OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 31, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of City workers, elected officials, and community leaders will rally on the steps of Oakland City Hall at noon on January 31st to demand action on a rising staff vacancy rate in city agencies, and retention of city staff in the face of public service wage levels that lag neighboring jurisdictions by as much as 10%.
The event marks the beginning of 2019 collective bargaining between the City of Oakland and nearly 1,000 of its employees represented by IFPTE Local 21—including engineers, planners, transportation and public works staff, neighborhood service coordinators, accountants, housing services staff, and Headstart program coordinators.
"The City of Oakland is increasingly failing to fill already budgeted positions in vital city departments, and paying wages that the city's own analysts have noted are not market competitive," said Local 21 Executive Director Debra Grabelle. "The dedicated professionals who make this city run every day are committed to making sure Oakland residents are getting the quality public services they deserve," added Local 21 Oakland Vice President Anthony Reese.
Details of the rally are below:
- Hundreds of Professional City Workers represented by IFPTE Local 21
- Oakland City Council Members Sheng Thao and Nikki Bas
- Carol Fife, ACCE (Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment) Executive Director
- Liz Ortega, Alameda Labor Council Executive Secretary-Treasurer
When: January 31, 2019 at noon
Where: Steps of Oakland City Hall
Recent economic reports show that the city of Oakland has consistently under-estimated its revenue and over-estimated expenses since 2012. As a result, its accrued general fund surplus has grown by hundreds of millions of dollars and its five-year financial outlook is strong--but its staff vacancy rate has swelled to nearly 17%, or more than 740 positions. A 2017 compensation study commissioned by the city found that the salaries of its frontline public service professionals are as much as 10% lower than comparable jobs in neighboring jurisdictions. Equally alarming, the city's cost of living is growing more than 8% faster than the wages of its employees.
"When it comes to making sure that Oakland is a city that works for everyone, we must lead by example in how we treat our own employees," said newly elected Oakland City Council Member Nikki Bas. "We are growing as a city, and to ensure that Oakland retains its character and uplifts everyone, we must invest in the city workers who provide vital public services to our residents."
"As our community's fourth largest employer, the City of Oakland has a major role to play in building more ladders to the middle class. But it starts with investing in its workers and the vital services we provide to both taxpayers and neighbors in need," added Reese.
The International Federation of Professional and Technical Workers (IFPTE) Local 21 represents more than 11,000 public service workers in the Cities of Oakland, San Francisco and across the bay area. Learn more at www.ifpte21.org.
SOURCE IFPTE Local 21