Posts Tagged ‘further erode workers’ buying power’

Dear Coworkers, Volunteers, Neighbors, Family & Friends,

Thank you for being in my life.  This is my open letter to you and the community.

Something mysterious is happening at East Bay Regional Park District. You can help if you:

  • * have used a trail or open space or visited a park (including Regional Parks Botanic Garden—that’s where I work half-time as a Senior Office Assistant)


  • * are a property tax payer of Alameda County or Contra Costa County, CA
Here are my concerns related to the mystery:
  • * Are We the Workers going to accept or reject the Park District’s latest proposal of another contract that will further erode workers’ buying power when wages have already been lagging behind inflation over the last ten years? . . . while the District reports that 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.
  • * Do We understand what CPI (Consumer Price Index) is?  Or COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment)?  Do we know that many of us are already working under-wage because job classifications have not been updated for many years?
  • * In his open letter (dated May 24, 2013)  to the EBRPD community, Board President John Sutter says: “ . . . because our employees, whether they be AFSCME Local 2428 Union Members, Police, Fire, Confidential, or Management, are the heart of our organization”   Why is the latest proposed contract (presented to our Negotiations Team on June 5, 2013 after two mediation sessions) so incongruous to these sentiments ?

While the District Board Members and General Manager are visionaries (you can see accomplishments from Google Earth), We the Workers are also visionaries (you see our accomplishments from relationships we form with park visitors, trail users, volunteers, with each other, with ourselves).
From my point of view . . . The “heart” of our organization = every employee  contributing toward relationship-building that takes place everyday in the park district (in person, over the phone, via emails).  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.  A heart does have many parts; all parts deserve to be healthy.

This is how YOU & I can help transform mystery into Healthy Parks Healthy People:

Coworkers: If you’re not already receiving emails/updates from Local 2428,  please email our Negotiations Team at <>.  Please open and read mail from AFSCME Local 2428 and attend informational meeting Monday June 17th—6 pm – 8 pm at Trudeau. We are in this adventure together.  Then, vote in person on Wednesday, June 19th at Trudeau between 12 pm and 8 pm. Each vote of  ”no” or “yes” to the proposed contract will have consequences.  Our accepting or rejecting will affect not only the next 4 years of our lives but also set the stage for the next contract negotiations. If we’re going to be retiring soon, then, our vote will impact our coworkers who need to work beyond this contract term.  Please ask questions, express your concerns, listen to coworkers’ concerns, ask more questions; information is power.

* * * * *
Volunteers, Neighbors, Family Members & Friends:
  • * Please write letters or emails to the board members and general manager (their addresses below) and cc Local 2428 Negotiations Team; be sure to provide your full name and address on your note (our board members care about what their constituents want)
  • OR
  • * Please ask an employee to give you paper and pen the next time  you’re at a regional park so that you can write a note on the spot; ask us to make copies so that you keep a copy, we send a copy to Local 2428 and forward your letter to our board members.  Be sure to provide your full name and address on your note (our board members care about what their constituents want)
  • OR
Thank you to the friends and volunteers who have already written letters, emails, and attended board meetings! Please tell your friends.
* * * * *

“EBRPD Board President John Sutter” <>

“EBRPD Board Vice President Ayn Wieskamp” <>

“EBRPD Board Secretary Ted Radke”  <>

“EBRPD Board Treasurer Whitney Dotson” <>

“EBRPD Board Member Beverly Lane” <>

“EBRPD Board Member Doug Siden” <>

“EBRPD Board Member Carol Severin” <>

“EBRPD GM Robert E. Doyle” <>

Please cc   “AFSCME Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha”  Tel:  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

* * * * *
I’m voting “NO” to this and any proposed contract that would further diminish my buying power and narrow negotiating parameters for  future contracts.
Thank you, Coworkers, Volunteers, Neighbors, Family & Friends, from the bottom of my heart!
Teresa LeYung-Ryan
tax payer
user of EBRPD parks and trails
supporter of Measure WW
half-time Sr. Office Assistant for EBRPD
fan of all employees at EBRPD
published author and writing coach
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