LA CITY JANUARY REOPENER RATIFICATION
We hope you all are doing well and staying safe as we slowly work our way through this pandemic. After longer than expected negotiations, the Coalition of City Unions and LIUNA 777 have reached a Tentative Agreement with the City on the January Reopener. We are pleased to report that we have secured a significant cash payment to all our members that makes you all whole for the raises you agreed to defer when we (along with the other Coalition Unions) agreed to extend our MOUs. As we explain below, while we pushed for more than just a cash payment, the City was unwilling to offer any more after protracted negotiations.
The real cash amount that you lost from delaying the two raises of 2% each from 2021 to 2022 equals 4.77% of your annual pay, and we didn’t want you to have to wait any longer to be made whole for your deferred raises. We estimate that our LIUNA 777 members will receive a cash payment between $2,200.00 and over $3,500, and we believe you well deserve this money. Important Note—this is an addition to the 2% and 2% raises which you will be receiving in June this year.
As you know, we agreed to extend our MOU 12 by 18 months and our raises by 12 and 18 months as part of the Third Letter of Agreement with the City. As part of that agreement, we included a Reopener for Salary only for January 2022. As these negotiations focused on Salary only, not the full contract negotiations which will begin late this year, our bargaining was limited to Salary proposals.
JANUARY SALARY REOPENER TENTATIVE AGREEMENT
After 2 ½ months of negotiations, the Coalition of City Unions (including LIUNA 777) has tentatively agreed with the City, and your LIUNA 777 Chapter Board recommends ratification of, the following:
Each full time or regular half-time bargaining unit member will be paid a cash amount equal to the percentage of salary that was deferred (Deferred Amount) from January 31, 2021 to June 19, 2022; and, from June 20, 2021 to June 19, 2022, for a total of 4.77%. Each intermittent, part-time bargaining unit member will receive fixed cash amount (Fixed Amount) of $1,000.00. The total amount will be paid in two installments—1) the first installment will be half of the total amount, made payable through the regular payroll process on May 4, 2022; and 2) the second installment will be an amount equal to the first installment, made payable through the regular payroll process on November 16, 2022.
The Deferred Amount is calculated on a bargaining unit member’s regular rate of pay, i.e., the base hourly rate and all regularly assigned bonuses. The Deferred Amount calculation will be made on the regular rate of pay effective during the pay period corresponding with the first payment in May 2022. Each installment of the Deferred Amount will be paid to all bargaining unit members who are on active payroll status during the pay period corresponding to the day that the installment is paid.
While your LIUNA 777 Chapter Board emphasizes that we worked overtime pushing for more than a cash payment, over the protracted period of these negotiations it became clear that the City just was not going to give in to our demands for more.
We began meeting as a Coalition (both Principals and Bargaining Teams) several times starting in November. Our LIUNA 777 Bargaining Team was limited to our LA Chapter Board because of the limited focus of these negotiations. In all meetings with the City CAO’s office, the Coalition Principals and Bargaining Chairs participated. There also were some limited Coalition Principals meetings in between all these other meetings. We started meeting with the City on January 10th, where we presented proposals for a Salary Increase, a Hero/Risk pay raise, and fixes for some Salary Inequity issues (primarily fixing our Salary Notes). After a brief round of meetings where each Union presented and took questions on their respective Salary Inequity issues, we moved to a set two-meetings-a-week format with the CAO’s office so that we could keep pressure on an efficient, not protracted, bargaining process.
In our Coalition Caucus sessions, we worked with our sister Unions focused on our two main components of a Salary Increase and Hero/Risk pay. As the case with the other Unions, we also included a limited number of Salary Note/Inequity related items for our LIUNA 777 bargaining unit, focused on items that could efficiently be resolved by the City along with the main course of a Salary Increase and Hero pay. Our LA Chapter Board agreed with the overall Coalition approach of staying focused to avoid getting bogged down in protracted negotiations. Ultimately, we ended up somewhere in between being efficient and becoming protracted as we pressed the City to meet each of our three areas.
At the point where our efforts were getting to be protracted, all our Coalition partners decided that we needed to ensure you all got a very good cash payment that would start soon, not late in the year or even possibly next year. Oddly, even though we were clear from the start that Salary Inequity/Salary Note issues were most likely not going to be addressed until our Successor MOU negotiations later this year, they were extremely difficult to give up in the end. We had very active Coalition Caucus discussions where all ideas and options were open, proposed, debated and determined. We can definitely report to our members that we have healthy and strong advocacy within our Coalition, and we’re looking forward to continuing that strong work as the end of year will be upon us sooner than we anticipate.
For now, our Chapter Board strongly urges all our members to ratify the Tentative Agreement and get yourselves some well-earned cash bonuses, one in May and one in mid-November where we know many of us could use the extra cash. We always are proud to put some extra well-deserved cash in your family’s income.
To secure your cash payment, please use the link provided here and mark your Ratification Ballot YES, or you can go to our Feel the Power LIUNA 777 Website Member Section and click on the Vote Now button. Voting will take place starting March 31st and go through April 6th, so please make your plan to vote.
David Yuen, LA Chapter President
& Principal Detention Officer, LAPD
Art Sweatman, LA Chapter Vice President
& Tree Surgeon Supervisor, Street Services