Sunday, September 19, 2010

San Mateo Labor Council candidate questionnaire


Please Do Not
Hesitate in
Contacting our Office with any Questions or Concerns


2010 COPE


Name __________________________________________

Phone (work) ________________________ (home) _____________________(E-Mail)_______________

Home Address________________________________________________________________________

FPPC ID # (if not available, then Treasurer's Full Name)

Campaign Name

Campaign Address

Profession Employer (if any)
Have you ever been a union member? Yes No If "Yes", which union, and any role or office you held:
What other elected or appointed offices prior to this election have you held?_______ _______________

* * * * * *

1. A. What are your goals and issue priorities for the city? What do you think the issues are in this election?

B. Are you running with, or share the same views, as another candidate? If Yes, who

2. What distinguishes your goals and priorities from other candidates in this election?

  1. A. Should unions be involved in the budget process?
Yes No_______
Please explain your position

B. What solutions do you propose for city budget problems?

4. If forced to reduce city general fund spending by 5%, what specific cuts would you support?
How much would you expect each cut to save? With whom would you consult? ________________

5. On issues relating to City policy, specifically the City’s relationship with employees and their unions, what do you feel should be the respective roles of the City Council and the City Manager.

A. to one another?


B. to the union organization(s)?




6. What are your positions concerning contracting out (privatization) of public work currently or traditionally performed by city workers?

7. What do you think could be done to encourage development that includes “affordable” housing, especially for the workers who work in our community (i.e. teachers) who cannot afford to live here?

8. A. How would you support the creation of additional childcare centers/slots for working families?

B. Would you support the inclusion of childcare as a part of any new or re-development proposals? (This could be financial support for a child care referral service, a centralized child care facility, supplemental funds towards child care slots, etc.) __________________________________________

9. What efforts to improve transportation do you support?__________________________________

10. State & Federal laws require the payment of prevailing wages on all government construction projects. These laws helped local jurisdictions provide jobs for local contractors and workers to stimulate the local economy. If you have a redevelopment agency, will you require a prevailing wage condition on all your redevelopment contracts?


11. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that in order to promote efficiency of construction operations and provide for peaceful settlement of labor disputes and grievances without strikes or lockouts, public agencies may enter into project labor agreements with building trades councils. This promotes the public interest in assuring the timely and economical completion of projects, and guaranteeing all workers are paid union wages and benefits. Would you be willing to enter into such an agreement with the San Mateo Building Trades Council?
12. If requested as an elected official, would you facilitate a pre-construction meeting with the Building Trades Council and a project owner/developer?
A) When new employers are seeking to build/ open worksites in your city (e.g. through planning applications, etc.), will you proactively inform and consult with the Labor Council and Building Trades Council?
Yes__________ No_________
If No, why not? ___________________________________________________________________

13. Would you support a "pre-qualification" for contractors wanting to bid on city public works projects? (Qualifying conditions could include performance record, prior public works infractions, sufficient bonding & insurance, Cal-Osha violations, financial health, participation in apprenticeship programs, mechanics liens, etc.) Meeting such conditions would "qualify" a contractor to bid for city projects.


  1. Currently, with the drastic increase in the cost of living in the Bay Area, many city workers who retire with
twenty or more years of service can no longer afford to stay and live in the communities they served while
working. What is your view of public employee pensions?


    1. What are your thoughts on the consideration by some cities to adopt a multi-tier pension structure?
If elected, would you consult with employee groups prior to changing pension benefits?

15. Companies like Wal-Mart seek to come to our communities and bring jobs with low wages and no benefits. This creates large numbers of hard working people who are dependent on taxpayer funded social services to survive and fail to provide the optimum tax revenue expected by local governments. Would you support or oppose a “big box” being built within your jurisdiction?



16. A. What is your opinion of the consolidation of fire/paramedic services county wide?

B. Volunteer Firefighters as first responders, in lieu of full time fire service personnel for a municipal Fire Department are unreliable. Would you support the continuation of or the start up of such a service in your community? If Yes Why? ___________________________________________________________



C. What is your opinion of the consolidation of garbage & recycling services county wide?

17. Unions are working to organize and mobilize their memberships in new and creative ways. Part
of that effort includes seeking support from elected officials and candidates for public office who understand the right to organize unrepresented workers, and who support labor’s efforts to build a progressive climate in which to accomplish these goals. If you support this effort, please check the boxes listed below that are actions you are willing to take.

I would be willing to:
 Speak in a public forum on the right to organize
 Sign a letter of support for the right to organize
 Speak to an employer about remaining neutral in an organizing drive
  • Refuse to patronize an employer who conducts an anti-union campaign
  • Pass an ordinance supporting labor rights and livable wages
  • Join a delegation of workers to meet with an employer
  • Hold a town hall meeting to discuss issues important to workers
  • Support legislative action to prevent use of public funds for anti-union activities
  • Take a leadership role with colleagues to advance these issues
  • Assist workers in obtaining a first contract upon successful completion of organizing drive

  1. A) Will you use union printers for your campaign literature and signs?

Yes No_______

B) Will you use union restaurants/hotels for any official campaign functions if possible?
Yes No_______

C) Will you refuse to use restaurants/hotels that are on the union state boycott
list for any official campaign functions?
Yes No_______

19. Would you cross an organized labor picket line?
Yes No_______

20. Would you support an organized labor boycott?
Yes No_______

21. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA)?
Yes No_______
If no, why? ______________________________________________________________________
  1. Do you support majority sign-up (card check/ neutrality) agreements as a process for union recognition? Will you encourage employers to enter into such agreements, and require such agreements where legally permitted to do so?
Yes________ No______
If no, why? ______________________________________________________________________

22. If elected, would you be willing to use your authority, to the extent that is legally permissible, as well as your public stature to support union organizing?
Yes No_______

  1. California is in the midst of a health care crisis. Lack of health insurance can be devastating for the health and financial stability of California families. The Legislature and the Governor have been grappling with this immense issue for years, but no matter what reforms are enacted, health care will likely remain a priority for our community.

