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Comment Archives: stories: Last 30 Days

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

Union workers are fighting for their families. They don't want to "fit in" and join the race to the bottom. And the Oakland workers are definitely not "under skilled" and "under educated." They have to do well in very competitive civil service exams to be hired. Their performances are evaluated annually. They have to pass a probation period. Unions are the best hope of maintaining a middle class, despite attempts to diminish and break them.

Support these folks. The decent salaries and benefits they have struggled for may one day belong to your kids.

Posted by Margaret Cunningham on 12/09/2017 at 5:35 AM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

I agree with Ali that workers were misled by the Mayor when times were hard. As she has shown over and over again, Mayor Schaaf, wearing her phony "I'm so concerned" face, says things in a moment of crisis that she has no way of delivering. That my friends is not leadership. With that being said, the unions and all public employees need to take a look at what is happening in the labor force in the entire economy. To only consider comparable salaries in other local agencies is naive, short sighted and negligent on the part of the union. Here is the reality of where we are in 2017. It has been much celebrated that we are in the "new economy", with the bay area leading the movement. Look at how Uber and AirbnB position themselves in regards to labor. NOT having employees is a part of their business model. Everybody is an independent contractor, responsible for their own insurance and benefits. AirbnB claims to be a short term transient occupancy or hotel option, but they own no hotels. Uber and Lyft are car services that own no cars. Nobody is paying the kinds of wages and benefits that public employees are historically used to receiving. That is already a dying 20th century labor relationship that the private sector and increasingly the public sector are moving away from. Rising health care costs and pension obligations are making that kind of employment increasingly unsustainable for cities. Look at how the City budget is carved up.The majority of the money goes to Police and Fire costs. The two places where frankly, their unions have over time, milked the City for extremely generous lifetime benefit packages. Don't ever forget that to some extent, unions are about their own existence and ability to survive. Part time and contract employees are the only way that many cities can provide services and combat the unsustainable position they are in. Responsible union leadership should be honest with employees about the reality of labor in the current economic context and form a realistic strategy moving forward that serves the workers and allows them to go back to work. Nobody should be out of work at Christmas. That is especially true for many of these strikers who are under skilled and under educated when compared overall to the bay area workforce. This is not 1965, it is almost 2018 and union workers need to look around and be realistic about where they fit in.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/09/2017 at 4:51 AM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

The Mayor is "showing us" how tough she is by insisting employees do more with less. She didn't start discussions about wages until May, when the budget was already set. Since then she has offered 0%, only recently agreeing to 2%. Her charming cheerleader act has fallen by the wayside, and her true character is emerging. She's given us an ultimatum, and hired a strike-breaking attorney to ensure no further negotiations occur. The Council members, with the exception of Desley Brooks, just follow in lockstep. Reminds me of another current administration!
If you want to know who to "believe", just look around at increasing number of homeless people, piles of mattresses and trash on the streets and potholes everywhere. There is not enough of us to keep up with the needs, and then we can't afford to live here either.

Posted by Dragon_FLY_on on 12/08/2017 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

SEIU Local 1021, my union, didn't accept the City's last, best, and final offer because -- among other issues -- it throws temporary part-time (TPT) workers under the bus. These are people working hard in our city, people who aren't getting a fair deal and are often cobbling together a patchwork of jobs to make ends meet. I care that good TPTs jump ship when they get a full-time offer somewhere else, because they need to pay their bills and support their families. I think they should have retirement and health benefits, and the opportunity to become permanent and/or full-time workers for Oakland.

The City offered to fund the conversion of some TPT library staff to full-time positions, in exchange for the union dropping the class-action lawsuit against the City for the overuse and abuse of TPTs citywide, and with no similar action to promote the rights of TPTs in other departments. Think Oakland Library workers would do that to their counterparts in Public Works or Transportation? I don't think the City leadership understands the helping professions. Or solidarity.

Posted by Oakland Librarian on 12/08/2017 at 8:47 PM

Re: “Watch Oakland Chefs Tanya Holland and Tu David Phu Compete on Top Chef

Im always suspicious of commenters who try to take people down instead of building people up...

Posted by John Rzeznik on 12/08/2017 at 7:55 PM

Re: “Peralta Faculty and Laney Students Vote to Oppose New A's Stadium Plan

I think you are missing some points! Gentrification is and will happen, it is called progress. The A's were willing to listen and work with the community for the benefit of all citizens. Your reasons saying they are going to do this or that is premature. They called for an honest evaluation of all concerns. You bullied up and became nimby's

Posted by Edward Silveira on 12/08/2017 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

This woman is so brave! I live in downtown Oakland and I fully support these workers. Oakland is doing well $$ and the workers deserve a piece of that. Otherwise they will leave and go work for other cities that pay them 10% more! That doesnt help our community. We need a good city workforce who are talented and hard-working. Give them a fair raise so they can get back to work!

Posted by Emma Jane on 12/08/2017 at 4:56 PM

Re: “Opinion: Getting the Shaft From Schaaf

Libby Schaaf is a Republican in Democratic clothing. She doesnt care about Oakland just getting into higher office.

Posted by on 12/08/2017 at 4:56 PM

Re: “California Attorney General: Oakland's Coal Ban Is Legal

Heck yah, screw you Kentucky! Take your coal elsewhere.

Posted by Jay78 on 12/08/2017 at 4:00 PM

Re: “California Attorney General: Oakland's Coal Ban Is Legal

State Planning law clearly grants local government specific police powers, including the regulation of land use. Additionally, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) doubles down on the responsibility of lead agencies to protect California citizens from significant environmental impacts generated by those land uses. Tagami never had a chance of winning in court and should be spending his time and money trying to find a use for the site that will actually work. In typical Tagami fashion, he used his political favors and friends to get in position to control the site. He then then tried to bully the City into accepting a coal related use that nobody in Oakland wants. I applaud the West Oakland neighborhood for holding the City Council accountable and stopping this project.

