OAKLAND, Calif.—A strike by 3,000 city workers continued for its seventh day Dec. 11, but Service Employees International Union Local 1021 and city officials returned to the bargaining table with the aid of a mediator. The two sides have agreed on a 4% raise for the first year of a proposed two-year contract, but the city won’t commit to more than 1% for the second year. “We cannot spend money we do not have,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. The union says workers who took pay cuts during the Great Recession need raises to make up for that and keep up with the Bay Area’s skyrocketing housing costs, and it also wants to reduce the use of temporary part-time employees. The city declared an impasse Dec. 8 after the union rejected its final offer. “The city specifically wasn’t trying and just delivered an ultimatum,” Local 1021 chief negotiator Rob Szykowny told the San Francisco Chronicle. “That’s not bargaining in good faith, and if you’re not bargaining in good faith, you can’t be at impasse.” International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers Local 21, which represents about 1,000 Oakland workers, has been on strike in solidarity.

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