ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

November 29, 2006

2006.11.29: If the Majority Votes “No”… Suggestions for Further K negotiations

From: L.Antonia Codling
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 10:50 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: If the Majority Votes “No”… Suggestions for Further K negotiations

Based upon the UAW audit, most EB members conclude that there is no more money that we could squeeze out of LAS if we vote, “No”.  As everyone knows however, LAS did (backhandedly) put $250,00.00 from its operational budget on the table in order for us call off our informational leafletting at the LAS annual meeting.

Furthermore, I personally have a few unanswered questions that were not addressed during negotiations.  I sat on the noneconomic bargaining committee (and 1 session of economic bargaining).  I asked the economic bargaining committee members raise the following questions:    1.  Re:  management/ exempt former pension (whether or not it is being invested to cover any defecits therein;  and 2. Management positions that were created after the 2004 ALAA givebacks (i.e., is there any “fat” in the LAS budget that could be cut to free up money or reallacuted to cover staff concerns of undersupervised units).  These questions were never raised to management…

Do I believe that we’ll get a better economic offer if we vote “no” — maybe not.  Do I believe we could and should have been a little more aggressive during negotiations — Absolutely.  Moreover, there have only been approximately 3 “bargaining” sessions between ALAA and management.  We should press the above questions and any others from the membership.   The majority of us are certainly not here to get rich.  So, whether we get more money or not, the noneconomic issues are worth fighting for in order to improve conditions for us and our clients.

Here is a summary of the noneconomic issues and the reasons I think we should press these issues:
1. LAS’s refusal to allow ALAA a seat on its Board
The Board’s failure to seriously entertain this issue is a clear sign of disrespect.  No credible reason has been given as to why ALAA cannot have a seat on the Board, or why they will not reserve seats on the Board for community leaders (other than, they don’t want to agree to this…).   This is a noneconomic issue that the Board should just concede — for reasons too numerous to mention, this would be good for us and our clients.

2. Loss of personal days for CAB
We should stand in solidarity with CAB.  The unequal benefits to our members already creates divisions.

3. Only 2 start date for leave of absences (May and September) This substantially changes the terms of our K (we presently have to give only 90 days notice to request a LOA — this can be extended by management.  However, a leave can be sought anytime during the year).  There is absolutely no credible reason for this giveback/concession.

4. Use of pre-April 2005 banked comp time during a LOA for people not seeking maternity or family medical leaves.
THIS DEMAND FOR A GIVEBACK FROM MANAGEMENT IS A PROVISION WHICH SHOULD NOT HAVE EVEN BEEN THE SUBJECT OF BARGAINING — WITH A “YES” VOTE, ALAA WILL LOSE THE RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THIS FOREVER!

5.  Raise vs. “Bonus”
(A “bonus” represents money that does not go into the base and pension of steps 5+).  If you plan to remain beyond step 5, this should concern you…
LAS’s rationale for not agreeing to a raise for steps 5+ is as follows:  We just got a raise in 7/05, hence LAS will not look good during the RFP process.
We agreed to push back our raises in the last K so that LAS would rescind pink slips.  Now, with assurance from Peter Cobb that LAS is financially sound, we should agree to no raises until 1/07 (so that we can save jobs in the future, and “make LAS look good for the City” ).
If we accept LAS’s rationale, we potentially give up retro money forever.   More importantly, ALAA must cease “making LAS look ‘good’ for the City” — this may sometimes benefit the staff, but it hardly ever benefits our clients.

Finally, finally, although I was not here in 1994, I do realize the risks we take in voting “no”.  I am also willing to remain on the EB and continue to organize, strategize and push for the best possible K if it is the will of the membership.  If LAS wants to impose its “last best offer”, so be it.  ALAA should not vote “yes” for it.

You must do the thing you think you cannot do.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

In solidarity,
Antonia
Bronx-CDD

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