Happy Friday, everyone!
What’s the great news?
LACAA and our fellow non-sworn labor groups have beaten back the threat of bi-weekly furloughs! This is a huge win for labor and a guarantee that there will be no furloughs for the first half of the fiscal year, if not longer.
We have collectively negotiated a Letter of Agreement that calls for represented employees to take two unpaid holidays this fiscal year and defer next January’s accrued sick time payout until January 2022. In exchange for these compensation adjustments, the City will provide a third floating holiday for this fiscal year and pay out the January 2021 accrued sick time in January 2022 at your January 2022 salary (which is the equivalent of giving the City a one-year loan at appx 5% interest). The two holidays will be 11/3/20 and 4/2/21 (Election Day and Good Friday). If you are required to work on either day, you will be paid.
These very limited, time-bound adjustments, when combined with other savings achieved through the SIP, release of unencumbered funds, and other City Council budgetary changes, will provide enough relief that the City will not have to use furloughs to achieve comparable savings. At a minimum, City Council will defer any action on furloughs until the pay period starting January 17, 2021. There’s a chance (don’t ask for odds) that the City can identify sufficient funds to cover everyone’s full salaries through the entire fiscal year, and, if the November election delivers a Democratic sweep, we are confident the Feds will come through with additional relief for the City budget.
This LOA has no impact on our legal options if the City imposes furloughs at any point in the future.
What’s so urgent?
We need a member vote to approve the terms of the LOA. Even though the economic impacts of these adjustments are relatively small, the LOA drafted by the City presents a material change to our MOU by requiring a change to existing terms governing compensation and accrued sick time payouts and adding a one-time floating holiday. We have been advised by counsel that the most prudent course is to get member ratification of the LOA. (Different unions may be getting different legal advice, but we only care what our lawyers say.)
Because time is of the essence, we will be holding a ratification vote via Zoom meeting this Tuesday, October 6, at 7 pm. We will use the polling feature for casting ballots and will leave the poll open for the entire meeting so if you just want to show up to vote you can do so by joining the meeting any time between 7-8 pm. We will not be saving any records beyond the final tabulated vote so your ballot will be anonymous. This type of vote is the modern equivalent of the labor hall voice votes of yore. Please mark your calendar and join us for this important event. More information and instructions will be provided in a separate email.
The first 10-15 minutes of the meeting will be an overview of how we got here and answer any questions about the LOA. If you have other questions unrelated to City budget impacts or furloughs, we will take those following our discussion of the LOA.
If you can’t make the meeting, and/or don’t care about voting anonymously, you can reply to this email with a YES or NO. If you cast a vote via email, you will not receive an invite to the Zoom meeting in order to avoid duplicate votes.
I hope this dose of good news perks you up a bit and makes your weekend a little more enjoyable. See you Tuesday night!