SEIU 1021

June 1, 2020


Dear City of Oakland Co-Worker:

The Mayor and her administration are predicting tough times ahead and major budget problems, and have called on City workers to accept deep cuts. Specifically, the Mayor has asked 1021 members to:

  1. Postpone all wage increases, including cost of living increases and step increases, until June/July of 2021
  2. Accept 12 days of furloughs between now and June 2021, including five full furlough days the last week of July of this year

Let me be clear: We have NOT agreed to ANY of these cuts, nor do we intend to. Our position is that we can find savings elsewhere in Oakland’s budget, and we are working with Local 21 and other labor leaders, and with community groups across Oakland, to find those savings.

Right now, I need everyone to tell their City Council member that City of Oakland workers should be the last thing on the chopping block. Please follow the instructions below to email your comment, or call in to the City Council meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 2, at 1:30 p.m. to make your comment. 

If you like, you can use the following script with City Council:

My name is: ______, and I am a ________ with the City of Oakland, and I’m a member of SEIU Local 1021. I am commenting today to urge you to work with us to take a deep dive into the budget and find alternatives to the cuts the Mayor has proposed. Layoffs, furloughs, and pay cuts should be the City’s last option, not the first. We have a reserve fund for a reason. Refusing to use that fund while laying us off and furloughing us is cruel. In this time of crisis, Oakland residents need our services more than ever, and depriving them of those services is unfair.

As union members, we know that our strength comes from our numbers. We must show City Council that we reject the Mayor’s cruel cuts, and that we demand a better path forward. If you have creative ideas for balancing the budget, please let me know by email:, or call the Member Resource Center at 1-877-687-1021.

There are three ways to submit public comments.

  • Phone

    • To comment by phone, please call one of these phone numbers at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday. 
    •  US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 929 436 2866 or +1 301 715 8592 or +1 312 626 6799
    • Webinar ID: 818 3313 8129
    • If asked for a participant ID or code, press #. 
    • You will be prompted to “Raise Your Hand” by pressing “*9” to speak when Public Comment is taken. You will be permitted to speak during your turn, allowed to comment, and after the allotted time, re-muted.  Please unmute yourself by pressing *6.
  • Website Comment

    • To send your comment directly to Council members and staff BEFORE the meeting starts please click on and click on the “eComment” link for the ” Concurrent Meeting of the Oakland Redevelopment Successor Agency / City Council / Geologic Hazard Abatement District Board” meeting. Submit your comment by 1:15 p.m. to make sure it gets in the record!
    • You will be commenting on agenda item 2.2.
    • Note: there is a limit of 1,000 characters, so keep your comment short and to the point. 
  • Zoom Call

    • To join the meeting, please click on this link at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday:
    • To comment, click the “Raise Your Hand” button to request to speak when Public Comment is being taken on agenda item 2.2 at the beginning of the meeting. You will be permitted to speak during your turn and allowed to comment, and after the allotted time, re-muted. Instructions on how to “Raise Your Hand” are available at:

If none of these options work for your situation, please use this page to find your City Council member’s email or phone number, and get in touch with them that way to let them know that now is NOT the time for cuts

In conclusion, we know that many of our members were here during the Great Recession of 2008, and we have seen what happens when the City balances its budget on the backs of working people. I have been clear with the Mayor that our members can’t survive another round of cuts like we lived through then. Bearing the brunt of this economic crisis will break us. We have to balance the City’s budget by using the reserves, and fixing Oakland’s broken, obsolete tax system, so that the rich pay their share and small businesses can thrive. Our path forward starts tomorrow at the City Council meeting, so please make time to comment.

In solidarity, Felipe Cuevas