Tag Archives: SEIU Local 1021

Performance of Berkeley’s library director under fire at meeting of library trustees

Jeff Scott, far left at table, talks to members of BOLT before an Aug. 26 meeting. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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More than 40 people expressed concern about the actions of the Berkeley Library director at a specially called meeting Wednesday night of the Board of Library Trustees.

Those who spoke publicly – who were supported by 40 observers  – not only complained about the aggressive book weeding policy put forward by Jeff Scott, the director, but about other issues, including what they perceive as a hostile working environment and a lack of honesty and trust. They said they thought Scott had lied to the community about the number of books weeded out. (Scott initially said he thought 2,200 books had been discarded this year. He later acknowledged that the real number was 39,000). Some also said they were punished for speaking out against the collections management policy.

As Scott sat at the front of the room, his head bowed as he took notes, in what must have been an excruciatingly difficult meeting for him, a number of the speakers called for him to be either fired or suspended without pay. Others asked for an independent investigation into the weeding process: how it occurred, what might have gone wrong, and what could be learned from it. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley minimum wage plan passed, new initiatives loom

Labor advocates and other supporters of a $15 minimum wage attended Tuesday night's council meeting in Berkeley. Photo: Emilie Raguso
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In a third change of course this month, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to bring the city’s minimum wage up to $12.53 by October 2016, and will look at creating a task force in June to study further increases.

Council agreed unanimously to approve, in part, a proposal from Mayor Tom Bates to increase the minimum wage to $10 in October, $11 in October 2015 and $12.53 in October 2016, at which point it would match Oakland’s pay rate. Non-profit organizations would be exempt from the increase for one year, and non-profit- and government-related youth job training programs would be exempt permanently.

But labor advocates, who say the plan doesn’t go far enough, are gearing up to push new ballot initiatives that would, if approved by voters, set the minimum wage at $15 by 2017. … Continue reading »

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The most important stories in Berkeley in 2012

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Berkeley in 2012 was filled with drama — a contested election, a failed nomination for a new school superintendent, a few missteps by the Chief of Police, and major changes at the University of California, among other events. Here’s a recap of the issues that had the deepest impact on Berkeley, plus a few fun ones thrown in.

City Government

The year got off to a tragic start with the untimely death of 37-year-old City Clerk Deanna Despain. She fell down the stairs of her Oakland home on Jan. 8. Her husband discovered her body when he returned from a late-night meeting. Their daughter was soundly asleep upstairs. Since then, Mark Numainville has been filling in as acting city clerk. In May, after serving as interim city manager for six months, the City Council appointed Christine Daniel permanently to the job. She replaced Phil Kamlarz, who had held the city’s top job for eight years. … Continue reading »

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Commission won’t review veracity of campaign literature

Members of the Fair Campaign Practices Commission review material before their Oct. 25 meeting. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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Berkeley’s Fair Campaign Practices Commission declined Thursday night to take up the question of whether the Yes on Measure T campaign had fraudulently stated on mailers that SEIU Local 1021 endorsed the measure when in fact it had not.

The commission voted unanimously not to consider the matter because it fell outside of its legal jurisdiction, which is monitoring campaign spending, not the veracity of campaign ads.

“Although there have been many issues raised today on this whole process, this is a not an election committee,” said Commissioner Patrick O’Donnell. “It has no jurisdiction over process. It can only bring to light and make public how finances are used.” … Continue reading »

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Measure T supporters mail false flyers, critics contend

Opponents of Measure T claim supporters have mailed out false flyers claiming that Berkeley's SEIU Local 1021 supports the measure, when in fact it opposes it.
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Opponents of Measure T have issued a formal complaint to the city of Berkeley which states that supporters of the controversial measure are using false and misleading information on flyers that have been mailed to voters.

Zelda Bronstein, a former Planning Commissioner, filed a complaint Oct. 17 with the Fair Campaign Practices Commission pointing out that the Coalition for a Sustainable West Berkeley, the backers of Measure T, state on some mailings that Berkeley SEIU Local 1021 supports the measure, even though the union website clearly states that it opposes it.

In addition, the Coalition for a Sustainable West Berkeley website states that the Telegraph Avenue Property & Business Improvement District is an endorser, said Bronstein. Since Business Improvement Districts are city entities, they cannot legally make endorsements in elections, writes Bronstein in the complaint.

“This endorsement is illegal,” she said. … Continue reading »

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News

City workers make sacrifices, help alleviate budget crisis

Berkeley City Manager Phil Kamlarz: grateful to city employees for making cuts. Photo: Frances Dinkelspiel
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The city could achieve annual savings in excess of $4 million, if an agreement reached this week with more than 500 city employees on salary cuts and pensions is also adopted by other union members, according to City Manager Phil Kamlarz.

The agreement, announced at Tuesday’s City Council meeting, was made with members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 1021, the city’s maintenance and clerical workers, and it will go some way to alleviate Berkeley’s $12.2 million budget deficit.

In agreeing to cuts in salary increases that had already been agreed upon, and to a two-tier pension system, SEIU members also prevented layoffs among its members. The city has said it would have to make about 79 job cuts in order to reduce costs. The new agreement, which has also been signed by a number of non-represented workers, includes provisions for early retirement, said Kamlarz. … Continue reading »

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News

Some Berkeley city offices to close two days a month

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Some Berkeley city offices will be closed two Fridays a month, as well as the week between Christmas and New Years, under the $318 million city budget adopted Tuesday night by the City Council.

The customer counter at 1947 Center Street, as well as city offices at 2180 Milvia Street, will be closed 29 days in fiscal 2010-2011, compared to 19 days this year.

The extra closures means the city will not have to lay off any workers … Continue reading »

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