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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.

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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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CSBA MEMBER SURVEY re RETURNING TO WORK

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.

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A Word about Janus

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!

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CSBA Important Contact Information

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

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