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.

The sudden rush back to the office, as ordered by City Hall, makes little to no sense in the context of what most of us do and how we perform it. Many of us will still be appearing at hearings remotely for months to come. Working from low cubicles in large open rooms with many other employees, such as in 4 World Trade Center for our colleagues at the Department of Social Services/ HRA, and in Lefrak City for our Department of Environmental Protection colleagues, and in too many other situations to mention here, only to have to struggle to hear and be heard at remote hearings, over our neighbors who are appearing at separate hearings from nearby cubicles, makes absolutely no sense!

What about the needs of families with young children? Not everyone is ready to send their children back into a group setting. Should these dedicated, hard-to-retain colleagues be forced to consider leaving city employment rather than being allowed to work effectively from home until September?

The pandemic is still here. New potentially more dangerous and more transmissible variants are being discovered here in New York. Not all of us have been able to be fully vaccinated yet. Ditto our loved ones. And we’re not even sure how effective the vaccines will be against these new variants. Indeed, infection rates are increasing again, and there may be another surge shortly. What is to be gained by forcing us to get on crowded buses and trains and elevators instead of continuing to perform the work effectively from home for a few more months, until the experts tell us that it is safer to resume normal activities?

We have objected to this incompletely-developed “Return to the Office” plan, both in the recent meeting between City Hall and the Municipal Unions, and in a follow-up letter to Deputy Mayor Anglin. We must be provided with ample opportunity to review and propose changes to each agency’s plan BEFORE City Hall approves such plans and Before they are implemented! We must see the supporting documentation for each location where our members work.

There is a lot for our health & safety experts to review, starting with what is the ventilation system’s air exchange and filtration capacity.  And there need to be walk-throughs and Question & Answer sessions by each agency for our members and for the union.  We will be working with other unions, utilizing every tool at our disposal to try to keep you as safe as possible, and ask that you keep us apprised at csbainfo@local237.org of dangerous conduct or conditions.

Ultimately, we ask our employer, the City of New York, to rethink, revise  and reschedule for everyone’s benefit. Does the City really want to risk making the same or similar mistakes as happened after the rush back to the office following the 9-11 terrorist attack? It is a fact that more people have died subsequent to 9-11 from illnesses related to airborne particles than during the World Trade Center attacks themselves. So many of us know people who have become ill or even died from this pandemic.

Waiting a few more months makes way more sense, as our Mayor recently pointed out to the Governor with respect to the reopening of fitness classes and expanding indoor dining. We hope that cooler heads prevail, and that the experts are listened to.

Please remember to immediately apprise us of unsafe situations. 

CSBA Covid-19 Health and Safety Complaint Form

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Paid Family Leave is Here!

After years of advocacy and negotiation, we are now eligible for Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) benefits.

In 2020, the maximum benefit was $840.70 weekly, which was 60% of the NYS Average Weekly Wage (AWW), for up to 10 weeks. The cost, taken via payroll deduction, was 0.270% of an employee’s gross wages each pay period. The maximum annual contribution was $196.72. Kindly note that both the benefits and the cost has now increased slightly. In 2021, PFL allows coverage for up to 12 weeks, up to 67% of the NYS AWW.

For further information on eligibility and qualifying events, please go to the DCAS website and see Personnel Service Bulletin (PSB) 440-16.

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.

As CSBA members potentially are required to return to work after the lifting of COVID 19 restrictions, there will be many challenges facing us. Among the immediate issues are: a) Telecommuting has been proven to work, should this be permanently allowed; b) How can our work environments be made as safe as possible; and c) How do we address the looming NYC budget deficit? Toward that end, we ask that you complete and submit this confidential online member survey as instructed on this link.

As you have undoubtedly heard, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling which potentially could undercut the financial viability of public sector unions, including CSBA and the larger union with which we are affiliated, Local 237 Teamsters. Janus vs AFSCME is the culmination of years of attacks on the labor movement by well-funded forces seeking to weaken the ability of unions to fight for higher wages, defined benefit pensions, quality health care, as well as better benefits and working conditions for millions of working people, including us.

I want you to know that we will continue to work hard and smart to represent you, and to earn your continued trust and support. We will survive, and become better and stronger than ever! Please see the FAQ page for why being a CSBA member can make all the difference!

CSBA Main Number: (212) 675-0519

Website: www.csbanyc.org

E-Mail: csbainfo@local237.org

facebook  Facebook: CSBA Attorneys

CSBA Welfare Fund (for all benefits except prescription drugs) =
Amalgamated Employee Benefit Administrators (f/k/a Alicare): (866) 647-4617

Local 237 Welfare Fund (for prescription drug benefit only): (212) 924-7220
Aetna Rx Member Services: (855) 352-1599

NYC Employee Assistance Program (“EAP”): (212) 306-7660; eap@olr.nyc.gov


New York City Employees Retirement System (“NYCERS”): (347) 643-3000