‘This is an Act of War’: Hayward Imposes Five Percent Pay Cut on City Workers

Hayward City Manager Fran David, right,
is seen by the union as one of the city’s
hard line advocates for imposition.

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | LABOR | The city council of Hayward, a city once known as the most union-friendly in the Bay Area, unanimously voted Tuesday night to force pay cuts on nearly three hundred union clerical and maintenance workers. Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 in Hayward have been without a contract since last April. And both sides of the growing labor dispute have not met at the bargaining table since last July. The one-year imposition of contracts by the city, which include 5 percent cuts in wages, angered union leaders and members. After the council’s vote, SEIU representatives vowed to fight the council’s action and retaliate politically against each councilmember — three of who are running for mayor this June.

“We will be putting as many resources and energy to ensuring this is reversed and that those who made the decisions are held accountable. Guaranteed,” said Pete Castelli, executive director of SEIU 1021, the same union which won contentious labor disputes last year with BART and the City of Oakland.

Under the terms of the imposed contract, the city’s clerical workers, including librarians, will see a $400-per-month reduction in pay. Maintenance workers, which include road repair and water treatment workers, are slated to have their pay drop by $225-per-month. The new cuts come on top of 12 percent in cumulative givebacks that union members had agreed to since 2010, union officials said.

Councilmember Marvin Peixoto smiles for the camera shortly
before the City Council unanimously approved imposition.

Castelli and other SEIU officials said the threat of rolling strikes by the union and the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE) Local 21 is “a strategy in our bag.” SEIU Local 1021 members already approved a strike last summer and staged a three-day work stoppage in August. Castelli said he would consult with membership before moving forward with a strike. IFPTE Local 21 must vote for authorization.

Former San Francisco Supervisor Chris Daly, who now works for SEIU Local 1021, had pointed words for Hayward councilmembers. “Each of them, now, is on my personal shit list,” said the famously outspoken Daly. Shortly after the council vote to impose, Daly rose from his seat and verbally taunted and pointed at each of the seven members. While the council meeting proceeded to its next agenda item, Daly attempted to approach the dais to have further words with two members of the council. Later, when asked in an interview what he told them, Daly said, “I wanted to make sure these councilmembers running in the election know they declared an act of war.” He then added, “I will make it my mission that none of them ever receive a labor endorsement, and, ultimately, I want to see each one of them out of office.”

The three members of the council who are running for mayor to replace Mayor Michael Sweeney, who announced his retirement last year, are Barbara Halliday, Mark Salinas, and Francisco Zermeno. Councilmember Marvin Peixoto is also running for re-election in an at-large race featuring two open seats. However, at the moment, there is a dearth of progressive candidates in the city.

Hayward’s decision to impose the wage-cutting contracts came after a report released earlier this month by a fact-finding panel, approved by both sides, that had recommended union workers receive raises of at least 4 percent over the next two years. Without cuts in wages and a reduction of its unfunded liabilities, the city has long-maintained it could be “another Vallejo or Stockton” by 2018. But the council’s decision to cut workers’ pay is surprising to many since Hayward’s has one of the highest percentage of union households in the Bay Area.

Although each councilmember described having personal roots in the labor movement, most framed their decision Tuesday night as a strategy to maintain workers’ current benefits well into the future. Others said the action was the only means available for cajoling the union back to the negotiating table. Union officials vehemently deny avoiding negotiations and instead labeled the city’s offer as “our way or the highway.”

Councilmember Al Mendall said the city’s unfunded liabilities are a threat to its workers. “If we don’t save now, we put your benefits at risk.” When he later called himself a “pro-labor Democrat,” a union member shouted out “Tea Party by night! Democrat by day!”

Halliday faulted the union for not taking into account the city’s rising costs and previous take-backs from the state. “I don’t recall the union standing up for us when the state was taking all kinds of money away from us.” She later contended that without the pay cuts, the city would not be able to afford benefits for workers in the future. “One thing I don’t want to be doing is sitting in my rocking chair years from now reading the news on my iPad,” said Halliday, “and reading about workers who are not getting their pensions and medical benefits.”

Salinas, who is an educator and a member of two teachers’ unions, said his vote Tuesday was influenced by past state cuts to community colleges. “I would like for us to come up with a deal that will protect and preserve things,” said Salinas. And Zermeno contended that even with the 5 percent cut in pay, the city is still overspending. “It’s a little crazy,” he said. “If I were to look away from this, it would be fiscally irresponsible.”

Regardless, union members were not swayed by the council’s reasoning and, instead, focused on reeling the city back to the bargaining table. “How hard is it for one of you to say, let’s get back to the table?” said Gilbert Hesia, a member of the SEIU Local 1021 negotiating team. “You not only hurt us, you hurt the community. You want a deal, get us to the table.”

This article also appears in the East Bay Express.

27 thoughts on “‘This is an Act of War’: Hayward Imposes Five Percent Pay Cut on City Workers

  1. When you allow the City Manager and city negotiators full negotiating powers the Mayor and Council are emotionally removed from the process. When they are emotionally removed from the process they have no personal investment in the relationship. In other words their ability to relate to the workers no longer exists. What prevails is their view that they know what's best for the workers and ultimately their actions.


