City Council to Discuss Team San Jose, Labor Negotiations, Employee Layoffs

The City Council will be back in session Tuesday after no meeting was held last week due to Presidents Day.

Issues on the agenda include: formalizing an agreement with Team San Jose that would reduce funding for the organization that operates city venues, providing updates on negotiations between the city and labor unions, and further discussing the option of factoring in performance in regards to employee layoffs. Currently, employees with the most seniority are the last to be laid off, which was agreed upon in past bargaining sessions.

The following PDF link contains the full agenda: San_Jose_City_Council_Agenda_03-01-11_5.pdf

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. 3 easy answers that Council will not do for political reasons making San Jose worst not better

    1) No Tax money for Team San Jose – they lost to much of our taxes already, no more wasting more taxes

    2) Open Public Meeting Labor Negotiations – Is Council and City Hall afraid that public find out where are taxes go and that labor is willing to be reasonable and compromise but city is not

    3) Layoff excessive high paid managers will save millions, 10% reduction of city workers over $60,000. 15% over $120,000, no cust for low paid workers providing services

  2. 3 easy answers is a mixed bag. While I agree with the first two, I would point out that answer #3 would have a net effect of laying off 15% of the already understaffed public safety work force. I’m not sure of the stats for the Fire Department, but I know that the PD is down 18% of its work force from it’s highest level which was, itself, acknowledged to be understaffed even then.

  3. I think the FD just took away any argument that Mayor Reed may have about unions not being serious about doing their part. Go to this link to see the latest proposal by Local 230.
    The city wanted 10% total comp reductions, they got it.
    The city wanted Pension reform, they got it.
    The city wanted contributions to retiree healthcare, they got it.
    They wanted reduced staffing on trucks from 5 to 4, they got it.

    These are as the Mayor says, real and ongoing concessions. i would love to see what their argument would be now when they got everything they have asked for!

    • FD Concessions

      The proposal which is presented by the Union shows some very promising movement and is a step in the right direction.  As always, the devil is in the details and those must be worked out with the Office of Employee Relations and Local 230 as required by the MOA and I wish them the best in finalizing a deal.  While the 10% is not ongoing as the mayor may want, the two year proposal provides a timeframe that definitely helps with the current situation.  I hope this timeframe also provides the room to utilize the SAFER Grant funding that was recently awarded and will go a long way to get the staffing levels back and possibly the resources lost last year.  Good luck to all.

      • As far as “10% is not ongoing”, by reading the offer, it says on page 2 that they agree “to an on-going 10% total compensation reduction.” They define it as on-going.

        I don’t see anything about the wages going back up to the original level, or any kind of expiration to the pay reduction. That covers the entire term of the contract, with no pop back up at the end. That’s as “on-going” as “on-going” gets.

        Darryl – Was there something you saw that I am missing on this point?

        • To Just The Facts,

          As I stated the details must be worked out between the parties and there are always many intricacies to be worked out.  The proposed language states it is through 2013 so there must be some definition past that point as to what happens.  As I stated this is very promising and when all the details are worked out will help significantly with what the Council has asked for.  I also hope it will help utilize the SAFER grant funding recently awarded to the Department. 
          I also applaud Local 230 for making the proposal; I know it is not easy.  I have always been proud of the level of service provided by the extraordinary men and women of the San Jose Fire Department and while the pay and benefit reductions are not easy, I believe it will help maintain and maybe improve the current level of service.  All the best to this great Department.

        • Just the facts,
          Your explanation is clear and thank you for being civil and I can agree with what you say.  As I read the wording, the 2012 / 2013 year says a continuation of the 10% reduction and it could just read no pay raise.  In the finalization of contracts the wording is important.  In the last arbitration there was some miss wording on the survivor benefits that if it had been implemented the way it was written it would have provided less benefits than what was intended.  The Council took action to correct that issue.  This is where the meeting happening today with the negotiating teams will get clarification.  From my perspective, I am OK either way.  True ongoing is much better, but even a two year concession I big.  I greatly appreciate the Union leadership making this entire proposal.
          This will at least keep the current staffing levels that were reduced last budget cycle or hopeflly increase them which is needed.

        • I appreciate what you are saying about “working out the details”, but I still assert that you misunderstand their contract when you say these are not ongoing cuts.

          You said the proposal goes through 2013 so “there must be some definition past that point as to what happens”.

