News

Tonight: Menlo Park weighs new contract for city employees

 

Judging by the flood of emails protesting the amount of time off in the proposed two-year contract for the 35 city employees represented by the American Federation of State, City, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, tonight's (Nov. 15) meeting of the Menlo Park City Council could see some spirited public engagement.

The council is expected to vote on the contract tonight. The contract doesn't increase paid time off, but drew fire for how much employees currently get, with a minimum seven weeks.

The contract institutes a two-tier pension structure for new hires, freezes pay, a cap on city contributions to health plans, and increased pension contributions by employees.

The regular meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at the Civic Center at 701 Laurel St. The council will convene an hour earlier for a closed session to discuss selling land on Terminal Avenue to Beechwood School .

Click here to review the staff report on the union contract.

Comments

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Posted by Melanie
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Nov 15, 2011 at 2:20 pm

7 weeks. Absolutely ridiculous (especially when coupled to the out of market public sector pensions). Our elected leaders need to fix this.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Seven weeks is the proposed minimum, the maximum being proposed is TEN weeks.

This is outrageous, unnecessary and unaffordable.


Like this comment
Posted by hmmmmm
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Peter,
You say this is "outrageous," however the NON-FIREFIGHTER contract that you recently approved as a board member for the Menlo Fire Department admin staff includes 11 paid weeks per year, AND it gives a FULL CASH OUT of non-used time off accrued- for anyone who separates employment! This is what is outrageous.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

It is ALWAYS important to have the FACTS before making a posting.

Here is the MOU for the non-firefighters re leave:

9.2 Accrual

Annual leave begins accruing upon the employee’s date of hire. The rate at which an employee accrues annual leave and the maximum amount of annual leave hours that may be accrued is determined by an employee’s length of service and full-time equivalency. Part time employees accrue annual leave on a pro-rated basis. Full-time employees accrue annual leave as follows:


Uninterrupted Full
Service Years (Months) Monthly Accrual
(Hours) Annualized Accrual
(Hours)
DOH – 3 (0-36 months) 17.00 204.00
4 – 9 (37-108 months) 21.00 252.00
10 – 13 (109-156 months) 23.00 278.00
14 – 18 (157 – 216 months) 24.00 288.00
19 – above (217 or more months) 26.00 312.00

The maximum number of annual leave hours that may be accrued by a full-time employee is 500 hours of leave. The maximum number of annual leave hours that may be accrued by a part-time employee is pro-rated based on the employee’s full-time equivalency.

9.3 Cash Out of Accrued Annual Leave

Once a year, employees may request to cash out those hours of annual leave in excess of 320 hours contained in their annual leave bank. The maximum number of hours which may be cashed out is 80 hours. The determination of whether an employee has more than 320 hours of annual leave will be based on the employee’s annual leave balance at the end of the last payroll period for the year. Employees will receive any cash out of earned and unused annual leave hours no later than March 1st of each year.

9.4 Annual Leave at Termination

Upon separation from employment, an employee shall receive payment for any annual leave accrued but not taken. Such compensation for accrued and unused annual leave shall be paid to the employee in one lump sum.
*****************************************
The maximum yearly accrual is 7.8 weeks NOT 11 weeks.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmmmm
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 15, 2011 at 3:31 pm

Peter,
If you are categorizing paid holidays and floating holidays for City Employees in the lump amount of "paid time off," you should include the same for the fire staff. Add those in and you get "11 weeks paid time off."


Like this comment
Posted by Sir Topham Hatt
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

This is an excellent opportunity to try out a new strategy:
-Across the board 20% pay cut for all employees
-See who quits
-Replace vacancies from the ranks of the 20% unemployed


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

I do not want to let the opportunity pass to make it clear, that while we may quibble on the details, I fully agree with Hmmmm that ALL of our local public servants have salary, benefit and pension programs which are dramatically out of line with those of the citizens whom they serve. This will only change when citizen speak out en masse and demand change. Even after 15 days of public notice not one citizen showed up to comment at the time of the Fire Board's approval of the contract referred to by Hmmmmm.


Like this comment
Posted by Long Time Menlo Man
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Nov 15, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Why would you say our "public servant's salary, benefits, and pensions are dramatically out of line" when in actuality they are NOT. When a person makes inaccurate statements like that it only inflames others. Oh - wait. That's what you wanted.


Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Nov 15, 2011 at 6:21 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Why would you say our "public servant's salary, benefits, and pensions are dramatically out of line" when in actuality they are NOT. "

Their average individual wages exceed the Census Bureau average Family Income of the citizens whom they serve.

Their benefits exceed the benefits of any local private company.

Their pensions are better than that of any local private company.

Saying "It isn't so" does not make you correct.

I don't want you to be inflamed, just informed.


Like this comment
Posted by I like it.
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Nov 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm

I like Sir Topham Hatt's idea! There are many things we could get rid of in this town, or downsize, and none of us would even notice!


Like this comment
Posted by Thomas and Friends
a resident of another community
on Nov 17, 2011 at 8:54 am

Sir Topham Hatt,

It is my understanding that on the Island of Sodor the 1 percenters employ the work furlough convicts from the Sodor county jail to fill in for the 20%. Hows that for cost savings

Thomas and Friends local 0-6-0


Like this comment
Posted by Sir Topham Hatt
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Nov 17, 2011 at 10:43 am

Thomas makes an excellent point- if I understand it correctly one of the state's "solutions" to their budget problem was to send a bunch of prisoners to the County Jails. Redwood City jail must be bursting with able-body prisoners who could be put to work!


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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