Acrimonious standoff between Hayward and city employees reaches a conclusion

Hayward city employees during a three-day
strike in August 2013.

Union members get 4.5% wage bump over 3 years

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL | Following a protracted labor dispute between the City of Hayward and over 300 of its employees that included a unilateral five percent wage decrease last year, both sides are set to agree Tuesday night on a new contract that extends through July 2018.

“The tentative agreement is one of shared contribution and flexibility,” said a city staff report. The City Council will approve the new three-year deal at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The new contract will increase the city’s budgeted costs by $4 million over the $10 million it projected over the next three years. Hayward’s economic projections, however, have tended to be on the conservative side in recent years.

Under the deal, city workers will pay up to 12.5 percent toward employer’s CalPERS costs, but will not see increases in their monthly premiums for health care to Kaiser Permanente and other lower priced plans. There is also no financial increases for employees toward the city’s retirement benefit costs.

Employees will also earn wage increases of 4.5 percent over the life of the contract. Starting July 1, wages will rise by 1.5 percent every year of the next three years.

One-time cash payout to city workers of 2.5 percent are included in the deal. The city says that averages $1,730 for full-time employees; $865 for eligible part-time employees.

Hayward’s long and often acrimonious labor fight came at a time when the city was challenged by budget shortfalls that reached $20 million. But union members represented by the Service Employees International Union Local 1021 pushed back, saying its members helped the city by forgoing pay raises for more than five years, while already paying more toward their retirement.

Negotiations, however, reached an impasse in 2013 and in February 2014, the City Council imposed wage cuts to the dissatisfaction of the union and labor leaders publicly threatened strong challenges to their political futures.

On June 11, following an all-night bargaining session, the city and bargaining group reached the tentative agreement to be approved by the City Council this week.

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