Oakland Union Strike Suspended As Mediation Continues

Oakland Union Strike Suspended As Mediation Continues

According to the union, representatives from city and the unions are scheduled to meeting with a mediator at 10 a.m.

Rob Szykowny, the chief negotiator for Service Employees International Union Local 1021, said the city has been bargaining in bad faith, forcing workers to continue their strike into the second week. SEIU Local 1021 called for the strike seven days ago after negotiations over labor conditions and a new contract broke down. "We have no idea when we can open because we have a final inspection that was canceled", said Caitlyn Schleifer, a new small business owner.

City Administrator Sabrina Landreth, who was in the mediation session, said the "healthy dialogue" was "respectful, professional and productive".

With the help of a mediator, the two sides are hoping to come to a resolution that will bring workers back to their jobs and reopen the libraries, senior centers and nonemergency services that have been shuttered since the strike began Tuesday.

City officials warn that wage increases could lead to service cuts and layoffs, while union members argue that many workers have long commutes and a poor quality of life due to Oakland's high living costs.

That last offer by the city included a 4 percent raise in the first year of the contract, another 1 percent raise guaranteed in the second year and another 1 percent raise contingent upon the city hitting certain revenue milestones.

Among other disagreements, SEIU Local 1021 wants 4 percent pay raises in each year of the two-year contract. "It's about time the City Negotiators try to work this out, instead of misleading the public about what this strike is all about".

All were expected to return to work Tuesday. The union rejected that offer.

Union members feel that the city didn't bargain in good faith before declaring an impasse.

On Saturday, Local 1021 agreed to mediation with the city and the union was allowed to choose the mediator, David Weinberg.

"We can not spend money we do not have, particularly as we know our pension costs are escalating at least 49 percent over the next five years", she said in a statement over the weekend.

December 11, 2017 /PRNewswire/ The longest strike in the City of Oakland's recent memory continues for the seventh day in a row today.

Even though the talks have restarted, the unions still walked the picket lines outside City Hall.

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