Date: July 7, 2010
Time: 5:00 p.m.
Location: Braude Bldg., Van Nuys
Board Members Present: Oscar Winslow (President), Judith Reel (Vice President), Renee Braeunig (Vice President), Jule Bishop (Treasurer), Juliann Anderson (Secretary), Nick Karno (Criminal Director), Felton Newell (Criminal Director), Ann Rosenthal (Criminal Director), Marie McTeague (Civil Director), Garcelle Embry (Civil Director).
SEIU Local 721 Representative
Present: Bob Hunt (General Counsel)
I. New Business
A. City Budget – Impact on City Attorney's Office
Members present posed questions to the Board and SEIU Local 721 General Counsel Bob Hunt. Per Hunt, the union position is that the city cannot unilaterally furlough. While the City may argue that it is in an emergency situation, the union's position is that once an emergency is declared the parties must meet and confer as quickly as possible.
Hunt provided a legal snapshot of the furlough situation. The furloughs' effect is equivalent to an unbargained-for 10 percent reduction in pay. A group grievance is underway, in which every bargaining unit alleges that furloughs violate the letter of the Coalition agreement (which does not allow for furloughs). The coalition will pursue the contract argument via binding arbitration. Hunt noted that the assistant city attorneys have already filed an unfair labor practice grievance 10 months ahead of LACAA and other bargaining units.
Board Vice President Judith Reel noted that, as lawyers, we cannot always limit our hours to 72 per week, given our obligation to our client (e.g., if an attorney is in trial). Reel suggested that we should not be writing off time; every hour worked should be reflected on a timesheet.
A question was posed as to whether members' choosing a furlough day was an effective waiver. Hunt and Reel responded that management had given an order to schedule the furlough day; members cannot be ordered to choose a furlough day and then consider that a waiver.
Another question concerned retirement accrual and furloughs. Retirement will be removed from members' pay as if there were no furloughs. The advantage is that retirement continues to be accrued at the pre-furlough pay level.
A general discussion of furloughs and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was held, with reference to the regulations at 29 CFR § 541.710.
2. Cost-of-Living Adjustments (COLAs)
Members asked about cost-of-living adjustments, given the layoff of Coalition members. Hunt and boardmembers responded that, per the Coalition agreement, the COLA that was to be given in July, 2009 will now be given in July, 2010.
3. Bar Dues
The Board noted that bar dues should be reimbursed in August. [Post-meeting, city attorney's office management informed the Board that reimbursement checks would issue on August 11; they are separate, hard-copy checks that will not be direct-deposited. The checks will be delivered to each attorney via inter-office mail.] The reimbursement should not be taxed.
B. Butcher Memorial
In late June, SEIU Local 721 Director Julie Butcher's son was brutally murdered. A memorial service was held on July 3, 2010 and attended by LACAA members.
The LACAA Board entertained a motion to contribute $350.00 to a memorial fund set up by the Butcher family. The motion passed by a vote of 9 to 0, with one abstention. Ayes: Anderson, Bishop, Braeunig, Embry, Karno, McTeague, Newell, Reel, Winslow. Nays: None. Abstention: Rosenthal.
C. Petition to Recall Criminal Director Nick Karno
A petition to recall Criminal Director Nick Karno was submitted to the Board during the June meeting. The petition alleged that Karno had received SEIU support during his recent campaign for the California Assembly, and therefore should be recalled from the LACAA board.
Board Secretary Juliann Anderson examined the petition, which included 32 dates and signatures but no printed names (see copy of petition, attached). Many names were illegible and not verifiable. The petition therefore was not accepted.
II. Next Meeting
LACAA Board meetings are on the first Wednesday of every month.
The next meeting will be on Wednesday, August 4, 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. (see below); entrance off of Los Angeles Street (show ID). All LACAA members are invited.
If you intend to park at CHE, please RSVP to Board Secretary Anderson by August 6 and provide the following information: your name, make and model of vehicle, and license plate number. (The RSVP information will be forwarded to the parking security office so that you can enter the parking structure.)
Minutes respectfully submitted,
Los Angeles City Attorneys' Association