News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 09/22/2009
Subject :

City of Palo Alto Anticipates Essential City Services Will Not Be Impacted by SEIU Strike on September 24
Contact : Linda Clerkson, Public Communications Manager, City Manager's Office    650-329-2656

Palo Alto, CA – Essential City services will not be impacted by a one day strike on September 24 announced earlier today by SEIU, the union that represents more than 600 Palo Alto employees. Today, union leaders announced the strike as a “self-imposed furlough day” despite ongoing City/SEIU contract negotiations.

“SEIU employees cannot choose en masse to take an unauthorized day off from their work responsibilities,” said James Keene, Palo Alto’s City Manager. “The City depends on its employees to show up to work and do their job every day. The safety, health and welfare of our residents depends on it.”

“Public health and safety is our number one priority. It is important that our residents know that,” added Keene. “Police, fire and emergency medical services provided by the City will not be affected by a strike on Thursday.”

The City is scheduled to meet with SEIU and continue negotiations this evening. “We are disappointed that the union leaders would choose to call a strike while we are still negotiating,” said Keene. “From day one, the City has hoped to reach an agreement with our employees that works for the community, our organization, and our employees.”

The SEIU represents 617 employees at the City of Palo Alto out of a total of 1,055 employees. They maintain parks, review building plans and perform many other City services for members of the community.

“The City will make its best efforts to maintain regular service to the fullest extent possible during a strike or walkout,” Keene said. “We will keep the public informed.”

Human Resources Director Russ Carlsen emphasized that every City employee has the right to come to work during a strike. “Employees who intend to work during the strike can make arrangements with their supervisor regarding access to the workplace and work assignments.”

Negotiations between the union and the City have been ongoing since May and 21 meetings have taken place.

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