Proposed City Employee Contracts Will Save $675k

2-YEAR CONTRACT WOULD SADDLE PENSION REFORMING MAYOR-ELECT WITH LABOR DEALS
By Steven Tavares

Two of San Leandro’s largest city employee unions will go without a pay increase for a third straight contract, if the City Council approves a new two-year deal Monday night.

The total cost savings to the city is estimated to be $675,000 between the two contracts, according to the city. The San Leandro Management Organization represents 43 full and part-time city employees while the much larger Sen Leandro City Employees Association represents 280 employees ranging from clerical to technical and professional workers.

Each deal, which the council will vote upon tonight, is similar to last year’s one-year contract which included a wage reduction due to a number of furlough days throughout the year continuing through 2011. The city will gain cost-savings from a third and fourth year of wages freezes for city workers. Furlough days will account for a 2.8 percent cut in wages along with a continuation of the previous deal where workers will foot the bill for half of any increase to medical and dental insurance. Both unions still need to approve the contracts, if the council agrees to the extension.

Mayor-elect Stephen Cassidy had balked at the city’s deal being negotiated so close to the begin of his administration Jan. 1. Reducing employee costs had been one of his prime campaign promises. According to the city, the bulk of the negotiations with the unions occurred last month as the one-year contract neared expiring. Cassidy had proposed union employees pay up to 9 percent of their wages towards the cost of their pensions, which he said would save $3 million. Opponents of his plan questioned how such a proposal would pass muster in collective bargaining with the unions or whether a majority of board, backed by union support, with go along.

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