who have not asked for it. It is critical for us to generate revenue for Recreation and Parks. Let's move in unison, and do everything we can do to assist the Department at solving real revenue problems because it directly impacts us year after year. As stewards, we love our Parks and care about them too, but they are destinations that require investment, upkeep, and sometimes a modest fee to keep them running well, beautiful, and safe for everyone.The LiUNA!, Local 261 City Committee has consistently and overwhelmingly supported such revenue because the workers have been subjected to a slow bleed for the past several years as a result of our economic downturn. Because they respect our Union and the work we do, our coalition of Labor, Business, and Community leaders and Organizations is pulling for us. Mayor Edwin Lee has decided to make the fee for non-residents permanent, while the Board of Supervisors is considering a one-time payment. Spectacular showing by the workers on their days off, and personal time (lots of construction workers from Brother Oscar De La Torre's office,) and great support from all of our friends who support our efforts! (You can watch the tape here, and Brother Courtney states our position at about 3:08:00.)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

We Fight, We Win! Broad Based Coalition Opposes the Avalos Legislation. Keep critical funding for our Parks!

ORANGE – Action Alert! April 6, 2011 10am City Hall Help us tell City Hall, and our friends in the Labor Council “NOT JUST US!” We expect shared sacrifice. Please join the Recreation and Parks Department, The Arboretum Society, Tens of 1000’s of workers from the SEIU-UHW Healthcare Workers, The SEIU Local 87 Custodians, The SEIU Recreation & Parks Chapter, The San Francisco Building & Construction Trades Council, The Laborers and Gardeners of LiUNA!, Local 261, & The Northern California District Council of Laborers Community leaders from Plan C, the San Francisco Parks Trusr, & The Laborers’ Community & Training Foundation Business Leaders from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Building Owners & Managers Association, Committee on Jobs, & the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, and thousands of individual supporters in our support of a reasonable fee for non-residents only! The Board of Supervisors should not negotiate away compensation and benefits of the workers during this severe economic crisis, and then turn around and fail to generate responsible revenue. Our Parks are worth it! Like last year (when the Board voted 8-3 for the important fee,) we still support a responsible fee structure for our beautiful facilities. (pictured: over 70 LiUNA! 261 members attended last year's hearing when the critical fee passed.)

Monday, March 21, 2011

City Committee - March 24, 2011 12:00pm

1. Call to Order: Field
2. Budget State/City
3. Collective Bargaining
Ballot, Budget, MOU: Courtney/McDevitt
4. RPD - "reassignment"
Bid Committee report: open
5. DPW - OT matter, Bid status: open
6. SFMTA - Shift Bid: open
7. Special Guest:
San Francisco Supervisor Jane Kim
8. Old Business - 3410 update: Mixon/Raulli
District Captains: Courtney
9. New Business
-Mobile Crew proposal: Vellutini/Childers
-PAC Mayor/DA, 261BM, Sec-Treas.: Courtney/Foglio
10. Announcements
Critical Action Alert - April 6 City Hall: Courtney
11. Adjournment

Thursday, March 17, 2011

ORANGE Action Alert! Support Responsible Revenue on April 6, 2011! Orange Up @ City Hall at 10am Sharp!

Dear Brothers & Sisters:
April 6, 2011, 10am
City Hall - Orange Action Alert!
"Shared Sacrifice...Not just sacrifice of the workers!"

