(Minutes not formally adopted until next meeting)
Meeting Date: March 3, 2005
Board Members Present: Shelley Smith (President), Bob Cramer (Vice-President), Mary Dennis (Vice-President), Jule Bishop (Treasurer), Judith Reel (Secretary), Phil Sugar (Civil Director), Lisa Berger (Proprietary Director), Rosemary Chavez (Criminal Director), Terri Seigel (Criminal Director)
SEIU Local 347 Representative Present: Bob Hunt (General Counsel)
I. Old Business
A. MOU Status
The Association membership voted to ratify the proposed MOU. On March 2, 2005, prior to its presentation to Council, the Board, City Attorney Delgadillo and City Administrative Officer Bill Fujioka signed the MOU. It shall be presented for approval to the City Council within the next weeks, and we will notify members of Council's action.
II. New Business
A. State Proposals re: Public Employee Retirement Systems
Proposal: Governor Schwartzenegger is supporting a voter initiative seeking an amendment to the California Constitution which would deny the City the right to provide its employees with a defined benefit retirement plan (which it currently provides) and instead require the City to provide a defined contribution plan. Under our defined benefits plan, qualifying City employees are guaranteed a pension measured by a percentage of their annual salary (qualifying city attorneys are entitled to pension payments representing 2.16 percent of our highest one year annual salary for each year of employment). Under a defined contribution plan, there is no defined benefit; rather, pension payments are measured by a combination of contributions by the employee and employer. Under the plan supported by the Governor (and the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers' Association) the employer's contributions would be capped at a certain level, and the employer could not exceed the cap.
How Would This Affect Us: The proposal would apply to persons not yet working for the City, and thus would not affect current employees' rights (set forth in our Charter) to a defined benefits retirement plan. Payments to qualifying retired employees of 2.16% of salary for each year of service is guaranteed by the LA City Charter; two other retirement benefits, however, the annual COLA (cost of living adjustment) and payment of health care benefits, are not guaranteed by the Charter. The COLA and health care subsidy are the product of negotiations between the unions and City management, and a diminution of benefits for newly-hired employees may impact the City's willingness to continue to fund a COLA and health care subsidy for retired employees.
Actions to Take: SEIU, Local 347, and other unions representing public employees in the State, will actively oppose the Constitutional Amendment initiative. Local 347 uses most of its dues money for representational costs, and not for political activities; it maintains a ACOPE@ account, funded by member contributions, from which it conducts political action. Association members may make a contribution to Local 347's COPE account in two manners: (1) they can write a check to ASEIU Local 347 COPE Fund,@ and send it to Local 347; and (2) members can request that the City Controller deduct a fixed amount (to be determined by the employee) from each paycheck. Employees wanting to regularly contribute via a payroll deduction may contact a Board member or Local 347 to obtain the employee deduction card to submit to the Controller.
In addition to monetary contributions, Local 347 would like the assistance to volunteers to work on the campaign. Anyone desiring to volunteer may contact Teresa Sanchez, Local 347's political director, at 213-482-6660, ext.233. In addition, we will keep our members apprised of future volunteer opportunities in this matter.
B. Civic Center Parking
The Board discussed the issue of parking privileges in the Civic Center parking lots, particularly those in City Hall East. Shelley Smith recounted the collective bargaining history of the City?]wide Parking Memorandum of Understanding, negotiated between City Management and the Joint Labor?]Management Committee on Parking & Commute Options. Dating back to the 1980s, the Parking MOU provided CHE parking privileges for "management" employees in the City, as defined by certain salary classifications attached to management employees in the CAO's Office. Based upon salary and the urging of the Association, the classifications of Deputy City Attorney III and above were included for parking eligibility, despite that most of these deputies were not serving in a management capacity.
Generally, Civic Center parking is determined by seniority, and employees typically have to wait over 17 years to obtain such privileges. Parking entitlement is negotiated on a City?]wide basis by a coalition of City unions and City Management (who form the Joint Labor?]Management Committee on Parking & Commute Options). The original agreement delegated parking privileges to management personnel, but also included the classifications of Deputy City Attorney III and higher, based upon the attainment of the salary level of CAO management staff. Quite recently, certain employee classifications such as Deputy City Attorney II and Police Sergeants have reached that original salary threshold.
Anticipating this classification overlap, several years ago the parties serving on the Joint Committee agreed to retain Civic Center parking privileges for the DCA III (and above) level, but not to expand this to additional classes absent meeting the seniority standard. This compromise was reached in order to ensure that seniority parking would continue to be available to long?]term City employees, and to guarantee that CHE parking privileges for DCA IIIs and above would still be offered, irrespective of the "management" status of those employees.
C. Association Fiscal Matters
Board Treasurer Jule Bishop presented the annual report re: Association Finances for 2003, which included a declaration of Association assets and obligations. The 2004 Report is in process and will soon be presented. Jule also reported on the results of interviews with investment advisers, and presented a plan for the investment of Association assets. The Board approved the plan.
Jule reported on Errors & Omissions Insurance, informing the Board that the insurance coverage has lapsed. The Board discussed whether such insurance is warranted, and voted to consider the matter further.
Next meeting: May 3, 2005, 5.p.m., SEIU347 offices at 1015 Wilshire.