Meeting Date: February 3, 2010; 5:00 p.m.
Board Members Present: Oscar Winslow (President), Renee Braeunig (Vice President), Judith Reel (Vice President), Juliann Anderson (Secretary), Nick Karno (Criminal Director), Ann Rosenthal (Criminal Director), Garcelle Embry (Civil Director), Marie McTeague (Civil Director), Christopher Bobo (Proprietary Director).
SEIU Local 721 Representative Present:
Julie Butcher (Director)
Bob Hunt (General Counsel)
1. New Business
A. City Budget – Impact on City Attorney's Office
1. Getting Information Regarding Ongoing City Budget Crisis
The Board noted that many members are inquiring about the ongoing city budget crisis. Beyond the mainstream media, the following LACAA / SEIU resources are available:
a. LACAA : www.LACAA.org
b. SEIU Local 721: www.SEIU721.org
c. Coalition of L.A. City Unions : www.lacitycoalition.org
d. L.A. City Council website
(for live feeds of meetings -- see green right column / box
under "LA City Clerk Connect,"
click on "Council Meetings"): www.lacity.org
e. LACAA Board President
Oscar Winslow e-mail : email@example.com
Mainstream media resources include:
a. Los Angeles Times: www.latimes.com
b. Los Angeles Daily News: www.dailynews.com
c. Channel 2 News (CBS – L.A.) : www.cbs2.com
Minutes of board meetings will be circulated via city e-mail (it is legal to use city e-mail for "reasonable union use") and will be posted on the LACAA website. Notices of meetings and agendas will likewise be circulated and posted. Hard copies of notices and minutes will be posted on association bulletin boards in City Hall East; board members reiterated that they will post hard copies in every branch and proprietary unit as well.
2. Q & A with Julie Butcher (SEIU)
Julie Butcher (director, SEIU Local 721) attended the board meeting to report on Coalition of LA City Unions discussions with city management. Butcher told the meeting that there would be no layoffs of Coalition members in this fiscal year (through June 30) under the Coalition agreement with the City. Butcher said that City management understands that there can be no layoffs under the agreement this fiscal year. As to layoffs next fiscal year (beginning July 1), Butcher urged members to attend City Council meetings and speak about how layoffs would affect us personally and as an office.
Butcher noted that last year union members took action and gave millions to get the City through its crisis. Given the Coalition's sacrifice ("we've already given at the
office. . . ."), Butcher stated that there will be no more Coalition negotiations regarding this fiscal year.
As for fiscal year 2010-2011, she said that the Coalition has scoured every budget, looking for cost-saving ideas and had a list worth $265 million. She urged union members to do the same and forward their suggestions to Board members or SEIU.
Answering a member's question as to whether layoffs are a scare tactic, Butcher answered that "We're done! We gave! The City hasn't cashed the check we gave it," noting that while the average wage of an ERIP employee was $87,000; the average wage of a potentially laid off employee is $30,000. She concluded: "Understand that they can lay people off next year, but we get the raise. We are done conceding."
Butcher was asked if the CAO was targeting our office [the City Attorney's office]. She answered that councilmembers would not allow it, noting that many of them have been mindful of union concerns.
When she was asked whether the Coalition was prepared for municipal bankruptcy, she said that the unions were ready to take legal action if they had to, with Victor Gordo and Bob Hunt leading Coalition efforts. She added that bankruptcy was not an option: "When you're a $12 billion company, and you can sell assets and lay people off, then you can't go bankrupt."
When asked whether the Council understands that general employees can't solve the problem caused by police and fire, she answered that the Council understands "rhetorically but not spiritually," noting that the Coalition has been emphasizing police on the street and not at desk jobs.
Regarding the pension formula for yet-to-be-hired employees (which the CAO had sought to change at the end of January), Butcher said the CAO thought the City could change the formula, but came to understand (via the Coalition) that pensions are always a mandatory subject of bargaining.
Regarding the $198 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2009-2010: Butcher said the revenue numbers are "spot on." "During a recession, revenues drop," she said. "The problem is spending." Butcher stated that the City had spent $98 million over budget this fiscal year.
She added: "We [i.e. the Coalition] gave the City $2.12 billion over five years. We're done conceding. They need to manage. That includes moving people around. We gave people the tools to manage. They can move people around [this fiscal year]. They can't lay you off."
As to the $100 million "trigger" for negotiations: Butcher said that the unions will meet with the City, but that mutual gains bargaining does not assume furloughs or layoffs.
Butcher said the Council will be meeting for the next 30 days almost continuously, and that the Council had put off considering any [non-Coalition] layoffs for 30 days.
Generally, she said that we should be looking to save every penny. There would be no layoffs of Coalition members this fiscal year. The Coalition unions protected all members – whether tenured or not – this fiscal year.
3. City Attorney Management's Proposed Layoff Protocol
Board member Marie McTeague reported on the board's meet-and-confer negotiations with this office's management regarding management's proposed layoff protocol.
Negotiations are ongoing, with the next meet and confer session to be held on Thursday, February 11.
II. Old Business
A. Motion to Rescind Contribution to Past-LACAA President Shelley Smith's
Board member Ann Rosenthal moved to rescind the Board's contribution to past-LACAA President Shelley Smith's retirement gathering. Board member Marie McTeague seconded the motion.
(On January 15, the Board voted on an expedited basis via e-mail to contribute $2,500.00 to Shelley Smith's retirement party to honor her for 20 years of service on the LACAA board.)
• To rescind contribution: Ann Rosenthal, Marie McTeague, Oscar Winslow, Judy Reel, Garcelle Embry
• Not to rescind contribution: Nick Karno, Renee Braeunig, Christopher Bobo, Felton Newell, Juliann Anderson
The motion failed; the contribution stands.
III. Next Meeting
LACAA Board meetings are on the first Wednesday of every month.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, March 3, 2010 at 5:00 p.m. in the boardroom of the Employee Relations Board, Room 1100, 11th Floor City Hall East, 200 N. Main Street, Los Angeles. Parking is free and available to employees in the CHE underground parking after 4:30 p.m.; entrance off of Los Angeles Street (show ID). All LACAA members are invited.
Minutes respectfully submitted,
Los Angeles City Attorneys' Association Board Secretary