Posts Tagged ‘East Bay Regional Parks’

http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan’s Open Letter to California Governor Jerry Brown regarding EBRPD Labor Negotiations

June 30, 2013

Dear Governor Brown,

Thank you so much for being our remarkable leader in California!

When you were our Oakland Mayor (Thank you!), did you take walks in East Bay Regional Parks?

Here are updates on what’s happening with contract negotiations at EBRPD:

  • 65% of Local 2428 members who voted have rejected the offer from the District. If we do not get a fair contract by Wednesday night July 3rd, 2013 we shall go on strike on July 4th and 5th.    Our Negotiations Team has already appropriately notified the public regarding  our intentions.
  • Since our Local 2428 Negotiations Team and District’s Team will be meeting with the mediator again on Monday July 1st . . .  I humbly ask that you use your mighty voice to express your concern for fair  treatment to ALL employees of a public agency that is thriving because of  OUR property taxes (Measure WW), OUR patronage, OUR support, and the dedication and labor of 600+ employees.  Please contact EBRPD Board Members and General Manager with a simple message:  ”Please give your dedicated employees a fair contract now.”  Please see names and contact info below.
  • Employees’ outstanding achievements continue to garner local and national awards for the park district. Every employee contributes toward the relationship-building that takes place every day in the park district (in person, over the phone, via emails). These individuals, who are union employees, make regional parks and trails safe, clean and beautiful.
  • If  we do go on strike, please come by and cheer for us. 
  • We wish to secure a fair contract for current and future coworkers, one that would not further diminish our buying power and narrow negotiating parameters for  future contracts.
I cheer for all EBRPD coworkers (Local 2428 members, seasonal and temporary employees, management, confidentials, public safety) current and future, and our retirees!

Here are names and contact information of the 7 EBRPD Board Members, General Manager, and our Union President. 

“EBRPD Board President John Sutter” <jsutter@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Vice President Ayn Wieskamp” <awieskamp@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Secretary Ted Radke”  <tradke@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Treasurer Whitney Dotson” <wdotson@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Member Beverly Lane” <blane@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Member Doug Siden” <dsiden@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Member Carol Severin” <cseverin@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD GM Robert E. Doyle” <bdoyle@ebparks.org>

Please cc   “AFSCME Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha” <local2428negotiations@gmail.com> 510-566-5985

U.S. mailing address to Board Members and General Manager: EBRPD Board, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA 94605 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), extension 2020 for Clerk of the Board

Please cc Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha: Local 2428 East Bay Parks, 80 Swan Way, Suite 110, Oakland, CA 94621 Tel: 510-566-5985

Governor Brown, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

Sincerely,

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

  • California tax payer
  • user of EBRPD parks and trails
  • supporter of Measure WW
  • part-time Sr. Office Assistant for EBRPD
  • fan of all employees at EBRPD
  • published author and writing coach

 

If you have seen newspaper articles / news on TV about possible strike on July 4th & 5th at East Bay Regional Parks OR received a mysterious letter (…or read it on EBRPD website) from the general manager at East Bay Regional Park District . . . please do NOT be fooled by misinformation.  Please ask questions and use your mighty voices to express your concern for fair treatment to ALL employees of a public agency that is thriving because of YOUR property taxes (Measure WW), YOUR patronage, YOUR support, and 600+ employees’ dedication and labor.  Please ask the 7 EBRPD board members to ”Give your employees a fair contract now.”  (Their contact information is listed below.)

HOW CAN WE SAY “Thank you” to the employees who make East Bay regional parks and trails safe, clean and beautiful?  Write or email the 7 EBRPD board members (names and addresses below)  a simple note: ”Give your employees a fair contract now.” and cc: Local 2428 President. IF employees do go on strike, give them smiles and “Thank you” when you are entering the park on July 4th and 5th.

It’s so easy for us to complain “Oh how inconvenient . . . that this group and that group are going on strike.”  Workers do not go on strike for the fun of it.  Workers do not get paid when they go on strike; they are the ones who are severely inconvenienced. The universal desire to receive fair compensation for labor (in order to provide for our families, loved ones, and ourselves) makes us human.  This great nation has a long history of speaking up and speaking out for what is fair.  We are Americans, thank goodness  :)   We, the workers, are speaking up and speaking out!

On June 27, 2013, General Manager of East Bay Regional Park District sent “A Message to our Community – Possible Employee Strike Action at Regional Parks on July 4-5″  That document from the general manager contains incorrect and misleading information.

As I read the “Message” from the GM . . .  lines from E. B. White’s children book Charlotte’s Web came to mind.

“What are you thinking about, Charlotte?” Wilbur asked.

“I was just thinking,” said the spider, “that people are very gullible.”

“What does ‘gullible’ mean?”

“Easy to fool,” said Charlotte.

If we are to read the GM’s “Message” and accept the document as the whole truth (without conducting fact-checking), then, yes, we are gullible.

The ”Message” says that the District is offering an overall pay increase of 8.5% over a four-year contract. What his message doesn’t say is that employees’ buying power has eroded by 11.5% over the past four years.

The District is offering 2% wage increase for July 1, 2013–March 31, 2014 (previous contract has already expired on March 31, 2013) while 2013 Consumer Price Index is 2.4%.

