Haney Heads to Sacramento
Congratulations to San Francisco District 6 Supervisor — now California’s 17th District Assemblymember — Matt Haney for defeating David Campos in April 19’s citywide runoff election. With 63% of the vote, Haney captured a decisive victory, and we are proud to have stood behind a candidate who is also supported by a sweeping majority of the City’s voters.
Haney has been a friend to labor as long as we’ve known him. Specifically, we think his positive stance on building more housing faster will be not only a boon for our industry but also for both our city and our state at large, with their urgent shortage of affordable places for working-class people to live. So, it was a no-brainer for the SF Building Trades to jump into action and help Haney campaign when we learned he’d decided to make a run for the Assembly seat. In fact, we hosted his kickoff event.
In the months that followed, we held Haney for Assembly breakfasts and dinners; sent our members out precinct-walking, flyering, and door-knocking to spread the word; and held rallies and barbecues showing our support. Haney’s win shows that when we come together to support the candidates who support us, our help can make a real impact.
We look forward to working with Haney as he begins his new role in Sacramento, and as he continues to campaign to keep his seat. (He’ll have to run again in the June 7 regular statewide primary election as well as the November 8 general election.) Go Haney!
Crafts Coalition Finally Reaches Deal With City
I’m thrilled to report that after a long wait and much back-and-forth, a comprehensive package proposal resolving all outstanding issues between the City and the Consolidated Construction Crafts Coalition has finally been reached.
It’s a detailed deal, but perhaps most notable is that we were able to finalize a guarantee that represented employees will receive a base wage increase of 5.25% effective in July, plus a 2.5% increase in July 2023 and an additional 2.25% increase by January 2024. For lead positions, the City agreed to $15 per day and granted its assurance that such positions are not expected to perform the full range of supervisory duties.
The deal also stipulates that acting assignments are not intended to exceed six months except to the extent required to backfill a position where the incumbent is on approved leave.
This agreement will go a long way toward granting some much-needed job stability to our brothers, sisters, and siblings working in the trades for the City and County of San Francisco and SFMTA.
Some Thoughts on Solidarity and Supporting Skilled-and-Trained
Skilled-and-trained workforce requirements are the standard of our crafts — all building trades affiliates that make up this council are in fundamental agreement about that fact.
Skilled-and-trained requirements help justify the decent wages we command and provide proof of our expertise as craftspeople, and they give us the edge over nonunion construction workers. We’ve fought long and hard in lockstep to carve out these requirements as a cornerstone of the quality work we offer our customers and what we stand for as union workers.
Skilled-and-trained requirements, then, should never regarded as a bargaining chip or a principle that can be sacrificed by anyone among us who might be hoping to get a leg up by kicking out one of the legs of the chair on which we all sit.
That being said, it’s worth remembering that the only ones who are empowered to negotiate on skilled-and-trained requirements (along with any other of our hard-fought work standards) are the democratically elected leaders of the unions who represent the building and construction trades workers of the Bay Area — not a legislator, nor a pundit, nor a developer, nor a low-road contractor, nor even a rogue union.
We have worked diligently to stake out a claim on skilled-and-trained requirements that gives us the strongest possible bargaining position on behalf of our workers and communities, and no one entity within or outside of our membership has the right to undermine that position. The point of organized labor is to give everyone a seat at the table through a democratic process that is carried out by the union structure. Any changes to the standards we’ve set should go through that process and be handled by the elected union leaders who have been chosen by our members to represent them.
No matter what the issue, this building trades council will never bargain away our core principles for short-term gain or for any other reason, and we will always stand by the majority and act in the best interest of all of our union members, as well as in accordance with positions taken by the State Building Trades Council of California.