Last year, many of you recall our effort to protect responsible revenue in the Department of Recreation and Parks. One particular item has drawn the aggression of an active vocal-minority of park advocates. That item is the continuation of the admission fee for non-City residents at the Botanical Garden.
While they have reached agreement with both Local 261 & SEIU on Community hiring practices for miscellaneous non-jurisdictional work (such as ticket-taking, etc.) and, have been major sponsors of our own Annual William Hammond Hall Event at RPD, the Society appears to be subjected to the brunt of most of the attacks, but I can attest that the General Manager (& even yours truly,) has been subjected vicious personal attacks related to the issue.
This may be only the tip of the iceberg as there in a move underway to by some of the same people to "landmark" the parks which will require gardeners to apply to City Hall in order to plant, and make small changes to the landscape. One of the benefits of a strong union membership, is that we do have the power to be heard and sometimes, that's all it takes! We must show up!
Last year, over 50 Union members showed up to City Hall to support the fee because we believe that it is unfair to TAKE ONLY FROM THE WORKERS INSTEAD OF SHARING THE PAIN OF THIS ECONOMIC CRISIS! We took a position last year because we were fresh off of a negotiation which saw our earnings take a 4.6% cut. We expect the Board of Supervisors to make tough decisions and to raise revenue where it can, instead of just taking from the workers through negotiations.
We revisited the position again this year because I met with the advocates of the other side who asked us to, and Supervisor John Avalos requested to meet with us. We heard both sides, and again, overwhelmingly support this modest fee because it is fair. It is simply wrong to take our money (they plan on taking more, see pension/healthcare,) so that they can look good politically by not even charging the non-tax payers to use our unique, world-class and not-so-inexpensive facilities. We know Supervisor John Avalos is a great friend of Local 261, and he respects our position, but we must agree to disagree.
Now, we must prevail! We must converge on City Hall on APRIL 6th, so that we have the greatest success at helping our Board of Supervisors make difficult, but necessary decisions, so our respective Departments generate much-needed revenue, and they don't keep taking from the workers through layoffs and compensation reductions. We are meeting now to increase revenue, not decrease it. In short, our reputation is riding on it! See you there!

Union Members at the City College of San Francisco join Building Trades' Unions in new Agreement!

1. 12-month term (exp 6-30-11)

2. Wage reduction equivalent to 36 hours pay, with 36 offsetting hours off; time off to be designated by management; wage reduction to be made during the pay period(s) in which time off occurs.

3. Employees who retire or separate as a result of death or disability retirement on or before June 30, 2011 and who have contributed hours pursuant to the foregoing paragraph shall be reimbursed the contributed hours as salary.

4. Maintain health supplement at present rate for the duration of this Agreement.

5. No layoffs or layoff notices through June 30.

6. For the duration of this agreement, no change from current practice re Spring break (March 25 through March 30 and April 1). March 31 (Cesar Chavez Day) is a paid holiday. This does not preclude management from assigning unpaid time off during Spring break, as provided in paragraph 2 above.

7. Add as a new third paragraph to Article II.F (Contracting Out):

The District will not assign work currently performed by employees under this agreement to district employees in other bargaining units.

8. Modify Article III.B.6 as follows:

Employees shall receive an additional two and one half percent (2.5%) of base wages at 10 years of continuous service within the merit system of the City and County of San Francisco, provided that the last 5 years of service shall have been with the District. Employees shall receive an additional two and one half percent (2.5%) of base wages at 20 years of continuous service within the merit system of the City and County of San Francisco, provided that the last 10 years of service shall have been with the Distric

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Yee plans to block Crane’s UC Regents confirmation | San Francisco Bay Guardian

Yee plans to block Crane’s UC Regents confirmation | San Francisco Bay Guardian
“UC Regent David Crane recently took his cue from Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and called for an end to collective bargaining rights for California’s teachers, nurses, firefighters, university employees, and other public sector workers,” Yee stated in a press release. “While the Regents approve million dollar contracts for their top administrators, David Crane wants to take away the rights of working class families.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

City and Union are back at the Negotiations Table with the Public Employee Unions. relevant documents are On-line for members to review!

Meet and Confer over Pension and Health Care Reform
On behalf of Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Sean Elsbernd, the City is conducting meet and confer with its labor colleagues on a proposed Charter amendment to address the City's increasing pension and benefit costs.

Meeting Dates and Handouts
Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 305

Controller's Office
Talking Points (PDF)
Salary and Fringe - Table 1 (PDF)
Salary and Fringe - Tables 2 & 3 (PDF)
Salary and Fringe - Charts 1 through 6 (PDF)
Mayor's Office
Budget Outlook (PDF)
Health Services System
Medical Plan Renewals (PDF)
Active Bi-Weekly Premium Contribution Rates - FY 11-12 (PDF)
Retiree Monthly Premium Contribution Rates - FY 11-12 (PDF)
Health Benefit Perspectives (PDF)

Thursday, March 3, 2011 at 3:00 p.m. at City Hall, Room 305
(Union Reps & Chiefs to attend.)

