2019 Tentative Agreement Review – FAQ

Since the announcement of the Tentative Agreement, there have been a multitude of questions coming from EAA’s members. Below is a list of answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) that will be updated as the questions continue to pile up:

Q.) Once I get my ballot, what do I do with it?
A.) Watch the instructional video below:

Q.) What is the letter of intent? What does it state/provide?
A.) A letter of intent (LOI) is attached to the contract and is a commitment from the city and union to continue negotiating on matters that we were unable to resolve in the time period.  It usually entails a class study for possible adjustments, changes, etc.

Q.) How will the step conversion affect the higher steps, 9-15? How are the new steps going to be re-adjusted considering we are losing three steps.
A.) Step 15 becomes step 12, step 14 becomes step 11, etc.  There is not a big change to salary when steps are converting.  Most will get a 1-2 cent increase.  Some people in the current middle steps (6, 8, and 10) might get a little more than a few cents, but nobody loses money – not even a penny; salary anniversary dates don’t change and nobody’s time to top step increases as well.

Q.) Where do I currently see the health care expenditure on my pay stub? Do I? How does this affect my home pay?
A.) You see it under the deductions column coded as FH – civilian benefits. The amount is different for everyone based on the medical plan you’ve chosen. The City subsidizes up to Kaiser’s monthly family rate. The 10% EAA members were paying was 10% of the City’ subsidy. We will no longer be paying 10% of the City’s portion. If you have Kaiser family or lower, you will no longer pay anything. If you have a plan that costs more than Kaiser’s family (Anthem PPO, etc), then you (all City employees do) will pay the difference between Kaisers family rate and the plan you’ve chosen. Your next open enrollment package will detail the new cost to you for each plan prior to you making a choice. 

Q.) What are NTCDs? Notice to Correct Deficiencies.
A.) It’s disciplinary and goes in your personnel folder.

Q.) Explain what is meant by “Family Members Expanded for Family Illness”?
A.) The use of family illness now includes great grandparents and great grandchildren of employee and the following relatives of domestic partner: child, grandchild, mother and father.

Q.) What is the new range of the “Maximum Vacation Accrual”?
A.) You can now keep up to three(3) years accrual in your bank before you must “use it or lose it”. The prior accrual allotment was two(2) years.

Q.) Does the 2.9% retroactive increase apply to retirement income? I am retiring in November and would like to know if this means my base salary for the previous 12 months will increase because of the 2.9% retroactive COLA.
A.) The 2.9% increase is pensionable and goes back to October 2018.  Therefore, it would change your retirement payout if you already have or are soon to retire.

Q.) Please explain the 2.9% increase and the retro check to October 28, 2018.
A.) The 2.9% will go into effect after ratification and the retro check will be issued in September and it will cover 10/28/18 to the date the 2.9% goes into effect (depending on the date of ratification of course).

Q.) For the conversion of the steps from 15 to 12, is someone is currently on step 12, does it mean they can be re-stepped to step 10 or 11?
A.) Step 12 will become step 9 (3 steps away from the new top step). Anniversary dates don’t change. In the conversion, no member will lose salary and no member will see an increase in their remaining time to achieve tio step.

Q.) Can I please get clarification on the note that all EAA members will start at Step 2. I’m a Procurement Analyst 2 on Step 13 of the current steps. How does this affect me?
A.) A procurement analyst II currently at step 13 (making 46.53/hr) will become step 10 (making 46.55/hr). Your step anniversary date doesn’t change. All new hires will start at Step 2. It does not apply to current employees. In the conversion, those in Step 1 will become Step 2 at the same rate as Step 1.

Q.) What does “EAA Represented” mean, in regards to the “One Time Cash Payment” under the Tentative Agreement?
A.) It means you’re in a classification that is represented by EAA.

Q.) What step of Sr. PA will the Sr. MA’s be placed on? If I am currently on Step 8, will I be placed on Step 7 or Step 8 of the Sr. PA salary range?
A.) The Sr. PA parity doesn’t begin until 1/19/20.  The conversion takes place immediately.  So as a Sr. MAI at step 8, you’re making $47.99/hr.  On the conversion, you’ll become a Sr. MAI at step 7 making $49.361/hr.  In January, when you get parity with the Sr. PA’s, you’re salary on each step will change to match theirs.  Your step won’t change until your next step anniversary date (which also doesn’t change on the conversion).  

Q.) Will Sr. MA’s permanently be on the same salary range as Sr. PA I and II? For example, If Sr. PA’s obtain COLA’s which move them to another salary range, do the Sr. MA’s get placed on the new salary range too? 
A.) You are getting more COLA’s than the Sr. PA’s will over the course of the next three years. After their next negotiations, we’ll have to re-evaluate, but there are no “me too’s” when it comes to salary parity.

