OAKLAND, Calif.—More than 3,000 Oakland city employees returned to work after a week-long strike Dec. 12, as contract talks
between the city and Service Employees International Union Local 1021 resumed with the aid of an outside mediator.With more than half the city’s workforce either joining the strike or refusing to cross picket lines, it had shut down nonemergency city services including street cleaning, libraries, and child-care centers. The city has filed a complaint with the state Public Employment Relations Board that the walkout was illegal; Local 1021 says it was legal because it was over unfair labor practices. The resumed negotiations Dec. 11 did not yield a new contract, but both sides told the San Francisco Chronicle that they had gone well. Local 1021 wants a two-year contract that would raise workers’ pay by 4% each year, retroactive to Jan. 1; the city has offered 4% in the first year and 1% for the second, with another 1% if it brings in enough revenue. Meanwhile, the city announced Dec. 13 that International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1245, which had refused to cross the picket line, had ratified a two-year contract similar to that offered Local 1021.

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