          If the City, or the firefighters, agreed to anything past 2013, then it wouldn’t be a two-year contract. The city may ask for more wage concessions after 2013… the firefighters may ask to get recover some of the 10% they gave up. Neither is bound to anything after 2013, that is why the contract ends in 2013 and the parties meet to negotiate the next contract’s terms.

          But THIS contract does not specify any return to the pre-10% cut wages, so the concession is completely “ongoing” throughout the contract with no provision for a sunset, expiration, etc. If no agreement is reached at the end of this contract, these reduced wages will be “ongoing” until a new contract is reached. The starting point for the next contract’s negotiations will be the 10% reduced level of wages.

          If my explanation is not clear enough, and you don’t agree that their reductions are ‘ongoing’, then I apologize for being unable to explain it adequately.

      • Another example of our former. self proclaimed savior of the fire department, fire chief getting it totally wrong.  This is an ongoing 10% total compensation reduction to save fire department jobs so that we can have more firefighters on the street to service the residents of San Jose.

        Darryl, Don’t you get tired of being WRONG all the time because I’m getting tired of calling you on all your BS all the time.  You continually try to point out how F’up everyone else is but you have never taken responsibility for your part in this.

        Thanks for proving my point, Once again, that you don’t have a clue what your talking about…. now or when you were the fire chief and that you should just “go away” Mr. IGM (I got mine).

        Have a nice day and stop blogging from your Maserati, It’s illegal….!!!

        • To “Anonymous” Ernest,
          It may help if you read and understand the posts and just don’t go directly to your personal attacks.  As I said, I hope all the details get worked by those responsible, not the wanna be lawyers or “know it alls” as you seem to be.  I hope the 10% concessions are ongoing, but I also hope that the structural deficit does come under control to be able to provide appropriate pay increases in the future.  This is a big step in the right direction and I know it is not easy decisions for the current union leadership.  I admire their courage to move this forward.  I have never claimed to be a savior as you write, just a dedicated public servant who has openly stated my opinions, not hiding behind anonymous postings.
          As I have said before, it will be good to get back to the apparatus levels the Department had in 2008.  It is the service of the men and women of this Department that makes it great and I wish them all the best. 
          By the way Ernest, while we differ in opinion as to the ongoing status of the concession which will be worked by the responsible parties and settled, I do not believe you have ever genuinely disputed the facts I have posted.  I also see your IGM reference in your last couple of post as demeaning to all retirees who have been privileged to serve and reach retirement.

        • Anonymous Ernest,

          My aplogy, I posted this late last night and put it under one of Ernest’s other posts so I will repost under the area it was meant to repsond to.

          Let me just correct a couple of your gross miss statements.  The 2008 staffing and apparatus levels were the highest in the history of the San Jose Fire Department.  That is where I hope the Department can get back to as I stated.  You can go back and review the budget documents or just look at the minimum staffing levels on telestaff.  Fire Administration fought hard for the funds to hire the personnel in the 08 / 09 budget for Station 34.

          Second, the SAFER grant has been awarded and hopefully will be able to be accepted by the City.  There are many restrictions on accepting the funds and I hope that the details can be worked through.  The Department has made great strides in obtaining grants over the past couple of years thanks to the work of some very dedicated people.  I understand there was one additional grant recently received for a burn trailer we applied for last year and the new SCBA’s are in the process of being purchased with grant funding.
          Third, if the 8.9% concession was accepted last year, the Department would still have all the stations and personnel, not just the 49 but all 80 plus.  That does not mean that this year would not possibly result in some service level reductions, but it may have been different than what occurred last budget cycle.
          As for the vote of confidence and the censure it was a well orchestrated attack by the union president and you don’t need to respond as I am sure you disagree as you could even be him.  I have a response to the censure which is being processed.
          Again, as I have stated in my posts if you can dispute the facts with real information, please do.  As for my dedication to the Department that you question and marginalize, it is obvious you do not know my career path and the work I did in each rank and if you would like to compare contributions rank for rank I would gladly put my work history against yours.
          I hope the best for the men and women of the Department as I always have.

        • Yes I am.  I believe all posters should identify themselves.  Many annonymous posters on the site do not proivde all the facts and that makes it easy for them to hide behind their mean spirited statements and personal attacks.  My hope is there can be menaingful discussion and dialogue on the various topics.

