The issue across the board boils down to management not giving the workers pay increases after they have sustained pay losses either voluntarily or managerially or both. In the case of City of Oakland workers, they’ve not received a cost of living adjustment since 2007, and this is 2013. Moreover, they’ve given up 25 percent of their pay just to help Oakland avoid bankruptcy.
The striking Oakland workers point the finger of blame directly at Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana. One told this blogger that in a negotiating meeting, Santana was asked if she planned to take a cut in her $292,000 salary, and she said that’s a question they would have to ask her lawyer.
And that is the problem. The Mayor and the City Administrator have worked to make it clear they’re not giving up anything, just as they ask the City of Oakland workers to do with less. So, they’re on strike for one day, Monday.
The feeling in this space is a two-day strike would be more effective than a one-day one. Because the strike happens on a Monday, it’s more like an extended holiday, just as one’s coming up. But if it was two-days long, then Oakland residents would really notice the difference.
A lot of work would not be done, from public works sewer operations to tree-trimming, and parking ticket payment collection, and parking enforcement. With no one to enforce parking laws, Monday will be a parking free-for-all.
BART and AC Transit Too
BART talks have broken down and according to reports, if an agreement can’t be reached by Sunday, Monday’s the first day of The BART Strike. And while California Governor Jerry Brown has been called by union reps, the BART Management has actually said it prefers to have a strike now than in the fall, when ridership rates are higher. This space has been critical of BART Workers striking in the past, and this time the point must be made that their rate of pay is much better than that of many of the striking City of Oakland workers, some of whom say they’re the working poor. The average BART worker makes $83,000 a year.