Posts Tagged ‘Healthy Parks Healthy People’

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)

or

  • * 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 <local2428negotiations@gmail.com>.  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” <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  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!
Sincerely,
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

Next EBRPD public board meeting – Tuesday, May 21, 2013, 2:00pm,  2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, CA

Let’s all be there to express our concerns.  

When you  speak, our board members do listen.

 

Great slogans, let’s practice fairness too!   EBRPD Board Members, Please be fair to the Workers who walk the talk of “Healthy Parks Healthy People” at East Bay Regional Park District’s Open Space, Parks, and Trails in Alameda County and Contra Costa County, CA.

Healthy Parks Healthy People

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

If you cannot voice your opinion in person at the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) public board meeting on Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 2:00pm (I shall be there by 1:00pm with coworkers) at 2950 Peralta Oaks Court, Oakland, please use your mighty voices (before or after May 7th)  with your emails or regular mail.  Tell your friends and neighbors.   When you  speak, our board members do listen.

In the literacy community, I am known as Writing Coach Teresa who speaks up for public libraries and public schools.  I am also an employee of the East Bay Regional Park District.  My coworkers and I need your help if you believe in fairness.

Please join me in emailing the Park District board members (I’ve made it easy for you by providing their email addresses) and asking them to be fair to the workers who walk the talk/ who deliver what board members and management have pledged in the Park District’s  Core Mission statement ” and the Dedicated to Quality of Life Community Report: A Look Back at 2012; A Look Ahead to 2013 

While workers took hits to our take-home pay over the previous two-year contract, management gave themselves a raise (but called it a different name)

Workers’ buying power has eroded by 11.5% over the past four years.

We the workers care about our volunteers and everyone who visit us at our parks, trails and open space. We’re asking the board members to care about us by practicing fairness.

One simple email from you (to the folks listed below) would be greatly appreciated by me and my coworkers.

  1. Pop the addresses into the “To” line of your email so that you’re sending only one email, not nine; depending on your email provider, you may have to add commas or semicolons to separate the addresses.
  2. In the subject line, you might insert   “Park District Workers”
  3. In the body of the email, express your experience at a regional park, trail, open space (or services you’ve received over the phone or email) and ask the board members to be fair to the workers who walk the talk of “Healthy Parks Healthy People”

“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>

“AFSCME Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha” local2428negotiations@gmail.com  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

U.S. mailing address to Local 2428 President Cliff Rocha:  Local 2428 East Bay Parks, 80 Swan Way, Suite 110, Oakland, CA 94621;   Tel:  510-566-5985

    embrace life!   Great slogans, let’s practice fairness too!

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

 More information  from AFSCME Local 2428 East Bay Parks:

The AFSCME Local 2428 contract with the EBRPD expired on March 31, 2013 and the District declared an impasse seventeen days later on April 17, 2013.  Prior to impasse declaration, the Union had already filed an Unfair Practice Charge against the District for bad faith bargaining.

Our Rangers IIs are compensated at an average of nearly $6.00/hr. than their counterparts in other East Bay agencies. Our Senior Office Assistants are compensated at an average of nearly $5.00/hr. than comparable positions.

We the Union Employees are seeking a three-year contract that keeps pace with inflation and provides for wage increases that would offset any additional contributions made to retirement while maintaining current health insurance benefits.

The District can well afford a fair contract.  Revenues continue to grow and exceed expenses–boosting a healthy General Fund balance to levels equal to 48% of budget.

While workers took hits to our take-home pay over the previous two-year contract, management gave themselves a raise (but called it a different name)

Workers’ buying power has eroded by 11.5% over the past four years.

Workers were given only two 1% COLA over the past four years;  the 1% didn’t even go into effect until April 1, 2012 which was the second year of the two-year contract that ended March 31, 2013 . . .  while CPI were:

2010  2.4%

2011  2.1%

2012  3.5%

2013  2.4%

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

The Park District Board approved “Affirming that Retiree Health Benefits Provided to Management and Confidential Employees Hired or Promoted before January 1, 2003 Were Intended to Be and Are Vested in Said Employees”

while imposing a contract to Workers that:

* offers no wage increases

* forces Employees to pay 2% more toward retirement in violation of the new pension law

* attacks Employees’ rights to vested benefits such as retiree medical

* forces Employees to pay even more for health insurance

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

According to Approved Minutes Board Meeting Dec. 4, 2012

C-1-d. Affirming that Retiree Health Benefits Provided to Management and Confidential 
Employees Hired or Promoted before January 1, 2003 Were Intended to Be and 
Are Vested in Said Employees
Resolution No. 2012 – 12 – 277 

According to Approved Minutes Board Meeting Dec. 4, 2012

C-1-e. Approval to Modify Management Job Classifications, Titles and Salary Ranges Within the Planning/Stewardship and Development Division

Resolution No. 2012 – 12 – 278 
Director Siden asked why it was necessary to take action today since the study results are still pending.

AGM Mike Anderson explained that staff is trying to get the Chief of Stewardship position filled;

GM Doyle added that it will take some time to go through the hiring process and staff would like the new Chief to be involved in the reorganization process.

According to Approved Minutes Board Meeting August 14, 2012

C-1-z. Approval to Establish the Classification of and the Salary Range for Accounting Manager 

Resolution No. 2012 – 08 – 213 
By motion of Director Wieskamp and seconded by Director Dotson, the Board voted unanimously to adopt Item C-1-z.

Directors Present: Whitney Dotson, Beverly Lane, Carol Severin, Doug Siden, John Sutter, Ayn Wieskamp.
Directors Absent: Ted Radke.

Cliff Rocha, President of AFSCME local 2428, proposed an alternative to the new Accounting Manager position
discussed at Meet and Confer that will keep the position within the bargaining unit to create an opportunity for
promotion for existing union members. At the same time, it would allow work to be done for less cost.
Mr. Rocha provided the current job description of the Assistant Finance Officer to the Board, who he indicated
is responsible for preparing the CAFR.

Brenda Wood, Business Agent for AFSCME Local 2428, asked the Board to vote against this item as the Union
has concerns that the internal process for a new job description was not followed.

Matt Harray, Water Management Assistant, stated that this proposal for a new position lacks vision, and that
Management should fix the District infrastructure.

Sue Kyle, Administrative Analyst, stated that there will be a change in FTE’s contrary to what was written in the
material and that there is no available funding for this position.

AGM Collins stated that the Board material explained that the District has expanded in capacity and complexity
in the past 30 years. CFO Rubaloff responded that there are three managerial positions and explained their
current and expected duties.

Director Wieskamp added that the Assistant Finance Officer has done a tremendous job and sees the need for
the reorganization and that any reorganization plan will still be discussed with the Union. Director Sutter
commented that he has tremendous respect for the CFO and is convinced that there is need to have someone
prepare the CAFR.

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

AFSCME Local 2428 East Bay Parks

We are the more than 600 park district employees who are responsible for designing and maintaining park lands and trails; developing naturalist and stewardship programs; and providing fire protection and water safety at the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD).

President: Cliff Rocha
Vice President:Mark Pearson
Secretary: Christina Garcia
Treasurer: Sue Kyle

Eboard At Large
Sharon Corkin
Matthew Harray
William Nichols
Sergeant-At-Arms
Dave Kalahele

Trustees
Marie Arnerich
Donna Cuoco
Greg Mueller

Business Agent - Brenda Wood

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

Writing Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan Asking You to Please Use Your Mighty Voices to Ask EBRPD Board Members to Be Fair to Workers.

Thank  you!

 

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