SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 17, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of workers, elected officials and community leaders will rally on the steps of San Francisco City Hall at noon on January 17th to call on the City and County of San Francisco (CCSF) to reinvest in its workforce. The event coincides with the beginning of CCSF's collective bargaining with thousands of public service workers, represented by IFPTE Local 21.
"While the City and County of San Francisco are often presented as a strong political voice on the issues of inequality that plague our national economy, it is failing to close the gap as our city's largest employer," said Gus Vallejo, IFPTE Local 21 President. "The City is recouping hundreds of millions of unbudgeted dollars from the state, and its revenues have swelled by more than $3 billion since the recession, yet its employees are being driven out of the city by skyrocketing rents, stagnant wages, and increased outsourcing of what were once middle-class jobs."
Details of the rally are below:
- Hundreds of City Workers represented by IFPTE Local 21
- Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, Supervisor Vallie Brown, Supervisor Gordon Mar, Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, and Supervisor Matt Haney
- Jobs with Justice, SF Rising, Rudy Gonzalez (President, SF Labor Council), other labor organizations
When: January 17, 2019 at noon
Where: Steps of San Francisco City Hall
San Francisco's largest employer, the City's revenue has more than doubled since 2005 and outpaced expenditures by more than $5.2 billion. Since 2007, spending on its labor force has declined from 44% to 41% of its budget, even as the percentage of city residents defined as "middle income" (incomes between $50 and $150K per year) has shrunk by 7%*.
Representing more than 5,600 City and County of San Francisco workers, Local 21 represents a highly skilled and diverse workforce comprised mostly of people of color. It includes architects, engineers, scientists, planners, analysts, health care professionals, IT workers, and advocates who perform much of the professional service work in city departments focused on housing, the environment, healthcare, transit systems, public utilities, parks and other critical infrastructure.
Since 2012, Local 21 members have seen their wages fall to more than 6.5% below CPI. Now, a small and shrinking minority of these workers are able to live in San Francisco even as the City has dramatically increased its use of outsourcing contractors.
In advance of the January 17th rally, Local 21 has released a policy brief outlining the widening income and housing gaps facing its membership.
"When it comes to combating economic inequality and creating more livable communities, the City and County of San Francisco must lead by example in both policy and practice," said Supervisor Gordon Mar. "To build the kind of future that is sustainable and inclusive, we cannot afford to shortchange the workforce that will be tasked with modernizing our infrastructure, ensuring its economic competitiveness and meeting its most pressing human needs."
"As our community's largest employer, it is not hyperbole to suggest that this next round of bargaining will be a battle for what's left of San Francisco's shrinking middle class," added IFPTE Local 21 Research Specialist Tim Mathews. "It will determine whether this community will continue to be able to attract and retain the talent it needs to meet an ambitious progressive governing agenda. San Francisco's front line public service professionals love our city, but are falling further behind, commuting longer distances, and facing greater economic uncertainty than ever before."
IFPTE Local 21 represents more than 11,000 public workers in the Bay Area
* U.S. Census Bureau, American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates
SOURCE IFPTE Local 21