NEWS HEADLINES!   

IAM UNION VOTING ON PENSION REFORM
- Thurs August 16, 2012 by Harry Saltzgaver, Exec Editor Long Beach, CA: Gazette Newspaper

City Manager Pat West said that if the new contract is approved, it would save $3.9 million in the city's general fund in the coming year, and $12 million over all funds...  Under the new contract, IAM members would get a 2% raise in 2013 and a 3% raise in 2014, but all of that money would go to pay the employee share of pension costs. By “front-loading” the raises, that would save the city from paying the pension in the coming year... West said that his staff would provide recommendations for how the savings could be used...  IAM officials could not be reached for comment...

[Note:  Despite significant sacrifice by Long Beach workers and the savings they have generated, IAM have not done anything meaningful in recent years to improve the working conditions or benefits].


AFTER AGREEMENT, LONG BEACH BECOMES LARGEST CITY IN CALPERS TO ACHIEVE FULL PENSION REFORM
- October 18, 2013 Signal Tribune

With these final agreements, Long Beach has achieved full pension reform, with all City employees paying their full share of pension costs, making Long Beach the largest California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) city to achieve this milestone, according to a press release issued by the City.

“What some believed was not possible has now been accomplished for California's largest CalPERS city,” said Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster. “Long Beach has achieved full pension reform with lower and more sustainable benefits...

The agreements will result in existing employees paying the full 8 percent of salary towards their pension costs. Additionally, it will provide the equivalent salary increase of 1.3 percent per year when averaged from FY 09 to FY 15, less than the average 2.1 percent inflation rate since FY 09...  It is expected that the City will maintain the $3.5-million surplus projected in FY 14 with these agreements.

“Long Beach has become a smaller, more nimble organization... eliminating 786 total positions since 2007 ",  Foster said.

[Note:  Under IAM watch the City of Long became the largest California City to make significant reductions in the retirement plan and eliminate 786 positions.  Current employees are now doing more, with less, but IAM dues have not decreased].


STREET SWEEPERS TARGET FOR PRIVATE FIRM CONTRACT
- by Harry Saltzgaver, Exec Editor Long Beach, CA: Gazette Newspaper

Street sweeping was one of the city services targeted for potential privatization last year...  Also noted in the staff report is the fact that Athens handles trash and recycling pickup in 21 cities. While there is no comment in this report about contracting out either trash or recycle pickup, the city currently is on a month-to-month agreement with Waste Management Services to pick up recyclables.

[Note:  IAM should have addressed this issue long before it got to this point.  IAM members, the City Manager nor the City Council respect IAM, which makes it difficult for them to advocate on behalf of City workers.  IAM strategy of showing up at the Council meeting at the end of the process is too little, too late].


CITY OF LONG BEACH LABOR DISPUTE WITH IAM CONTINUES
- December 4, 2012 by Joshua H. Silavent, Staff Writer, Long Beach Business Journal

"We're willing to give the city the pension reform that they're asking for,” said IAM chief spokesperson Ray Rivera.
The Business Journal obtained a copy of the latest IAM proposal, which includes an agreement for members to pick up the full 8 percent of CalPERS retirement contributions. In addition, it proposes an adjusted compensation formula for new employees, which includes raising the retirement age to 62 from 55.

IAM is asking for a two-year contract extension through the 2015 fiscal year (the current contract expires September 30, 2013), which remains the key sticking point in negotiations, according Rivera. “I can't understand why they're not willing to accept another year if it's not going to cost the city anything,” he said.

IAM business representative Dave Sterling told the Business Journal that the union had agreed to withhold a 2 percent wage increase due to members during the current fiscal year until November 30 in lieu of negotiations, but that concession was expected to be retracted since a deal could not be hammered out by the end of the month and the pay raise would take effect retroactive to October 1.

[Note: IAM was only interested in a two-year extension of contract to protect their dues and prevent a decertification of Long Beach employees desire to join a more effective union.  IAM officials publicly admitted and copy of the union's proposal obtained by the press confirmed IAM proposed to require it members to pay the full 8 percent and to withhold a scheduled 2% pay increase]
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LONG BEACH SAYS IT HAS ACHIEVED TOTAL PENSION REFORM
- October 16, 2013 by Christine Mai-Duc, Los Angeles Times

"Since 2007, the city has eliminated 786 positions and slashed $134 million from its general fund...Employees covered under the new contracts will now contribute 8% of their salary into CalPERS, an increase from the 2%".


UNREST PUTS NATIONAL SPOTLIGHT ON MACHINISTS' LEADERSHIP
- December 10, 2012 by Lydia Depillis, The Washington Post

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) will have to rerun its elections. The labor movement has a lot of challenges forced upon it by economic conditions. Rigid, entrenched leadership is one that it's brought upon itself.

That's what appears to be the case with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM), which will have to rerun its elections after the Department of Labor found it guilty of failing to adequately notify members that nominations for leadership positions were under way earlier this year.
It's very rare for the Labor Department to have to intervene in elections; the IAM is the only rerun for top officers in 2012.

This wasn't an aberration for the IAM, though: The last time someone got enough nominations from local chapters to land a spot on the general election ballot was1961.

[IAM is often regarded as one of the most undemocratic union in Labor.]

 
 

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