The City and its union partners completed bargaining after five months of intense contract negotiations. The negotiations team brought in 27 successor memoranda of understanding (MOUs) covering over 20,000 City employees for the next three years. The City reached full settlement with unions on 19 agreements, with eight additional contracts decided in part through arbitration awards. The 2019 labor negotiations officially closed May 14, when the Department of Human Resources (DHR) Employee Relations Division turned 25 redlined contracts over to the Board of Supervisors. The final two contracts were submitted to the Board on May 31.

The City provided its employees with a fair wage increase of 11 percent over three years:

Fiscal Year 2019 – 2020
July 1, 2019: 3.0%
December 28, 2019: 1.0%

Fiscal Year 2020 - 2021
July 1, 2020: 3.0%*
December 26, 2020: 0.5%*

*If the March 2020 Joint Report projects a budget deficit for FY 2020-2021 that exceeds $200 million, July 1, 2020/Dec. 26, 2020 raises will be delayed by six months.

Fiscal Year 2021 – 2022
July 1, 2021: 3.0%*
January 8, 2022: 0.5%*

*If the March 2021 Joint Report projects budget deficits for FY 2021-2022 that exceeds $200 million, July 1, 2021/January 8, 2022 raises will be delayed by six months.

The City also achieved important operational changes in all MOUs that will lead to more efficient, compliant, and fair workplaces across City departments. Some highlights include:

  • Union Dues: Updated language that provides for deduction of union dues and fees from employee paychecks to comply with the 2018 Janus Supreme Court ruling and California Senate Bill 866.
  • Bilingual Pay: Put quality control measures in place to ensure interpretation and translation services are accurate; increased bilingual pay; and unified language across MOUs to simplify payroll.
  • Non-Discrimination: Updated list of employee categories protected from discrimination and harassment under Title IV. Ensured all MOUs allow employees to file discrimination or harassment complaints using the City’s Equal Employment Opportunity program or the grievance procedure.

Bargaining can be a challenge, but partners acting in good faith can bring a contract that benefits both the City and its employees to fruition. Successful completion of this process would not have been possible without the Mayor’s Office, the City Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Controller, representatives from many City departments, and of course, the City’s valued union partners.


Our employees are our greatest asset. The following chart illustrates how the City’s General Fund is allocated. Employee benefits and salaries represent the biggest portion of General Fund expenditures, demonstrating their importance:

chart 1

Chart 1

Employee wages have kept pace with increases noted in the Consumer Price Index over the past several years, and we want to keep it that way. At the same time, the City’s costs to provide those wages and other benefits for full time employees have grown at more than twice the rate of inflation:

chart 2

Chart 2

The bottom line? The City is at the table with labor partners to negotiate new contract agreements that provide continuing fair wages for employees, while balancing other City priorities.

Mayor’s Instructions to Departments:

The Mayor has instructed departments to continue responsible fiscal policies that limit ongoing cost growth by making every dollar count; ensuring every position and all funding achieve their highest and best use; and that any new positions or funding align with the Mayor’s priorities.

The Mayor’s priorities include:

  • Building more housing
  • Reducing homelessness
  • Addressing behavioral health needs
  • Cleaning up San Francisco streets and making them safer
  • Creating equitable opportunities for everyone
  • Making government more accountable

Press Inquiries:

Members of the media should contact DHR Chief of Policy Mawuli Tugbenyoh at Mawuli Tugbenyoh or at 415.557.4800.