  1. Should any tax breaks to business be conditioned on its agreement to provide health benefits to all employees?

  1. Do you believe that employers in our County/City should be obligated to meet a minimum health care spending requirement, similar to a minimum wage? Why or why not?

  1. Under current law, HMOs, insurance companies and hospitals can raise their premiums without review or regulation. Would you support regulating the price HMOs, Insurance Companies and hospitals can charge for their health insurance products? Why or why not? ______

  1. Would you support or oppose legislation that requires disclosure of the names of employers whose workers rely on public health care program like Medi-Cal and Healthy Families?
Support_________ Oppose__________

  1. Do you support providing health care coverage to all people in this County/City who are below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level, regardless of immigration status? Yes ___ No_______
24. Do you support or oppose requiring unions representing nurses, teachers, firefighters and other public employees to obtain consent each year of each member in order to allow dues to be used for political activities that affect their members? Support_________ Oppose____________


25. As an elected official, the Brown act allows you to be accessible to workers and their Union representatives on all issues, including the negotiation process. Do you agree to be accessible to workers and their representatives and, if need be, act as a facilitator when negotiations reach an impasse?
Yes_____ No______
Please explain your position

26. Will you consult with Labor before contracting with a law firm or consultant for managing the City’s labor relations?

27. Will you consult Labor on appointments to boards and commissions?

28. Would you support a worker having the option of using binding arbitration in the appeal process of employment matters (i.e. grievance/discipline)?

29. Would you support public safety unions having the option of arbitration when collective bargaining comes to an impasse?

30. If you are successful in your election (or re-election), you may be appointed to the SamTrans Board of Directors. What do you think your relationship should be with the Amalgamated Transit Union which represents the Bus Operators and Mechanics? ______________________ _


31. Would you be willing to be a facilitator, on behalf of union workers, with employers with whom the City has a franchising agreement (i.e. Cable TV operators)?___________________________________


32. What community organizations are you a member of?

33. Please list the endorsements you have received or are seeking:
Endorsements Received: Endorsements Seeking:

34. If you were to be endorsed by the Labor Council, what three labor issues would you want our members to know you have strong feelings about?______________________ _______________

35. Briefly discuss your campaign strategy for getting elected (i.e., fundraising, campaign targets, endorsements, number of votes needed to win, etc.)

36. Do you have any additional comments regarding your campaign? _________________________



37. I have carefully reviewed this questionnaire and I attest that all of my responses are true and accurate.


Date: _______________________________________________________________________________

Please return to: Shelley Kessler
San Mateo Labor Council - C.O.P.E.
1153 Chess Drive, Suite #200, Foster City, CA 94404
Telephone: (650) 572-8848
FAX (650) 572-2481

Posted by Steve Sinai


Anonymous said...

How much does this job pay?

My kids came home from school and told me that their teacher and school district was crying about possibly losing their job or worse. They are asking us to get in the street, no, highway- with signs, asking for more money to go towards school and their pensions. They want us to support and approve another parcel tax. I know, I know, they say it will go towards students. Like we haven't heard that before.

So, you see, I am in need of a job. So how much does this pay?

I am a dad who just got laid off and may lose my home. So when my kids teacher leaves at 3:00pm and gets into their new car and drives to their nice home, or goes surfing, I get a little perturbed. Why? Because they have a job and I don't.

Lance said...

Anon, sorry that you have lost your job. That sucks big time. Been there more than once over the years. Teachers in this district are underpaid and overworked. Period. No discussion. No rebut. Done at 3! Any teacher worth their salt is working many hours off the "clock". I know. I have two teachers in my family. Our district pays beans compared to many other districts. The only reason a teacher stays here is dedication. They do more with less than any other professional I know could or would. They are not your target. Washington, Sacramento, and the rest of that dysfunctional bunch are to blame. Cash grabs from the capitals have depleted our local ability to control the education or our children. We still don't have a budget out of Sac. What's that do to the planning for this school year. I'll tell you, chaos and uncertainty. You know that feeling. You're there now. Teachers are the backbone of this country. In this district, they are saints for putting up with what they have to. I go to different industry events and bring pens and doo-dads home so they have supplies in the classroom. It's not unusual for teachers to spend several hundreds of dollars a year on classroom necessities that we took for granted when we were kids.
Blame the people that are responsible. The "leaders" that aren't leading.
I don't know what your profession is, but I wish you all the luck in the world.

Tom Clifford said...

What are your skills sets?
What type of work do you or would you like to do?
Both my wife and my adult son are looking for work so I understand your pain, anger and fear.