EAA was formed in 1894 as a professional association to represent and promote the interests of professionals in the City of Los Angeles (City). Over the years, its role has expanded to include the additional roles of representing technical and administrative personnel. It has also taken on the role of a full-service labor union representing employees in all aspects of their employment with the City.
At one time in its history, EAA additionally had members who worked for employers other than the City of Los Angeles. There were at least two and perhaps more “chapters” of EAA, although records of this period are largely missing. As a result, the current EAA is still known as the “Civic Center Chapter” for its proximity to downtown Los Angeles.
Pursuant to the enabling legislation known as the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act of 1968, the Los Angeles City Council established the Employee Relations Ordinance in 1971. As a result, EAA achieved formal recognition as the exclusive bargaining agent for all Professional, Technical, and Administrative employees in the City, as well as the associated Supervisory Units. In 2002, representation for the units at the Department of Water and Power (DWP) passed to IBEW Local 18. In 2009, MOUs 8 & 17 were lost in a decertification election to SEIU.
EAA represents approximately 4,500 City employees who are employed in every City department and Bureau and work at almost every one of the City’s hundreds of work locations. Our members are involved in every aspect of service to the citizens of this great city. EAA hires only the most-qualified and dedicated individuals for its professional staff. This provides the maximum benefit for members and engenders respect from their counterparts at the City. EAA utilizes the same care in its selection of outside assistance, employing the finest labor legal counsel in southern California and using only union shops for its printing and consulting needs.
The level of salary, benefits, and job protection currently enjoyed by City employees is a direct result of EAA’s bargaining for those salaries and benefits. EAA has returned from the bargaining table with respectable wages, quality medical and retirement benefits, and excellent protection of its members’ jobs. In recent years, EAA has stepped to the forefront in demanding fair treatment for all and in addressing the disparity in wages and benefits between the DWP and other City departments.
In recent years, EAA has renewed its dedication to the larger labor community. Recognizing that cooperation between unions is ever more important in this era of widespread attacks on union workers in general and civil servants in particular, EAA affiliated with IUPA and was known as Local 8000 until 2010. EAA actively joins with its fellow unions in the Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor Coalition, the Jewish Labor Committee and the Harry Bridges Institute.
EAA members hit a high-water mark in 2006. For the first time in their history, they emphatically rejected a contract offer from City management. Their subsequent job actions garnered great respect in the labor community of southern California and produced a landmark contract agreement well in advance of the normal time frame for agreement.
As a result of the members’ demonstrated strength, a new era of cooperation is taking form between EAA and management through the mechanism of “mutual-gains bargaining”. The cooperation was most recently demonstrated in the 2010 MOU’s in which both parties recognized that sustainability for the future is beneficial to all. Additionally, all bargaining units are now covered by Fair Share (Agency Shop) provisions ensuring that the costs of representation are fairly shared by all. We are confident that the best is still to come.