        • “it will be good to get back to the apparatus levels the Department had in 2008.”

          Again, you don’t even know your own fire dept.  The apparatus levels in 2008 are down 5 plus 1 come July 1st for a total of 6.  The concessions will hopefully keep everything status quo however there is no guarantee, in other words, We are still down 6 apparatus come July 1st.


          Should the SAFER grant be awarded that will allow the dept. to hire back the 49 and open 3 of the closed stations.  Do the math…… Here, let me help… That means we are still down 3 stations…!!!  or is that a difference of opinion again??

          “I also see your IGM reference in your last couple of post as demeaning to all retirees who have been privileged to serve and reach retirement.” 

          Ok…?? your entitled your opinion as wrong as it is.  If I have to spell out a singled out personal attack against you then this will no longer be any fun. 

          Additionally, the difference between you and all the other retirees are two fold… 

          1.  They deserve the retirement package they have because of their dedication to the job and their fellow firefighters, you don’t deserve what you got because you were in it for yourself which is evident by your constant post’s regarding how great the mayor and manager are…. I still don’t understand your need to keep kissing their arses….??

          2.  Most if not all other retiree’s are welcome in any of the San Jose Firehouses…. You would most likely be shown the door and asked not to return..  Remember Darryl, 93% voted NO CONFIDENCE in you for a reason.  The 50th Convention of IAFF Delegates unanimously voted in CENSURING you for your anti-labor tactics… That’s not an easy task but you did it, congratulations.

          So spare me the lecture on what you find demeaning or your opinions on the “facts” as you like to make up as you go along…..  You lost your credibility along time ago.

      • Darryl,
        You say that these concessions are not ongoing. How do you figure that? There is no sunset provision in this. Without that, the wages will be 10% less until a new contract is negotiated after this one expires. That is as ongoing as you can get.

        Aside from that, do you have any idea how much the Firefighters absolutely despise you and what you did to run this department in the ground. You will go down as the absolute worst Chief in our history. Congratulations for that honor.

  4. It make no sense to layoff police and fire officers since more are needed on street providing services

    Fire Department has most officers out on streets but could add engines by going to 3 per truck like most other cities

    The police department has many officers that can be reassigned to patrol or investigations from desk or admin jobs which could be computerized or done by lower cost clerks  

    City Hall has recommended manager reductions in public safety but not non public safety departments which could save many millions and many could be early retirements

    There are now too many assistant managers, managers, senior managers assistant directors, directors, assistant city managers etc making $ 125,000 – $225,000 for existing city workers

    Even more managers should be cut in June layoffs

    Having different percentage salary reductions is the fairest way without real negative effects on lower paid workers

    10% reductions of city workers over $60,000. 15% over $120,000, no cuts for low paid under $60,000 workers providing services

    • No kidding…. I wonder what his previous performance evaluations looked like.  Too bad there aren’t current performance evaluations for the council so he could be checked off as substandard in the “Integrity” section for his supposed disability retirement.

      I still don’t get it, how can a guy be SO disabled from the SJPD that he was unable to sit behind a desk for the remainder of his career in PD that he was forced to retire out and yet end up doing that very thing as a councilman, sitting behind a desk.  Isn’t that FRAUD…?? 

      People have done jail time for less while trying to defraud worker comp… Why isn’t this guy being called to the carpet for this??

      • I think that constantly Constant must have Polaroids of some folks in high places.  He is a constant embarrassment to all SJC employees.  With his ethics (not!), I wouldn’t let him mow my lawn.

  5. Unbelievable!! The current airport director is now going to also head-up Team San Jose. Not only has he been unable to run a profitable airport—he blames every problem on the economy, on Oakland, on SFO, on the name of the airport, on the wage structure, etc., etc. It is always somebody else’s problem—never his.
    Now, he is also going to lead that sinking ship known as Team San Jose.
    He will continue to receive his $200,000 salary for doing less work at the airport and will also receive $50,000 from TSJ.
    And, the Council is apparently OK with this! We supposedly don’t have any money but this highly paid employee will be allowed to reduce his responsibilities for the same amount of money and collect even more money for another job.
    It is difficult to take this City seriously when they allow stunts like this.
    And, it appears through this maneuver the City will not look for a new convention center operator but will allow TSJ to be rewarded for their years of mismanagement and loss of city dollars.

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