CPI figures confirmed by http://www.bls.gov/ro9/9240.pdf

2010 2.4%

2011 2.1%

2012 3.5%

2013 2.4%

GM’s Message says: ” . . . current average total compensation (wages and benefits) for the basic park maintenance worker as a Park Ranger 2 with a high school education and three years of service is $102,000.” What GM’s Message doesn’t say is that (according to District’s website) the minimum monthly salary for Park Ranger II is $4,310.80 and maximum monthly salary is $4,693.87.  Office Assistant/Senior Office Assistant min. salary $3,800.88/month; max. salary $4,286.75/month. And, those salary figures are gross, not net.

Ask a Park Ranger II or Office Assistant what his/her take-home pay is.

Ask a Park Ranger II or Office Assistant what losing 11.5% buying-power over the past four years means in terms of paying:

  • rent or mortgage and property tax
  • food
  • utilities
  • hygiene products & clothing
  • transportation or gasoline, car maintenance and insurance
  • home owner or tenant’s insurance
  • doctor-visit co-pays
  • living expense for dependents

What the GM’s ”Message” doesn’t say is that while the EBRPD board members approve “merit increases” for managers . . . the job classifications and salary schedules for many non-management positions are outdated.

EBRPD is a special district (not state, not city). The District reports 2012 General Fund revenues exceeded expenditures by $9.7 million, or 10%, which means General Fund revenues grew by $3.4 million. In 2011, General Fund revenues exceeded expenditures by $9.3 million. In other words, the Park District is indeed financially healthy. Even during the recession, the District had a surplus of $5 million. Why erode skilled and loyal employees’ wages/benefits/buying power?

HOW CAN WE SAY “Thank you” to the employees who make East Bay regional parks and trails safe, clean and beautiful?  Write or email the 7 EBRPD board members (names and addresses below)  a simple note:  “Give your employees a fair contract now.” and cc: Local 2428 President. IF employees do go on strike, please give them smiles and  say “Thank you” when you are entering the park on July 4th and 5th. Join them on the picket lines.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On June 26, 2013 AFSCME Local 2428 had released this statement: AFSCME LOCAL 2428 EAST BAY PARK WORKERS ARE PREPARING TO STRIKE JULY 4TH AND 5TH FOR A FAIR CONTRACT

WHY WOULD WE GO ON STRIKE ?

•We are trying to reach a fair contract with our employer the EBRPD. If we do not reach agreement by the evening of July 3rd, then, yes, we shall proceed with work-stoppage on July 4th and 5th; Local 2428 had already notified the public last week; mediation session is scheduled for July 1st, 2013.

•Our wages are 17% less than our counterparts in other public agencies.

•The District’s offer does not keep pace with inflation (our buying power has already eroded by 11.5% over the past four years)

•The District’s offer amounts to a net wage increase of 1.125% each year over 4 years; if CPI stays at 2.4% each year, we would fall further and further behind.

•If Board Members grant merit increases to one group of employees (highest-paid group), then it’s only fair to not erode the wages of the lower-paid groups.

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What is Local 2428 Negotiations Team asking on behalf of their 600+ members?

a 3-year contract April 1, 2013 — March 31, 2016 that offers:

•Year 1 – current CPI of 2.4 plus 1% = 3.4%

•Year 2 – CPI plus 1.75% — with 2.5% floor / 4.75% ceiling

•Year 3 – CPI plus 1.75% — with 2.5% floor / 4.75% ceiling

Since no one can predict future years’ CPI, percentages for floors and ceiling are used.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

 Here are names and email addresses of the 7 EBRPD Board Members and General Manager:

EBRPD Board President John Sutter” <jsutter@ebparks.org>

“EBRPD Board Vice President Ayn Wieskamp” <awieskamp@ebparks.org>

EBRPD Board Secretary Ted Radke”  <tradke@ebparks.org>

EBRPD Board Treasurer Whitney Dotson” <wdotson@ebparks.org>

EBRPD Board Member Beverly Lane” <blane@ebparks.org>

EBRPD Board Member Doug Siden” <dsiden@ebparks.org>

EBRPD Board Member Carol Severin” <cseverin@ebparks.org>

EBRPD GM Robert E. Doyle” <bdoyle@ebparks.org>

Please cc   “AFSCME Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha” local2428negotiations@gmail.com  510-566-5985

U.S. mailing address to Board Members and General Manager: EBRPD Board, 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA 94605 1-888-EBPARKS (1-888-327-2757), extension 2020 for Clerk of the Board

Please cc Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha: Local 2428 East Bay Parks, 80 Swan Way, Suite 110, Oakland, CA 94621 Tel: 510-566-5985

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Yes, I am one of the 276 employees who voted “NO” to the District’s proposed contract that would further diminish my buying power and narrow negotiating parameters for future contracts.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I cheer for all EBRPD coworkers (Local 2428 members, seasonal and temporary employees, management, confidentials, public safety) current and future, retirees, volunteers, family, friends, neighbors, Alameda County and Contra Costa County property tax payers, advocates of Measure WW, EBRPD board members, all EBRPD park and trail users, all the Charlotte(s), Wilbur(s), Templeton(s), and Fern(s)!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Thank you, Local 2428 Executive Board, Negotiations Team, and Business Manager Brenda Wood!

I am Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan, asking YOU to also speak up for current and future East Bay Regional Park District workers. Do NOT be fooled by misinformation from the GM’s Message or the media.  Please ask questions and use your mighty voices.

I thank you!

Sincerely,

 

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

  • Berkeley resident
  • tax payer
  • user of EBRPD parks and trails
  • supporter of Measure WW
  • part-time Sr. Office Assistant for EBRPD
  • fan of all employees at EBRPD
  • published author and writing coach

http://writingcoachTeresa.com for more resources for writers and readers

 

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