South San Francisco staff to get increase | Native Information

South San Francisco city employees, including 911 dispatchers, park workers, preschool teachers, librarians and others, reached a settlement deal with the city to avoid a potential strike that includes raises of 11% to 15% for the next two years.

The tentative two-year agreement calls for a cost of living increase of 6% in 2022 and 4% in 2023, plus market equity wage increases of up to 5% depending upon the employee classification. The agreement provides for enhancements to tuition reimbursement, professional development, incentive pay for skills-based certifications, night shift premium pay, and additional pay for dispatchers who work on holidays, according to a city press release.

More than 95% of members working for the city had signed commitments to go on strike if necessary. A city worker strike could have affected parks, libraries, preschools, 911 call centers, building permits, and other essential services, according to a press release from People for a Fair South City, which is affiliated with American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, 829, a union that represents public employees. Employees will vote on the deal Wednesday.

“With the rise of inflation, a livable wage has become a necessity. Many of us can’t afford to live in the city where we work,” Kristin Pierotti, a South San Francisco preschool teacher said in the AFSCME 829 release. “This historic pay increase will help South City retain, and attract the best preschool teachers, 911 dispatchers, and other essential workers we all rely on to make South City a great place to live.”

The agreement includes a new paid family leave benefit and adds Juneteenth as a city-observed holiday. The new contract wage and benefit increases are in addition to a one-time bonus of $4,800 paid to all employees in July 2022. Collectively, the wage and benefit increases represent one of the largest investments in its employees in the city’s history, according to the city’s release.

“Great cities are built and maintained by great city employees. And great city employees need and deserve great support from the city they serve. We highly value and respect our city employees, and this new contract is a tangible representation of that value and respect. This new labor contract is a win-win for our residents, city employees, and everyone involved in the process,” South San Francisco City Manager Mike Futrell said in the release.

Previously, the workers said they were demanding raises to align with pay offered in neighboring cities, where employees make 12% more, according to People For A Fair South City. More than 95% of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees 829 members working for South San Francisco have signed commitments to go on strike if necessary, according to the group.

The move also comes after the City Council approved $4,800 bonuses to be given to its workforce, nearly 450 employees, in June after fruit negotiations with the same union.

Along with the bonuses for city employees in June, the City Council also approved $4,800 bonuses for executive management and public safety managers, including the city manager, department heads and high-ranking fire and police department members — employees left out of the first round of bonuses.

Also approved with the council’s action were across-the-board raises of 6% in the first year and 3% increases in both the second and third years for the group.

With an agreement with AFSCME, all of the City’s labor contracts are in place until at least July 1, 2024.

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