  2. Why did the Council need to vote in a new contract? Is that so union members would not continue to be paid at the old contract rate? What other Hayward Unions took pay cuts?


  3. 11:17 Do you know how silly and sexist you sound? We get that you are anti union, but you should be able to get your point across without using vulgar and sexist terms if you have any intelligence at all. We also know your are not Pete Castelli, so why pretend to be someone else?


  4. Why did the Council need to vote in a new contract? Is that so union members would not continue to be paid at the old contract rate? What other Hayward Unions took pay cuts?


  5. Pete Castelli here, president of the Union Whores: UW Local 666 FU!

    We've been suckling on the public tit forever, bleeding it dry at the public's expense. What the fuck do we care! WE control the political process, not the fuckin' public. WE decide who gets in, what they do, when they jump and whose ass they lick.

    WE are the Union Whores! WE decide what goes. Only us.

    You think Mr. and Ms. Public has any voice? Hell no.

    WE are the union whores. We'll shit all over you, and that's if we like you.

    WE are the Union Whores! Here OUR roar!!


  6. 1:14, it would be nice if there was actually a 8:17 you could be responding to.

    Talk about sounding crazy.


  7. 8:17–do you know how crazy you sound pretending to be someone else. You need mental help for your sexist foul mouth. Maybe that's how you compensate for your insecurity and inability to get elected. Hayward has rejected you time after time. Get over it. Temper temper loser!


  8. Fran would be fired in a heartbeat if she doesn't do as she is told by Sweeney. Staff cannot do a professional job since everything is based on Sweeney. 's insecurity and need to micro – manage everything. Come June the city will be better off.


  9. Drum roll 2:24. You are the same anti union sexist troll who made the 11:40 post. Next time you run for office, I'll vote against you again. You seem to have mommy issues and I'm glad you got so few votes last time you ran. LMAO


  10. I am also a Union Whores Local 666 member. It's true, for sure even.

    All we do is nurse on the public tit day in and day out. Hell, it's great 'work' if we can get it. Why actually work for a living?

    Our other motto is 'Screw you and yours. Just give me mine and yours, too!'


  11. It's interesting that people blame Fran David for the cuts. If you knew anything about Hayward politics you would know that everything is micro-managed by Mayor Sweeney. My guess is SEIU didn't do much to support his last campaign. I doubt Fran David wanted to take this battle on, she can retire at anytime – who wants this headache prior to retirement?


  12. By MW:

    So now former member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors Chris Daly is also involved in the situation.

    East Bay politics was already far more than sleazy enough without also allowing the jokers, sleazeballs, parasites, demagogues, scumbags, charlatans, snake oil salesmen, and professional pathological liars from the SF Board of Supervisors to invade the East Bay.


  13. The Council is afraid to stand up to Fran David, who I agree should be fired. But who will do that on this Council. She has brought nothing meaningful to the city since she's been here. The problem is—–there are no leaders on the Council, just followers. We are in deep trouble because of this lack of leadership.


  14. Oh yeah, in the union bosses slush fund. They make six figures in the echelon for not even working and fanning the flames.

    All they do is sit back and live the cushy life on taxpayers backs.


  15. If there is no money and large future obligations for pensions and such, then it would be only fair that ALL employees in unions and management take equal hits.
    Too include police and fire.

    That is unless everyone expects the citizens to take the hit via more taxes.

    When average citizens make less, have far fewer benefits and no pension, you can hardly expect them to dig deeper to maintain a standard of compensation that is above their own.

    Cuts across the board. The math can't be that difficult to show.
    I think the unions are objecting to reality.
    Are they suggesting their is hidden money in some pot.


  16. Perhaps a real economic development push that opened some of the vacant downtown spaces or brings closure to the proposal to develop the old Mervyn's site or spurred development along Mission or the South Hayward Bart Station could generate some of the needed revenue for city employees to be paid a fair wage and help our schools. Other cities are moving we are standing still.


  17. These actions are despicable and these council members need to be replaced by someone with brains. The city manager needs to be fired.


  18. All of this lead by Mayor Mike Sweeney and his cronies. He has lied and mislead the public for years pretending to be progressive. We have been hoodwinked and bamboozled by Sweeney's slick rhetoric for so long. Please look at the endorsements for candidates running for office and be wary of anyone supported by Sweeney and his crony Mendall. Halliday,has been a pathetic follower, and Salinas and Zermeno simply want to be politicians without the courage or ability to lead. Fran should retire and give the new council a chance to appoint someone with a more open and creative mind.
    Those running for reelection and the Mayor's seat know the unions have few options in the next election. Let's hope that their actions in response to this vote will carry over through future elections when Mendall, Jones, and Zermeno are running again.


  19. Go back to your 2 homes in Fairfield, Chris Daly. The ones that you paid cash for. Oh, and one house that was actually in foreclosure because the father of the house lost his job. Hope SEIU is paying you well (Im sure they are).


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