CSBA Election Results

The following individuals were duly elected as CSBA Officers, Class of 2027 on Tuesday May 14, 2024. As they ran unopposed, they were elected by one unanimous ballot cast by the Recording Secretary:

Saul Fishman (DOF), President; Lester Paverman (NYPD), First Vice President; Abbe Kalnick (ACS), Second Vice President; Kevin Hsi (HPD), Corresponding Secretary; Laura Sword (DEP), Recording Secretary; Michaele Bober (DSS), Treasurer.

Elected as Directors, Class of 2027 (unopposed) were Daniel Brickman (DOB), John Cannavo (NYCHA), Brigitte Rajacic (NYCHA), Robert Spiesman (DSS), Renee Storey (DOB), Bernard Tordesillas (DOF), and Vincent Verdi (NYPD).

Elected as Welfare Fund Trustee, Class of 2026, was Ka Ng (NYCHA).

Congratulations, all!

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Tier 6 Pension Improvement approved in Albany

Governor Kathy Hochul has just signed legislation, following approval through both the NY State Senate and the NY State Assembly, which improves the formula to calculate Tier 6 pensions. Whereas Tier 6 is still not as favorable overall as Tier 4 and other earlier pensions, at least they are both now calculated based upon the average salaries of your three best consecutive years. This is indeed very welcome news for those of us hired since 2012!

We are pleased to announce that State Senator Robert Jackson, the Chair of the Civil Service and Pensions Committee, has agreed to address us at our virtual June 20th CSBA Annual Meeting about the changes, what we can expect next, and to answer any questions you may have.

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Equity Funding Agreement Reached; RIPs Further Increased

CSBA has now finalized the last part of our current collective bargaining agreement, namely the 0.88% additional compensation for titles that are difficult to recruit and retain. Rather than let the city siphon these funds to help particular agencies recruit, we insisted that since we are definitely a difficult to recruit and retain title, all of our members must share in the money. Hence our Recurring Increment Payment (“RIP”) schedules have been enhanced retroactive to October 18, 2023. A copy of this fully-executed Equity Agreement dated April 8, 2024 can be found within the “CSBA Agreement” tab on this website. Please note that whenever we receive a contractual increase, these RIPs will automatically increase by the same percentage.

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Hybrid Remote Work has started for most CSBA members

The large majority of our members are now able to work remotely for up to two days per week, much as we did, productively, from home five days a week during the worst eighteen months of the pandemic. There are still a very few mayoral agencies, however, which still have not announced a start date despite our collective bargaining agreement and our continued outreach to the Mayor’s Office of Labor Relations (“OLR”) and individually to the agencies. This delay is harming morale, productivity and agencies’ ability to retain and attract talented employees including Agency Attorneys. Ultimately, the public suffers when this happens via longer delays and poorer work quality caused by needless vacancies and less experienced new colleagues (eventually if and when they are hired).

City be warned: Further delay will force us to utilize all available means to obtain compliance with this common-sense, contractually agreed-to program!

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Payment Dates Confirmed

Some of the benefits of our recently-ratified contract are about to be realized. OLR has confirmed that for most of us, the ratification bonus will be paid on November 9th. For NYCHA attorneys, the ratification bonus pay date is November 16th. Retroactive wage increases relating back to 4/18/2021, 4/18/2022 and 4/18/2023 are confirmed for November 24th, except for NYCHA employees, whose retro pay date is November 30th. Salary increases and RIP changes are also expected for November 24th (November 30th for NYCHA), although we are told that “there may be certain instances where changes must be manually completed at the agency level that may result in a delay.”

Although OLR has not yet provided the Deferred Compensation Plan calendar showing how far in advance one must arrange an additional one-time increase in money to be deferred to minimize an immediate tax consequence, a call directly to Deferred Compensation [212-306-7760] advised that October 26th is the last day for increased deferral out of the November 9th ratification bonus check, and November 9th is the last date to schedule increased deferral for the November 24th retroactive check. We were told that the above can be best accomplished by first registering on their website www.voya.com/nycdcp. Please note that CSBA does not provide tax advice, and that you may wish to consult with your tax professional regarding the benefits and potential drawbacks of taking any such action.

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CSBA Contract Overwhelmingly Ratified!

On Wednesday September 27th, our members overwhelmingly ratified the terms of the CSBA 2021-2026 Collective Bargaining Agreement with the City of New York. The election was overseen by the American Arbitration Association, which certified the results, with more than 99% of those who cast a ballot voting in the affirmative. Thank you to the CSBA collective bargaining committee and to all who voted!

As soon as we receive information on payment dates and the rollout of the Remote Work pilot program for our titles, we will gladly pass it along. Needless to say, nothing is easy or quick with the City or with most agencies, but we will definitely be advocating for as rapid and equitable implementation as possible.

P.S.- Sometimes members hear or read about how their unit or agency plans to proceed before we do. Always feel free to contact us with such information or concerns via csbainfo@local237.org. Thanks again.

