Time to Cross the Finish Line!
By Saul Fishman
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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