(Minutes not formally adopted until next meeting)
Meeting Date: July 5, 2005
Board Members Present: Shelley Smith (President), Bob Cramer (Vice-President), Mary Dennis (Vice-President), Judith Reel (Secretary), Phil Sugar (Civil Director), Rosemary Chavez (Criminal Director)
SEIU Local 347 Representative Present: Bob Hunt (General Counsel)
I. Old Business
A. Deferred Compensation Plan Administrator Update
As reported earlier, the Board of Deferred Compensation Administration's initial decision to award the Plan Administrator Contract to Nationwide was vetoed by Council action pursuant to Los Angeles City Charter Section 245. The Council recommended that the Board survey Plan members regarding the Plan, and issue a new RFP to bid on the contract. Following the Council veto, the Board voted to reject all RFPs and to issue a new RFP, and authorized Great West, the current Plan Administrator, to continue to serve as Administrator until a successor was selected. The Board also established two task forces staffed by volunteer Plan participants; the two groups are to advise the Board about Administrative issues, including what members want from a Plan administrator, and to propose changes in the way the Plan is governed and Board members are selected.
Nationwide filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court against the City, contending that the Council lacked the authority to veto the initial Board decision and sought an injunction to compel the Board to execute a contract by which Nationwide would serve as Plan Administrator. Great West joined the litigation.
On June 14, 2005, the Superior Court ruled that the Board had the authority to reconsider its decision and that it validly did so when it voted to reject all RFPs. The Court thus ruled in favor of the City.
It is uncertain whether there will be an appeal in this matter. The Board will keep you apprised of any further developments.
B. Noise on the Ninth Floor of City Hall East
We earlier reported about complaints of inadequate sound-proofing in offices on the 9th floor of CHE. Board member Mary Dennis spoke to GSD employees knowledgeable about the issue, and received suggestions regarding how to improve the situation. She was directed to call the architect of the build-out on the 9th floor, but despite leaving numerous messages with the architect, the architect failed to return her calls. Mary agreed to send an e-mail to Bob Hunt, General Counsel of SEIU, Local 347, about the matter, and he will follow-up with Office management to try to solve the problem.
C. Career Opportunities
LACAA has requested a meeting with the Office pursuant to the side letter on Career Opportunities contained in our MOU. The initial meeting will focus on process issues relating to promotions and merit steps. Board members Bob Cramer and Phil Sugar were delegated to work with Bob Hunt on this preliminary question. The Board further requested Bob Hunt to review and report back on member questions concerning filling positions without using the green sheet mechanism.
II. New Business
A. Governor's Ballot Initiatives
Teresa Sanchez, Political Director of SEIU, Local 347, was present to discuss Governor Schwartzenegger's ballot initiatives. Two measures are of particular concern to public employees: one would allow the Governor to unilaterally cut state spending including allocations for local governments [Prop 76], and the other (not proposed by the Governor, but possibly supported by him) would limit the ability of public unions to spend money in support of candidates and initiatives [Prop 75].
In response, SEIU aligned with major unions in the State and formed a coalition of unions to oppose the initiatives. Some of the other unions in the coalition represent teachers, health care workers, and police and fire personnel.
Local 347's efforts will be directed towards encouraging every member to register to vote and to vote, with a special emphasis on voting by absentee ballot. SEIU Membership
The LACAA Board encourages all of our members to join SEIU, Local 347. Members can join at no cost; there is no additional deduction for dues or other expenses for members who join. Any member wishing to join can contact a Board member to obtain the necessary paperwork.
In addition to the discussion about the upcoming Special Election, there was a discussion about the coalition of SEIU with other unions to force changes in the operations of the AFL-CIO. Anyone desiring to learn more can look at the SEIU, Local 347 website, and click on the link "Unite to Win." This link contains information submitted by persons in favor of the coalition, as well as persons in opposition.
B. Review of Affiliation with SEIU Local 347
LACAA affiliated with SEIU Local 347 in July 2003. Bob Hunt provided a summary of the major work and services provided by SEIU Local 347 for LACAA during the last two years. The general consensus among the Board and membership is that the affiliation has been beneficial for our organization.
III. Executive Session
The Board voted unanimously to authorize arbitration arising out of a disciplinary matter, and to proceed with an Unfair Employment Relations Practices Charge in an unrelated matter. Both disputes arise out of management's obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.