Both sides in Oakland city worker strike agree to mediation Monday

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- There's a glimmer of optimism for a possible end to the ongoing strike by Oakland city workers now in its sixth day.

Both sides in the labor dispute have agreed to bargaining talks with a neutral third-party mediator from the state on Monday.

"It's a small showing by the city that they're willing to compromise and go to mediation, I'm very cautious though, the city has been bargaining in bad faith for eight months," said Rob Szykowny, Chief negotiator for SEIU local 1021.

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As of Sunday night, a location for the mediation session had not been determined. Meantime, picket lines will resume Monday morning at Oakland City Hall.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she is hopeful for a resolution to the strike.

"We want our workers back at work and we want to settle our differences," said Mayor Schaaf.

3,000 Oakland city workers walked off the job last Tuesday over pay and working conditions.

Both sides remain far apart on on pay raises. The union is asking for a 4-percent raise both the first and second year of the contract. City officials agree to the first raise but say the second increase must be based on revenue.

"We can't spend money we don't have. It's not fair to anyone," said Mayor Schaaf.
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