Union to Hayward: Don’t ‘rip the scab’ by appealing unfair labor practices finding

Hayward City Manager Fran David’s unwavering
stances against union city workers was found to
be improper, according a legal finding.

HAYWARD CITY COUNCIL |
After Hayward city employees–working without a contract for two years–agreed to a new contract last summer, they believed labor peace was at hand. But a state Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) ruling in late December found many of their complaints against the city, especially claims of unfair labor practices and an illegal wage cut, were true.

Now, members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021, which represent nearly 300 city workers, say Hayward’s intention to appeal the ruling will only reignite membership’s lingering animosity toward management.

“I’m asking you to graciously acknowledge the war is over,” said Linda Reid, a Hayward city employee and union member, told the Hayward City Council on Tuesday. The city’s potential decision to appeal the PERB ruling will also waste taxpayers money, she said.

The state Personnel Employee Relations Board
also found a three-day strike by workers was a
result of the city’s unfair labor practices.

Gilbert Hesia, another Hayward employee and member of SEIU’s negotiating team, asked the city council to publicly explain why each is supporting an appeal that will “rip the scab off and rub dirt in a situation where we want to move forward.”

During a closed session meeting late Tuesday afternoon the Hayward City Council discussed the PERB ruling, but made no reportable decision. Another closed session meeting on the topic is scheduled for Jan. 26.

The administrative law judge’s 102-page report faulted the city’s bargaining methods with the union, including a clear pattern of avoiding to even negotiate the simplest points of contention, in addition to illegally threatening layoffs if the city’s demands were not met.

The ruling also called into question some of the city’s stated budget figures during the two-year labor standoff, especially evidence of a $20 million shortfall reported early in the tenuous labor talks.

The controversial five percent wage imposition that the Hayward City Council approved in 2014 was also found to be improper and was ordered to be rescinded by the city along with the reimbursement of lost wages resulting in the unilateral wage cut.

The outcome of the PERB ruling may also greatly impact the electoral chances of four candidates for seeking election to the Hayward City Council this June. Four stated candidates, including three incumbents, strongly supported the city’s previous labor strategy while also voting for the imposition.

Why each of them voiced strong support for what has now been found to be an illegal bargaining strategy could be the biggest question facing the council race that will reward the top four finishers with seats on the next city council.

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