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Contract ratification ballots being mailed on Aug. 29; ballots to be tallied on Sept. 27; special online member-only meeting on Sept. 6, 2023 at 6PM

We have now received the fully-executed Memorandum of Agreement memorializing the terms of the proposed new 2021-2026 collective bargaining agreement. Its ratification is up to you, as CSBA members in good standing. Ballots will be mailed to you by the American Arbitration on or shortly after August 29, and must be received no later than 9am September 27, the day that they will tally the ballots and certify the results. Please follow their instructions carefully!

A special online informational members-only meeting will be held on Wednesday September 6 at 6PM to discuss the proposed agreement, which our Board of Directors overwhelmingly recommends for approval. Please reach out to us at csbainfo@local237.org for log-in information. Again, this is a member-only event, as only members will be able to vote on the ratification of this contract. Please be on the lookout for a separate mailing from us at CSBA containing explanatory materials including the Memorandum of Agreement. This mailing should arrive ahead of the ballots from the American Arbitration Association. Thank you for your patience and support throughout this process.

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Tentative Agreement Reached!

We have reached a collective bargaining agreement with the City, subject to member ratification. The duration is from (retroactively) April 18, 2021 through October 17, 2026 (5 years, 6 months total). The first four years (4/18/21 through 4/18/24) each have a 3.00% wage increase. The last year (4/18/25) has a 3.25% increase. RIPs increase whenever and at the same rate as wages. In addition, the 6, 12, 18 and 20-year RIPS will increase an additional $402 as of 4/18/23. Longevity will increase by 3.25% effective 4/18/25, and the Welfare Fund will receive an increase of $300 per year per member, allowing our Fund to continue to provide the benefits we have come to expect (which cost significantly more each year).

There’s more (details to follow), including a very similar Telework pilot program as DC 37 received. As soon as we receive the required Memorandum of Agreement from OLR, we will contact the American Arbitration Association to send you a copy of the MoA along with a ballot for a ratification vote.

Thanks as always for your patience and support. Watch your mailbox for two letters – one directly from us at CSBA explaining the above and the related process, and one from the American Arbitration Association containing the ballot for the ratification vote, which you should very promptly open and return as per their instructions!

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Collective Bargaining Update

Our next bargaining session with the City (OLR, OMB, et al) is on Friday July 28th. Will keep you posted, and are definitely cognizant of everyone’s desire to wrap up negotiations ASAP in order to receive retroactive and prospective raises, a ratification bonus of $3,000 (for those on payroll on the date the contract gets ratified) and some ability to telework!

Please be advised that the delay until now has been the City’s failure to provide the costing information for, among other things, necessary RIP and Welfare Fund increases. OLR asserts that they are short on staff to calculate and verify costing for so many unions at once.

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Time to Cross the Finish Line!

Time to Cross the Finish Line!
By Saul Fishman
CSBA President

From Local 237 Newswire, Spring 2023

CSBA members want and deserve the ability to perform a significant part of our work remotely. We have been consistently, strenuously advocating for this important work-life balance measure from even before the pandemic struck. During and shortly after the peak of the pandemic, we successfully performed our tasks remotely for eighteen months (approximately one and a half years). If anything, our productivity increased!

After hearing for the longest time from Mayor Adams that “people can’t work from home in their pajamas”, reality has finally set in. Certain titles, including Agency Attorneys, can perform most (or almost all) of their work from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. And if you don’t allow at least some degree of telework (i.e.- two to three days per week), skilled professionals will leave for employers who allow this option. Indeed, so many of our colleagues have left (more than 20 percent of Agency Attorneys and Attorneys-at-Law) that much of the work either isn’t getting done or is significantly delayed to the detriment of New Yorkers needing their time-sensitive cases and applications reviewed.

Part of the recognition of us being a hard-to-retain, as well as a hard-to-recruit title, began with the waiving of our residency requirement this past November. Needless to say that didn’t happen by accident. We pushed hard in both bargaining and in the media for both telework and the end of our residency requirement.

Enter DC 37, the largest municipal union, which joined us in the push for telework. Belatedly, the mayor has recognized that the world has changed and that many of the city’s best employees are being poached by companies (and non-profits and other levels of government) that have realistic telework policies.

Long story short – As DC 37’s tentative agreement with the city is moving toward ratification (membership vote pending, results expected by early April), details of telework are supposed to be worked out on or about June 1st as per the City – DC 37 joint press conference and press release. Assuming ratification, not only will the economic pattern be set, but we should also be able to work out a suitable plan which works for our members and agencies.

We will let you, our hard-working members, know when there’s an update. Our next two collective bargaining sessions are scheduled for March 22 and April 18. Our Facebook page (CSBA Attorneys) and our website (www.csbanyc.org) are good pages to check for such updates.

Happy Spring and thank you as always for your patience and support!

P.S. – FYI: City employees, including us, will continue receiving high-quality, premium-free health insurance, an extremely rare benefit these days. Almost all private sector employees, as well as NYS employees, pay thousands of dollars in premiums per year.remiums per year. Thank you, Municipal Labor Committee.

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