Posted by Gary Patton on 12/08/2017 at 3:57 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

To the poster, Hobart Johnson, who accuses the mayor of "jump[ing] upon the current media bandwagon regarding sexual exploitation of women": To be clear, I asked the mayor -- just as I asked all the other women whose essays appear in this week's paper -- to write about this issue. It was not her idea.

Posted by Kathleen Richards on 12/08/2017 at 3:36 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

What is deeply disgusting and upsetting about Schaafs opinion piece ought to be made perfectly clear.

Schaaf is referring for her own political purposes to a very important socioeconomic problem having to do with power differentials between men and women and between adults and children.

Its not just about women--its about sexual (and economic) exploitation of those in less powerful positions (children as well as women) being exploited by those in more powerful positions.

Schaafs work in elected political office has been at best mediocre and in the main has been less-than-competent. Thus she jumps upon the current media bandwagon regarding sexual exploitation of women. Nothing could be more cynical than this politicized PR effort.

I happen to agree with what Schaaf says about putting more women in positions of power. I am talking about real action, not posturing.

In one particular place, in Oakland, there could be enormous social benefit: greatly increasing the number of female cops. It is well-recognized in contemporary policing that qualified women are likely to make superior police officers. I do know about this from personal experience.

Have we seen a program from Schaaf for working towards 50% of Oakland cops being female? A female Police Chief is not at all the same thing.

Wonder why not? Its the difference between real understanding, real leadership and leadership and managerial incompetence and political exploitation.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 12/08/2017 at 11:33 AM

Re: “Oakland School Board Members Apologize for Mid-Year Budget Cuts at Packed Board Meeting

Most of the students that this money was earmarked for are truant --if their parents cant afford to go to to a dollar store to get them paper and pencils what more can I say --the tax payers should not be stuck with their negligent parenting -- let alone the preferential treatment which in itself is discrimination--

Posted by Ima Hemp on 12/08/2017 at 10:32 AM

Re: “Activists Call for Audit of Sheriff Ahern

Alameda County Sheriff spent 4.1 million on arresting people they never filed on. During the 5 days on average defendants loose their job, home, and vehicle everything AND THEY HAVE NOT BEEN FOUND GUILTY OR DID THEY FILE CHARGES. 40% OF ALL ARRESTED DID THEY ACTUALLY FILE charges. Only 20% arrested bail. If they bail and charges are dropped or not filed the money is still owed to the bail bonds. Pretrial favors the wealthy. BAIL SCHEDULES ARE 5 TIMES THE NATIONAL AVERAGE IN ALAMEDA COUNTY. Due process? Innocent until proven guilty? They deny bail by violating probation (tell them I'm going to violate your probation) when only the judge that ordered them to be released can do so not an officer. Alameda County Sheriffs are going to be the first police to realize your job is to PROTECT AND SERVE THE PUBLIC! Instead you POLICE, KILL, BEAT, THREATEN THE PUBLIC ESPECIALLY IF YOU RUN. ITS MARTIAL LAW IN ALAMEDA COUNTY WE HAVE A CURFEW AND YOU WILL BE SHOT FOR BREAKING ANY RULE

Posted by RaZa Rena on 12/08/2017 at 4:41 AM

Re: “Watch Oakland Chefs Tanya Holland and Tu David Phu Compete on Top Chef

Wow. Pretty harsh. Way better ways to convey your thoughts I suspect. Ive had my gripes with BSK (all service related) since they took over the space from a Jamaican themed joint that never took off, but the food remains solid. Ive been in W. Oak Town for 35 years. This was and remains a breath of fresh air.

Posted by Blake Gilmore on 12/07/2017 at 8:55 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

Wow. Comments like the ones below make me proud to stand with the mayor.

Posted by Esteban Camilo on 12/07/2017 at 7:23 PM

Re: “Town Business: City Workers Plan to Strike, and Oakland's Affordable Housing Fees Slow to Raise Money

Artiicle proves my point----the City conducts Marie Antoinette negotiations with all of it's union sbut for OPOA (as to Firefighters, see under-staffing issues reported in 2016-17 and comment from Firefighters Union rep that their 2017 negotiations also not going well)......As to the OPOA, it's roll over and give on demand, 90% of the time and OPD gobbling up 46% of the City's discretionary budget. As to the City workforce caste system, its like the cops are the upper crust, the firefighters are in the shrinking, under-siege middle class and everyone is a serf.....Naively, I thought the City's labor relations would get better with the departure of the Police Union cheerleader-City Administrator Deanna Santana, but I don't see much good change yet from her replacement. I stand with the striking and sympathy striking unions....and as to the 2018 elections, if you are endorsed by the OPOA or have received money from them, no support from me.....

Posted by Mary Vail on 12/07/2017 at 7:03 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

I hate to have to put it this way, but, as a feminist myself, Schaaf simply makes me want to puke.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 12/07/2017 at 3:30 PM

Re: “Berkeley Progressives Have a Chance to Prove They're Not NIMBYs

Let's be real. WE NEED HOUSING. Caring about design is nice and all and should be considered when we have extra housing stock (like in the case of Detroit which can choose to be more picky because they have too many homes). In the bay area we do not have this luxury. When we have houses jam packed with more people than should be allowed and, even worse, people living in the streets because the prices or rents are too high, for reasons of human decency, we need to hang up our want to have nice and pretty city blocks and build more to help people out.

Posted by JOHN DESFOSSES on 12/07/2017 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf Says: The Remedy is More Women in Power Now

Talk about tone deaf.

Wah wah wah wah

Posted by Vincent Blafard on 12/07/2017 at 12:36 PM

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