We had some good news last week that I wanted to share with you. The City’s Employee Relations Board, by a vote of 5-0, accepted the hearing officer's decision in our favor on the two-tier pension.

The ruling affirms that the City was obligated to bargain any change, essentially tossing out new retirement rules for employees hired after July 1, 2013. As AFSCME District Council 36 Executive Director Cheryl Parisi said, this decision “sends a clear message to City Hall: You are not above the law!” The labor board re-affirmed the basic concept that one side cannot change a contract with its bargaining unit without negotiating it. Unfortunately, the City has said it will appeal the decision.

I also invite you to join us in our Fix LA campaign, as we participate in actions highlighting the terrible conditions of many of LA’s potholed streets and rubbish-filled alleyways. Last week we worked with our community partners to remove garbage dumped in a South LA alley. It was then taken to the front of the downtown Bank of NY Mellon to say that LA needs to spend its money providing services to the residents, not paying outrageous sums to Wall Street banks. Last year the City paid $300 million in administrative fees to Wall Street firms. We can do better. Please join us in our campaign to Fix LA! We all deserve a world-class city.

In addition to our individual bargaining tables, the Coalition of LA City Unions bargaining has begun with an unprecedented session at which some of our community partners in the Fix LA Coalition came to the bargaining table. This bargaining "for the common good" strengthens our Labor-Neighbor alliance by supporting the outstanding work these organizations have been doing in the community for a very long time. Some of our community partners are ACCE, SCOPE, SCLC, Inner City Struggles, CLUE, Western Region Jewish Labor Committee and National Action Network to name a few. Please visit the websites regularly for updates and calls to action.

In Solidarity,
Alice Goff

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