Q.) I have a question about the new MOU 19. I am a Senior City Planner and supervise a City Planner who earns more than I do. Will the new MOU allow the adjustment of my salary so that I earn at least what he earns?
A.) It’s a city wide rule that states a supervisor’s salary range must be 5.5% above their subordinates, not the actual salary.  If a subordinate is making more than their supervisor, it is usually because that subordinate has been a City employee a whole lot longer than the supervisor has and very likely, has not promoted, whereas the supervisor came in to city service and promoted up fairly quickly.

Some people think the employee with 15 years of city service (for example) is entitled to make more than someone who’s done 2 years of city service. Others feel supervisors should always make more. That being said, the Admin Code currently governs this and it’s the same across the board for every employee city wide regardless of their union. However, we did attempt to negotiate something different but the city ultimately would not budge. As a last ditch effort, we also tried for a bonus for supervisors in your situation and they would not agree.

Q.)I am currently at Step 1 and will reach Step 2 on the 25th of June. Due to the new Step structure, will I be at Step 3 now?
A.) On step 2, you’ll be making $44.10/hr. Upon conversion, you’ll become step 3 at $44.11/hr. Your step anniversary date won’t change so you’ll become step 4 on 6/25/2020. 

Q.) Assuming that I am at Step 3 upon ratification will I then reach Step 4 nine months from reaching Step 3?
A.) No. The only step that has nine months in between is step 2 to 3. Every other step is still one year.

Q.) Could you please e-mail me a copy of the proposed Letter of Agreement for Parental Leave?
A.) The letter of agreement is contingent upon state legislature and/or city ordinances being adopted for paid parental leave. If either of those things happen, the City agrees to immediately re-open our MOU’s to negotiate the new benefit. A red line of all language is only done after the membership ratifies and City Council signs off which won’t happen until early August.

Q.) A special agreement was reached for 2 SMA II’s at LAWA that are bi-weekly bonuses and pensionable. What circumstances allowed for this special consideration? As an SMA II at LAWA, this feels like a slight to the rest of us.
A.) This bonus was not brought to the table by the Union. LAWA management asked the City to provide this bonus and provided a justification to them as to why it’s necessary. However, the union was successful in negotiating a couple of great things for all Sr. MA I’s and II’s that will benefit you. 

Q.) With regards to the above mentioned subject matter, on the EAA Summary of Tentative Agreement it mentioned Enhancements. A concern arises under the Disturbance Call Pay Expanded and Increase To On Call Standby. What specifically does the new language state? 
A.) The new language is not specific to classifications like it was before. It covers anybody in the unit, who is disturbed off hours or who is placed on call. The old language listed certain classes and only those were able to obtain the compensation. Now it will state “any employee in this unit disturbed (or placed on standby) is entitled to ……” The amount for on call standby also changed to $40/day for weekdays and $60/day for weekends when placed on call.

Q.) I respond in the event of any and all Emergencies and as such should be included in the same above entitlement. How does an employee ratify this agreement through his or her Union?
A.) Your class is included as all classes are now included.

Q.) I currently work as a GIS Specialist for the City of LA, and I am currently on salary step 5. With the new conversion of salary steps going from 15 to 12, I understand that I will be moving to step 3 (in years, not in pay, I understand that). Which means it will now take me 9 more years to get to the top step. With the current pay scale, I will get to top step 15 in 10 years. So my questions is, how is this helping me, by proposing that I get my time here pushed back to what I had two years ago? A new hire will take 11 years to get to the top step 12, and I will work for FOURTEEN years to get to step 12, because someone who is just hired will move to step 2 after 9 months, while I move to step 3 after almost FIVE YEARS. Please explain to me how this is fair for people who are in the middle steps like I am. Everyone hired from 2014 or so up until now is being treated unfairly again as we got hired AFTER the pay scale went from 5 steps to 15 steps, and now we are treated unfairly again as we are tossed back to the salary step (in years) I had two years ago. This means my time per year here is equivalent to less than one year, when new hires are more than 1.

One, please explain this to me, and how this is fair. Two, please release a new proposed pay scale table before everyone gets a chance to vote. Actually, people have probably already voted for this, NOT aware that they will be pushed backwards from the current steps in regards to time worked. To me, this is completely unfair as I am seeing this news after the FAQ came out yesterday evening. My brothers and sisters in the union will be terribly disappointed to hear they will be pushed back unfairly, as I am when I heard this news. Please make me feel better about this.
A.) It seems you may have been given incorrect information.  The conversion from 15 to 12 steps will not result in any loss of pay to any employee and will NOT result in more time to reach top step.  Nobody’s salary anniversary date is changing.

