It seems that SEIU 1021 is none-too-pleased with Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco, and have decided to put out a flyer illustrating their displeasure with Hizzoner...
So let's take a look at some of the claims being made by Plague 1021, and see if they stand up to scrutiny:
This is true. Concessions were made, depending on a "revenue" (read--> tax raise) measure being placed on the November 2009 ballot for the City and County of San Francisco.
Translation: "We depended on good actions of city Gubmint officials (acting as management) rather than actually getting those city Gubmint officials to agree to something concrete that can be contracturally enforced." Oops. Let's take a peek at the highlights of the most recent tentative agreement that SEIU signed, and what it has to say about this issue:
So, given the above, the flyer imaged above goes on to state...
Unfortunately, when making this flier, the nice folks at 1021 forgot that when this all was first boiling over, SEIU had to take three whacks at getting the TA language that would help the city solve its budget woes and "protect" their workers. Unfortunately for 1021, because they had to take multiple votes in order to get the correct outcome, the City and County of San Francisco had to go forward with a plan that would balance their budget in spite of 1021's concerns - and so they did, as detailed in an E-mail from Hizzoner's office to the SF Bay Guardian:
Haaland’s flier is indeed mostly lies. In the flier, Haaland spells Mayor Newsom’s name correctly, but that’s one of the last bits of accurate information you’ll find there.Now that's not to say that Hizzoner has covered himself in glory in this process. Still, it is astonishing that SEIU is going out of its way to make flyers against Newsom that are calculated to make him so angry that he was described as having "lost his shit," and as such eternally pissed off at someone who (at least for the next year or two) they are going to have to deal with across the negtiation table.
When writing about the layoffs, why don’t you publish the facts instead of relying on the utterly unreliable Haaland? Here they are.
We originally balanced the budget around the assumption of the SEIU tentative agreement. When the agreement was voted down, we were forced to propose further reductions to balance the budget. These reductions included the layoffs scheduled to take place on November 15. The position eliminations and conversions added to balance the budget following rejection of the tentative agreement totaled $11.5 million, including:
(snip to get past numerous mathematical details)
When faced with the tradeoff between eliminating positions outright and doing things that would allow employees to keep their jobs, we made a concerted effort to help people keep their jobs. We believed this was also the preference of the SEIU leadership and rank and file.
All of the 546 layoffs were included in the budget deliberated and approved by the Board. The City discussed these plans extensively at the time at Board of Supervisors budget hearings and multiple Health Commission meetings.
Although it was not made explicit with SEIU at the bargaining table that there would be additional CNA conversions or clerical layoffs forthcoming, it was made clear that the SEIU agreement, that was later ratified, would not prevent any future layoffs. During subsequent budget hearings, these layoffs scheduled for November 15th became the subject of clear policy debates and tradeoffs during the budget process.
The Board of Supervisors restored $40 million in spending. Instead of restoring CNAs and clerical positions, the Board opted to prioritize restoring other services including the Jail Health Prop J worth $6 million, ($12 million annualized); multiple security Prop J’s worth $6.8 million ($13.6 million annualized); and janitorial services Prop J worth $2.6 million ($5.2 million annualized). Many of these Prop J proposals would not have resulted in a layoff but would have allowed employees to keep their jobs performing other city functions, such as public health nurses performing other services within DPH rather than providing jail health services.
“He said ‘this is a lie,’ referring to the flier. “I don’t want to do anything to deal with the union. I hate Robert [SEIU organizer Robert Haaland]. What you’re doing now is hurting me .... I hate Robert. I don’t want to do anything for the union.”The above exchange evidently was hurtful enough to sufficient ears as to take the case to the California PERB, citing Hizzoner's statements as "intimidation and harrassment."
SEIU is not without complaint, but their complaint is without realistic merit, in that Newsom has not actively blocked any revenue measure from going to the ballot; instead, he failed to convince enough SF city councilcritters to agree to the measure, thus forcing the measure to be approved 67-33 rather than just by majority vote:
And the fact remains that Newsom promised the union that he would work toward a revenue measure, and then didn’t follow through. What he needed to do was convince the three supervisors he had personally appointed -- Sean Elsbernd, Carmen Chu and Michela Alioto -- that they should allow a November vote on revenue measures. If they’d gone along, the board would have been unanimous in agreeing to hold that election, and a revenue measure could have passed with a simple majority. Without the mayor’s three allies, thanks to oddities in state law, any tax measure would have needed a two-third vote.Again, SEIU was depending on the actions of management to follow through on convincing others to do things that would be ostensibly against their better political interest. And oh by the way, this also was not contracturally obligated of Newsom.
It has been known for well over a year that Gavin Newsom was running for the governorship of California. The fact that SEIU was unable (or unwilling) to pin Hizzoner down on such a point as to make it contracturally actionable should he not follow through lies not on Hizzoner but on the weak-ass negotiators hired and paid by SEIU 1021.
We all know what really happened here: Newsom is running for governor, and he doesn’t want to be known as a mayor who raised taxes. So he promised the union that he would do something that he was never going to do.
That’s what it all boils down to, and that’s why it’s fun to see Local 1021 call him on it -- and why it’s instructive to see how fragile the mayor is when he’s pushed. Mr Mayor, sir: It’s not going to get any easier if you make it to higher office.
Otter said it best: "You fu@&ed up - - you trusted us!"