Minutes

LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEYS ASSOCIATION
BOARD MEETING MINUTES

 

Meeting Date:   March 19, 2008

Board Members Present: Shelley Smith (President), Matt St. George (Vice-President), Jule Bishop (Treasurer), Judith Reel (Secretary), Eugene Hall (Criminal Director), Rebecca Gardner (Criminal Director), Garcelle Embry (Civil Director), Phil Sugar (Civil Director), Christopher Bobo (Proprietary Director)

SEIU Local 721 Representative Present:  Bob Hunt (General Counsel)

I.            Old Business

A.           LACAA Endorsement Procedures
        Board members confirmed that due to restrictions in the Board’s by-laws, the Board does not endorse candidates in non-City elections. People wanting a labor endorsement in a county judicial race should contact the County Federation of Labor.
        The Board reviewed its discussions about what procedures to adopt for candidate endorsement for the 2009 City Attorney election. The Board reaffirmed its commitment to a membership vote of an endorsement, and intends to sponsor a forum by which candidates can address our members. The Board agreed that it should arrange to videotape the candidate’s forum and make the video available over the internet. In addition, while some members want to endorse a candidate, others have expressed an interest in a “No Endorsement” option. The Board agreed to continue to discuss this issue at future meetings.

II.          New Business          

A.            City Budget
          Bob Hunt reported that the Mayor estimates this year’s budget deficit to be from 100 to 400 million dollars. The Mayor has threatened layoffs and asked to meet with City unions to devise ways to balance the budget, and instructed City departments to begin to prepare for lay-offs.
         City Unions are hopeful that lay-offs will not be necessary. If they are, however, management would be required to meet and confer with unions regarding the rules and procedures with respect to any lay-offs. The City Charter states that lay-offs from the City Attorney’s Office shall be done “in a manner consistent” with lay-offs in the civil service system, in which seniority determines the order of a lay-off (the most recently hired would be laid-off before more senior personnel).
         In response to the Mayor’s directive that City departments begin to prepare for lay-offs, all city employees will receive a document showing their dates of service with the City. Employees will be asked to verify the accuracy of the information.
         There are currently no plans to renegotiate our recently enacted M.O.U. If the Coalition of City Unions that negotiated our M.O.U. does agree to re-open the M.O.U.s, any recommended changes would have to be ratified by our members. Under the current M.O.U., raises were retroactive to July 1, 2007, and the Controller is obligated to issue retroactive checks. We understand that in the past, the Controller has taken as long as six months to issue retroactive checks.
         Board members did discuss how to decrease City expenses and increase revenue and we will discuss our suggestions with management. Members with ideas about improving the City’s budget can forward them to us, and we will either forward them to City Attorney management or to the Coalition of City Unions that is meeting with City management about the budget.

B.            Part-Time Employees
           LACAA members pay dues, or an agency fee, in the amount of 0.4% of their salary. Board members learned that the Controller’s Office has been assessing the 0.4% from part-time employees on the basis of the amount that the employees would earn if they worked a full-time schedule, instead of 0.4% of their actual gross. The Board unanimously agreed to lessen the dues paid by part-time employees to a proportionate amount (0.4%) of the monies actually earned, rather than 0.4% of the salary rate. We will meet with the Controller’s Office to determine the most efficient way to achieve the dues deduction, and will send details to those employees now working less than 80 hours per pay period.

C.            Arbitration Request
           In a closed session meeting, the Board unanimously voted to approve the request of a member to arbitrate a disciplinary suspension.

 

 


 

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.