Public Pensions for Retirement Security – Little Hoover Commission Report (PDF)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bumping Tabled!

The city's public employees unions walked out of City Hall with a big victory Monday when the Civil Service Commission effectively killed a proposal hatched by former Mayor Gavin Newsom's administration to eliminate the system of interdepartmental bumping rights. That's when laid-off workers can take the job of another employee with less seniority. (read more from the City Hall Insider here.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Union Members complete vote on healthcare option - overwhelmingly go with City default.

By a vote of 106 to 22, the public employee membership of Laborers', Local 261 has decided on the City's default option to finalize all outstanding matters from negotiations last year. Members who need additional information may choose to contact the Health Service System at 415-554-1750, or at myhss.org.
Special thanks to Sisters Foglio & Mixon for administering the process.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

While other Unions have selected option, Local 261 will start voting on Friday and stop voting at 11am January 28, 2011. More time to gain clarity.

Brothers & Sisters:
Almost all of you have received a flyer notifying of the need to decide on healthcare options as a result of our last contract. Our last contract required that all unions meet with the City to address a particular circumstance related to the prohibited costs related "medically single" employees on a particular health plan. While it is our hope that the vote yields a similar result as the other bargaining unit (the other Unions signed off on the co-pay option on January, 19, 2011, our membership shall proceec with a vote to be calculated next Friday at noon, so that we may be afforded an opportunity to " correct" the Health Service System manual, before it goes to print for open enrollment. While this is not an ideal circumstance, we do conveniently have a City Committee meeting set for Thursday January 27th at McLaren Lodge (12pm,) and we will request to have a SFDHR representative present to answer questions the members may have. We have been notified that many employees wish to vote tomorrow, therefore the polls are open at the Union Hall from 10am to 4:30pm, and again next Friday, 9:00am to 11:00am, no votes to be counted until next Friday with the Chief Stewards.

Info received from DHR TODAY:
1. One part of the concessions we reached in 2010 was some sort of healthcare cost relief in FY 11-12. We built in a "default option" of having the "medically single" enrollees in City plan pick up a portion of the premium. Specifically, employees who enrolled in the employee-only City Plan are to pay the difference between the 2nd highest cost HMO (or Blue Shield, in this case) and the cost of City Plan. In FY 11-12, that difference is anticipated to be between $400-500 a month. We built in a one year cushion (the current fiscal year, 10-11, to allow employees an opportunity to evaluate and prepare for any changes they may elect in FY 11-12.

2. The health care language also allowed for the parties (City andunion/PEC) to come up with an alternative that would achieve similar savings as the City Plan model. The alternative we came up with was to have employees how are enrolled in the Delta Dental PPO plan to pay a modest premium: $5/month for employee only, $10/month for employee +1 dependent, or $15/month for employee +2 or more dependents. These premium payments would be pre-tax.

The City has 3 dental plans: Delta Dental PPO which is the most widely used because it has the largest network and 2 other dental HMOs (Pacific Union and Deltacare). The City is not proposing a premium pickup for the 2 dental HMO plans, as the cost to the City is much lower than the Delta Dental .

3. Your members have the option of choosing the dental or the City plan option. I think in the current fiscal year, Laborers have about 29 employee-only enrollees in the City Plan. If your members choose to go with the City Plan option, your folks who continue employee-only enrollment in City plan in the upcoming fiscal year will no longer enjoy full City pickup of the premiums and will have to pay the difference between the cost of Blue Shield and City Plan.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Interim Mayor Edwin Lee?

While, Laborers' Local 261 has not asked to be and has not ever been involved in any discussion on the interim-Mayor situation, (we too like Peskin, Hennessy, Kawa,) we know very very well that Edwin Lee is nothing short of impressive. He has known our Union's membership well for many, many years, and was at the controls years ago creating union jobs for the community at SFDPW with one of the most unique Government/Community/Labor partnerships around at the time. We know first-hand, that it is on like "Donkey-Kong," but he is extremely competent, clever, ethical, and fair. The members know its up to the BOS, but at this point it is appropriate we think, to at least be sincere & straight forward about the topic.