News

Union to resume bargaining with Menlo Park

SEIU schedules January meeting

New Menlo Park council members were briefed on union negotiations at the Dec. 14 meeting just in the nick of time. The Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 521 plans to resume bargaining with the city in January, according to union spokesman Jerry Jimenez.

When the last round of talks stalled, the council imposed new limitations on SEIU pension benefits, raising the retirement age for non-police city employees from 55 to 60, and decreasing benefits from a maximum of four-fifths of annual salary to three-fifths.

Mr. Jimenez declined to elaborate on specific points of negotiation, but said, "We're hoping to reach an amicable resolution."

Comments

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Posted by Hank Lawrence
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Dec 22, 2010 at 8:08 am

There is no requirement for the city to conduct labor negotiations in private. These negotiations should be publicly noticed and conducted in Public with Public comment allowed for each negotiation topic. This is our money and we deserve at the very least to be able to observe the process and provide input if the City Council strays from the avalanche mandate of Measure L.


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Posted by Arn
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:00 am

I don't believe it was the city council that made these changes but rather a vote of MP residents did.

I agree with Hank and I don't care what the law is one way or another. It is our tax money and taxpayers have a right to know how it is spent.

The track record of elected officials from Washington DC to Sacramento to cities and counties across this country on spending tax money wisely is POOR at best.


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Posted by steven
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Dec 22, 2010 at 10:28 am

I REALLY THINK THE PEOPLE SHOULD VOTE ON WHAT THEY GET, IN THE WAY OF PENIONS AND WAGES ,ITS MY HARD EARNED TAXES AND EVERYONE ELES IF I HAD THERE PENSIONS I WOULD BE THRILLED SORRY TO SAY NO ONE SHOULD BE THRILLED TODAY SORRY UNIONS WAKE UP.................


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Posted by Michelle
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Dec 22, 2010 at 11:13 am

All we, the residents, ask is for fair, equitable and sustainable employee benefits. We want to ensure hiring our City Staff is conducted in a manner that doesn't create a short term benefit that cannot succeed indefinately. There is no pension or future for MP if we fail. Just ask the other jurisdictions who conducted union meetings in secret, providing benefits that while extremely generous, ignored the conservative, prudent fiscal responsibility needs of the City and resulted in absolute implosion. We must tread carefully; as we know, things can change in the blink of an eye. Hopefully the union has lost enough of its members by now (through this financial crisis) to act prudently on behalf of its members.


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Posted by tired of taxes
a resident of Menlo Park: Felton Gables
on Dec 27, 2010 at 4:39 pm


How about we consider a hiring freeze?

Web Link

we already have an existing and growing deficit. Let's privatize the child care center and let a private operator determine staffing for that. for the city arborist, there are plenty of per hour or per job, retainer whatever model we negotiate and forego the pension and benefit costs. City staff has a builds empires, we need to stop that!


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Dec 27, 2010 at 4:45 pm

At the risk of repeating what I have posted on other topics, I urge the citizens of Menlo Park to force their council to adopt the same resolution as has your Fire Board - get these issue out from behind closed doors.

***************
RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF THE MENLO PARK FIRE PROTECTION DISTRICT ADOPTING A POLICY REGARDING DISTRIBUTION
OF PROPOSED COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENTS


WHEREAS, in accordance with the policy of promoting prompt public access to government records, the California Public Records Act broadly defines public records (Gov. Code Section 6252, subdivision (3)) and the exceptions to disclosing public records under the California Public Records Act are narrow; and

WHEREAS, the Ralph M. Brown Act, Government Code Sections 54950 through 54963, enacted into law in 1953, requires open meetings of local agencies “to curb misuse of the democratic process by secret legislation of public bodies”; and

WHEREAS, the Ralph M. Brown Act “…reflects a legislative determination that ‘public agencies in this State exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business,’ and an intent ‘that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly’ (Gov. Code Section 54950); and

WHEREAS, the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act require the District to conduct its business in a transparent manner; and

WHEREAS, the Board, as duly elected representatives of the citizens within the District, in conformance with the Ralph M. Brown Act and the California Public Records Act, is committed to providing the District’s citizens with information considered by the Board in making its decisions; and

WHEREAS, the Board believes due to the importance of proposed collective bargaining agreements with the District employee labor representatives, that these proposed agreements should be made available to the citizens of the District in sufficient time prior to the Board’s adoption of the proposed agreements so as to allow for adequate review and comment by the public prior to final Board action.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Board of Directors of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District does hereby move that any proposed collectively bargained labor agreement between the District and designated District employee representatives shall be made publicly available at least fifteen (15) calendar days before the meeting at which the agreement will be acted on by the Board.


PASSED AND ADOPTED as a resolution of the Board of Directors of the Menlo Park Fire Protection District at the Regular Meeting held on the 16th day of December 2008


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