CSBA Member Survey on Teleworking

The Teleworking Survey Results are in:

  • Of the 231 responses, the vast majority of members who responded (212) were able to perform all their work remotely during the approximately 18 month period when it was allowed, whereas the remaining 19 individuals reported being able to perform most of their work remotely.

  • 176 people felt that they were able to do their work better remotely than when in the office (with less distractions and less time wasted during the commute hence allowing for extra time being productive); 50 reported that they were able to accomplish about the same as from the office, and a mere 4 people thought that they could not perform everything as well.

  • The majority of respondents (134) want the ability to telework 2-3 days per week, whereas a sizable number of our colleagues (90) would like to be allowed to work remotely 4-5 days per week. Only 4 people felt that 1 day per week was ideal, and even fewer people (3) reported being OK with no telecommuting.

  • Finally, 215 respondents stated that if they are not provided with an option to telecommute, it would negatively impact their morale and/or desire to stay with their agency. By contrast, only 13 people stated that not being allowed to telework would have no negative effect on them.

Hopefully the incoming administration will take note of this valuable information, and provide options that attract and retain skilled professionals in today’s workforce. Thank you to the many members who took the time to participate in this anonymous survey. We hear you, loud and clear!

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Mandatory Vaccination Mandate Agreement

The vast majority of our members are vaccinated and want to be as safe as possible for themselves, their families and their co-workers. However, as there are some members who are seeking accommodations or exemptions for religious or medical reasons, we have arrived at the following very time-sensitive agreement.

Please note that we are still actively pursuing the Return-to-Office issue, for which we filed the Motion to Intervene in DC37’s Improper Practice Petition. We hope to be able to provide an update on that important issue shortly.

Executed CSBA Vaccine Mandate Agreement

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Coronavirus Update

Updated leave guidance 
Annexed are three DCAS documents and one NYCHA document for your reference:

CSBA continues to advocate for the ability of our members to telecommute whenever possible. Even when the pandemic finally ends (and we’re most definitely not there yet), we want the option to work from home at least part-time. So much of what we do can be performed at least as effectively and efficiently away from the noise and distractions of the office, as demonstrated by the results over the past year.

Read more…

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Congratulations to Recently Elected CSBA Officers, Directors and Trustees

The following CSBA members were duly nominated and elected without opposition on Wednesday May 12, 2021 to represent you, our Agency Attorney colleagues:

Officers, Class of 2024: Saul Fishman (DOF), President; Lester Paverman (NYPD), First Vice President; Michaele Bober (DSS), Second Vice President; Kevin Hsi (HPD), Corresponding Secretary; Ka Ng (NYCHA), Recording Secretary; and Abbe Kalnick (ACS), Treasurer.

Directors, Class of 2024: Kiiru Gichuru (CCHR); Brigitte Rajacic (NYCHA); Robert Spiesman (DSS); Renee Storey (TLC); Bernard Tordesillas (DOF); Helen Thomas Tsalevich (DOB); and Vincent Verdi (NYPD).

Welfare Fund (Security Benefit Fund) Trustees, Class of 2023: Gladys Egwuonwu (DSS) and Michele Mirro (DOF).

FYI – CSBA Officers and Directors meet almost every month, and Welfare Fund Trustees meet quarterly. Kindly note that whether or not you have a member of the Board of Directors in your agency or location, you may always contact us directly at the CSBA office via csbainfo@local237.org or csbainfo@local237.com [these email addresses are monitored by all of us], or at (212) 675-0519 x 5.

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NYC Budget and Threatened Layoffs

UPDATE 3/05/2021: We have reached an agreement, which is finally fully executed by the City, Local 237 and us (the Civil Service Bar Association) avoiding any layoffs for our members for at least the remainder of this fiscal year, and likely for next fiscal year as well, provided that the City receives the full amount of aid that is anticipated from the Federal government. In return, we had to agree to the City temporarily delaying payments to our welfare fund. Based upon our reserves, we should be able to continue providing all welfare fund benefits in the usual manner. If you want to see the details, download the No Layoff Agreement here.

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UPDATE 12/08/2020: We have been contacted by the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations, which is seeking to defer paying a very significant amount towards our welfare fund as a way of helping the city bridge its revenue shortfall. Numbers are being crunched, and we have to see if what they are suggesting is feasible.

Needless to say, we are hopeful that there will be no CSBA member layoffs, and are now working in conjunction with City Employees Union Teamsters Local 237  in arriving at an agreement with the City. We must, at the same time, structure whatever agreement in a manner that allows our welfare fund to continue providing the range of benefits specified in our plan description.

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As you undoubtedly heard, Mayor de Blasio and the City Council reached a budget filled with pain and cutbacks for fiscal 2021, primarily due to the severe damage inflicted on the NYC economy by the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly every agency and program is being forced to accept significant budget cuts.

The Mayor is specifically demanding $1 Billion in savings from “Labor”, i.e. city workers. He has stated that if the unions do not agree to a plan to reduce the city’s expenses in that tremendously high amount by October 1st [or alternatively, if the Federal government does not provide relief or the State does not increase NYC’s ability to borrow the money], twenty-two thousand (22,000) hardworking municipal workers will be terminated.

It is too early to predict what will happen, particularly its impact on our titles, Agency Attorneys, Agency Attorney Internes and Attorneys-at-Law. The Municipal Labor Committee (“the MLC”), which is comprised of approximately 100 NYC employee unions representing over 200,000 city workers (including us), is exploring that which is feasible with city officials to save jobs, money and services. Some form of retirement incentive, which would require State legislation, and assistance with financing city obligations and expenses, are reportedly being discussed. Redeployment/ transfer and presumably furloughs are among the other potential outcomes.

In the meantime, if you are curious as to the contractual protections, priorities and procedure related to layoffs, they can be found within Article XVII of the DC 37 Citywide Agreement (negotiated years ago but still in effect). It is readily available by searching the web with “DC 37 Citywide Agreement” or as a link to this site.

Prominently mentioned is the requirement that the city provide us, at least thirty days in advance, with a detailed list of the names, titles and agency of each at-risk bargaining unit member. Although such a list is reportedly being created, it is important to remember that being on the list merely indicates that you are “at risk”, not that you will in fact be laid off.

Few of these potential options are desirable, with the possible exception of an early retirement incentive package. Again, it is still too early to know how this will play out. We will let you know more when there is something tangible to share. Needless to say, we will do whatever we reasonably can to protect our members’ interests.

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CIVIL SERVICE BAR ASSOCIATION AFFIRMS THAT BLACK LIVES MATTER

As previously expressed on our Facebook page [CSBA Attorneys, 6/01/2020], this union of approximately one thousand NYC government Agency Attorneys, Attorney Interns and Attorneys-at-Law strongly supports the Black Lives Matter movement. The recent murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Rayshard Brooks by police officers have underscored the importance of police reform. Here in New York, we still remember how Amadou Diallo, Sean Bell and Eric Garner died at the hands of police officers simply because they were Black. Recently, we were appalled to see numerous instances of police brutality against peaceful protestors. Read more…

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