City Seeks Solution to Union Impasse

The City makes its final offer to union workers after months of negotiations.

The City of Palo Alto has made a last, best and final offer to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 521 bargaining unit. (View the offer here)

The two sides spent months trying to reach a contract agreement but finally declared an impasse this week.

The City’s offer includes an average employee salary increase of 7 percent over two years including a 4 percent cost of living increase and a hike for workers whose compensation packages fall below comparable Bay Area positions.

By contrast, the union’s final offer called for a 6 percent cost of living increase and higher salary adjustments.

The City’s proposal will cost taxpayers $3.8 million when fully implemented while the union’s plan would set back taxpayers $6.7 million. 

"We are committed to attracting and retaining excellent, quality employees, and maintaining competitiveness in the market," said City Manager James Keene.  “We are also committed to ensuring a safe and healthy community, and the City’s offer on the table makes upward adjustments to all positions needed to keep our pay competitive.  The fact is that under this proposal, there are many individual employees who will receive sizable salary boosts over the next two years.  While we understand the union may want all of its employees to receive a larger cost-of-living increase, we have a proposal on the table that would give everyone a pay raise and low to no-cost health insurance, as well as competitive increases to those out-of-market positions.”

SEIU represents almost half of the City's workforce with 570 employees ranging from librarians to utilities workers.

The union has until Feb. 7 to respond to the proposal.


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