.What’s Up with SEIU and Berkeley’s Measure T?

It’s no secret that public-employee unions have been under siege. During the past several years, they’ve endured widespread layoffs, pay reductions, and pension cuts. And so it’s no surprise that public-worker unions typically endorse ballot measures that raise revenues for the public agencies that employ their members. It’s why numerous unions throughout California are backing Prop 30: The measure will raise revenues and result in fewer cuts to state and local government services and workers. It’s also why public employees in the City of Berkeley, who are members of the union SEIU 1021, wanted to endorse Measure T, a ballot initiative that promises to generate millions in new revenues for city government.

Yet for some reason, those Berkeley city employees were overruled by the union’s county leadership. And so SEIU 1021 may now be one of the first unions in Northern California to oppose a ballot measure that would raise funds for the public agency that employs its members — and thus help that agency, the City of Berkeley, avoid more devastating cuts to jobs, pensions, and pay.


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