Minutes

LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
BOARD MEETING MINUTES

Meeting Date:   February 1, 2007

Board Members Present: Shelley Smith (President), Bob Cramer (Vice-President), Michael Duran (Vice-President), Judith Reel (Secretary), Garcelle Embry (Civil Director), Phil Sugar (Civil Director), Nick Karno (Criminal Director), Eugene Hall (Criminal Director)

SEIU Local 347 Representative Present:  Bob Hunt (General Counsel)

I.            Old Business

A.            M.O.U. Negotiations

Bob Hunt reported on the bargaining survey responses submitted by LACAA members regarding the Spring M.O.U. negotiations.  The surveys indicate that the highest priorities are increasing salaries, improving the pension, and removing the walls between promotion.  In addition, members submitted a broad array of suggestions pertaining generally to improved and more flexible health and vacation benefits, career advancement opportunities, and improved working conditions.  The Board agreed to meet later this month to begin preparation of more detailed proposals.  We request that members continue to send suggestions for the upcoming M.O.U. negotiations to Board members or Bob Hunt.
Bob Hunt reported that SEIU continues to work with a coalition of city unions, including AFSCME, in an effort to coordinate a negotiating strategy for the Spring  M.O.U. negotiations.  The unions in the coalition represent approximately 20,000 civilian City employees whose M.O.U.s expire on June 30, 2007.  [Note:  The coalition will be mailing a special survey to all affected City employees for the purpose of developing communication materials during the negotiations.] 
LAPMA, the union representing City managers, contracted with an actuarial firm to prepare a study of the cost of changes to the pension formula applicable to most  civilian City employees, including city attorneys.  The estimated cost of the study is $80,000. and LAPMA is asking other unions in the coalition to contribute to the cost of the study.  A study documenting the costs of changing the pension formula is required to negotiate changes.  Consistent with the LACAA Board’s earlier decision to fully support the efforts to build a strong coalition among all of the City unions including providing any necessary financial assistance, the Board voted to pay LAPMA up to and including $25,000. for the cost of the actuarial study.

B.             SEIU Activities

The minutes from previous Board meetings describe the ongoing efforts of the International SEIU to consolidate the SEIU California local unions into large locals, including a plan to consolidate the SEIU Southern California locals that represent public employees.
Following a vote by SEIU membership to approve the consolidation, SEIU has issued a charter creating SEIU Local 721.  Local 721 will include Locals 347, 660 (representing mostly county employees), and other Southern California locals representing public employees.  Although Local 347 will be subsumed into Local 721, 347’s ongoing representation work will continue on behalf of city employees, and Bob Hunt will continue to serve as the Local’s representative for LACAA members.  Additionally, the LACAA affiliation agreement with SEIU Local 347 will continue to be honored by the new SEIU Local 721.  
Shelley Smith reported on the activities of the Secure Retirement Committee which was created as part of the consolidation program.  This committee includes representatives of the combined SEIU Local unions and will focus on retirement issues at the state and national levels.  Shelley reported that one of the first issues will be to support federal legislation to forgive law student loans of public lawyers committed to work in fields related to criminal justice.  We will keep our members informed of this Committee’s work as well as other developments in the new local.

II.            New Business                       

A.            Conflicts of Interest

Board members often represent members in variety of situations, including representing members charged with misconduct, in interviews with management  that can lead to the imposition of discipline, or in interviews with Personnel in which the employee is complaining about actions by others.  In engaging in these representation activities, Board members often seek the advice and assistance of Bob Hunt.  There are occasions where, because of a conflict of interest, Bob Hunt is unable to assist a Board member in a given matter.  To provide Board members with professional experienced assistance in those situations, the Board voted unanimously to retain an outside law firm to provide assistance to Board members when Bob Hunt is unable to do so because of a conflict of interest. 

B.            Parking as Reasonable Accommodation Under the ADA/FEHA

There are insufficient parking spaces in City Hall East to accommodate the needs of disabled employees, including employees of our office.  Management raised this issue, and suggested that the union join with management to request a meeting with General Services to see what could be done to accommodate our employees’ needs.   At our mutual request, representatives of the General Services Department met with LACAA representatives and Office management.  We explored several ways to solve the problem, and agreed to attend the next meeting of the Joint Labor-Management Committee on Parking & Commute Options, the Committee that oversees employee parking in city facilities.

C.            Miscellaneous

The Board voted to purchase a table at the annual American Diabetes Roast, to be held on March 15 at the Century Plaza.  Police Chief Bratton is the honoree.

 


As you know, our new MOU includes annual reimbursement for MCLE-related expenses. To ensure that you receive complete and timely reimbursement, we encourage you to follow the instructions contained in the MCLE protocol provided by City Attorney Management. You must complete and submit a reimbursement form in order to receive reimbursement.

You can reimburse expenses related to attending MCLE programs that are accepted by the California State Bar, even if the program takes place in another state. Eligible expenses include the cost of the program, travel, and per diems.

Please be judicious when choosing lodging and which food/drink expenses you submit for reimbursement.


The Board is pleased to announce that LACAA has retained the law firm of MASTAGNI, HOLSTEDT, AMICK, MILLER & JOHNSEN as General Counsel.