A GIS Specialist on step 5 is currently making $38.18/hr. On the conversion, you will remain step 5 and your pay will be $38.19/hr (this does not include the 2.9% that takes effect the same day as the conversion). Your step anniversary date does not change, so whenever that is, you will become step 6 and get a 5.5% increase (until step 8) Steps 9-12 go back to 2.75% in between. It will now take you 7 years to achieve top step vs 10 years under the 15 step scale.

Q.) Why are SMAs working in HR getting a pay boost on top getting the equalizing pay to match that of SPA’s?
 The Sr. MA’s who work in HR put in the proposal for both – the increase that was achieved and benefits everyone in your class and for a HR certificate if they’re working full time HR duties. The Sr. PA’s who work in HR get the bonus so the Sr. MA’s in HR made an attempt to get the same bonus. The City accepted it so they’ll be receiving it. All class specific proposals that were received by the union and were followed through with justifications, completion of all homework, etc were presented to the city at the negotiation table. 

Q.) If I promote this month to a classification that no longer falls under EAA, would I still be entitled to the retro check and the bonus check?
If you promote out of EAA, you will receive the retro check from 10/28/18 to the day you leave EAA but it obviously would not be applied to your new salary under the new unit as that salary is negotiated by the union that represents it. Any COLA’s they negotiated will kick in for you on the dates they negotiated for. The 2.9 retro will only cover the time you were employed in an EAA classification.

As for the cash payout, anyone who leaves EAA prior to 12/13/19, will not receive it as you will no longer be privy to any provisions under an EAA contract once you leave. 

Q.) I was wondering if City employees with the designation of a Certified Safety Professional could be added to the list of classifications to receive biweekly bonuses? Additionally, when completing the survey, me and my coworker inquired about the designation and its related fees.
A.) First off, you’re welcome and thank YOU too for recently opting to stand in solidarity with your brothers and sisters and becoming a dues paying, voting member of EAA. It took years of building credibility and doing charitable outreach in every Council District that brought us to this achievement. That takes a lot of time and money so thank you for becoming a contributing member.

That being said, only dues payers can make proposals and the time period passed over 6 months ago. We’ve already TA’d on an agreement so negotiations are basically over. Had we received your request during the appropriate time, it would have gone to the table.  Please consider proposing it at our next opportunity. We always start about a year prior by collecting input and proposals from the membership… so as this contract is coming into it’s last year, keep an eye out for the proposal process.  

Q.) If the agreement is approved when will parental leave be available?
The LOA is an agreement between the city and the union that states if/when State legislature or a city ordinance is passed regarding paid parental leave, the City agrees to immediately re-open the EAA contract to place it in and make it effective (and/or negotiate more). Nothing will happen prior to that.

Q.) What’s the estimated date for our COLA to go into effect? And what’s the estimated date for the step changes to go into effect?
A.) The step changes and the retro were scheduled to take place on 7/7/19 (start of pay period). Now it will be the pay  period after ratification. Both will happen on the same day.

Q.) If my start date for the new position would be prior to the execution date of the tentative agreement (MOU), would I lose out on the One-Time Cash Payout on 12/13/2019? Or would the fact that I was active on the 5/11/2019 payroll and represented by EAA at that time make it a vested benefit at that point in time?
A.) If you are not a member of EAA when the cash payment is paid out (12/13/19), then you will not receive it as you will not be entitled to any provisions of an EAA contract once you leave the union. You will receive the 2.9% retro from 10/28/18 to the date you leave the EAA unit. 

Q.) Regarding the one-time non-pensionable payout, in order to get the $1,200 check… did you have to be an EAA member for 25 months or you just had to be an EAA member as of May-11-2019?
A.) Y
ou had to be in a class represented by EAA for at least 25 months, were active on payroll (not on an unpaid leave) on May 11, 2019 and currently receiving medical benefits from the city. If you are not receiving cash in lieu of city medical benefits, I show you qualifying for the tier 1 amount of $500.

Q.) Congratulations on the added benefits EAA has championed for MOU 21 (and others). I previously served in the Planning Department until January 4, 2019. I saw that some salary points would be back-dated to October 28, 2018. I’m curious to know if I would be eligible for this back-pay?
A.) You will receive the retroactive 2.9% back-pay from 10/28/18 to January 4, 2019.

Q.) When will the REO I and II pay scales be combined (as well as when we start at Step 2)?
A.) The consolidation of pay-grades will take place the pay period following Council adoption of the contract. We expect Council adoption to happen by the second week of August.

For the second part of your question, you may be mistaken. You will not be placed at Step 2. All new hires, after the contract takes effect, will automatically start at Step 2, not current employees. 

If you are currently a REO I, you will be slotted into the step of the REO II range that is closest to your current salary (without losing a penny).