Archived News Release from 2011
For Immediate Release
Final Redwood City Labor Group Agrees to Budget Concessions
Redwood City, CA - June 17, 2011 - The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing nearly 300 Redwood City employees, this week agreed to concessions in order to help the City bridge its budget gap over the next three years. With SEIU joining the City’s five other labor groups in accepting concessions, Redwood City has achieved its goal of reaching approximately $5.6 million in salary and benefit reductions over the next three years.
“This is very good news, and I’m pleased that these good-faith negotiations were successful,” said Redwood City Mayor Jeff Ira. “There’s no question that these concessions are difficult – the Council recognizes that and truly appreciates the employees’ sacrifices. I want to thank SEIU and our other labor units for coming to the table and really working diligently to figure out how to reach their targets.”
SEIU’s and other bargaining units’ labor concession agreements with the City generally include a two-tier retirement system (new employees having a later retirement age and reduced pension formula), an employee contribution to health care premiums, and employees paying a larger contribution into their pension funds. SEIU had previously agreed to a salary freeze the first year of their new contract and will receive cost-of-living adjustments of 3% in future years of the contract.
City Manager Bob Bell stated, “We now have agreements with all of our bargaining units that restructure our benefit and pension programs for the long haul. I believe we are one of the only cities in California to have this kind of success and reach agreements with each and every unit.” The details and final dollar amounts involved with SEIU’s agreement is still being calculated and refined.
The City Manager’s Recommended Budget will be presented to the City Council during public budget study sessions on June 20 and Jun 27. Those meetings take place at 7 pm, at City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road. The Recommended Budget is online for public review at www.redwoodcity.org, by clicking on the link “Proposed Budget Online.” (direct link: www.redwoodcity.org/finance/fininfo/budget/documents/RecomdBudgetAmendFY11-12.pdf)
Together, Redwood City’s labor groups - SEIU, International Association of Fire Fighters, Redwood City Management Employees Association, Police Officers Association, Police Sergeants Association, and Executive Management Group - have agreed to the kind of long-term structural changes that will help provide a more stable, sustainable financial foundation for the City, by reigning-in skyrocketing employee costs. Like any service organization, the vast majority (80%) of Redwood City’s expenses are personnel costs. By making fundamental changes in how these expenses are funded, both short- and long-term savings are achieved, while maintaining a fiscally-sound, equitable, and sustainable compensation program for employees.
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Public Communications Manager