Richard Kraus on our Raises
Richard Kraus is a Librarian III in the Business/Economics Department.
This is my understanding of the 5.5% increase coming in January 2014. While this is based on my reading of the contract (MOU), it is not an official notice from either the city or the unions and any errors or misunderstanding are my own. This information only applies to clerks, library assistants, librarians, and others whose MOUs were negotiated by the Coalition of LA City Unions.
Nothing has been changed regarding the pay increase.
Remember it is a bonus for being step 5 in your classification for a certain amount of time: it is NOT a cost of living adjustment (COLA). This means not everyone will get it in January.
Some people who will not be getting the 5.5% in January 2014 is anyone recently promoted or recently hired. This is the exact language in the amendment to the MOU:
“Effective January 1, 2014, Unit employees at step 5 of the salary range for their classification who received the 2.75% additional salary adjustment on or after the effective date of January 1,2011, as provided for in accordance with the 2007-2012 MOU 3 Amendment 2 as modified by the October 26,2009 Letter of Agreement, shall receive an additional salary adjustment of 5.5% effective January 1,2014, provided that said employees have received the previous January 1, 2011, 2.75% additional adjustment provided for in C.1. above for at least 12 months.”
In short, anyone who has been getting the first 2.75% bonus above step 5 for at least 12 months will get another 5.5% starting in January 2014.
The MOU language is not completely clear about what happens for people who do not qualify on January 1st but would qualify at a later date. The intent would be for everyone to get to that increase eventually once they qualify but the way the language is written does not make that clear.
The new pay rate will show up on the second paycheck in January (payday of January 22) which will cover the pay period of December 29, 2013-January 11, 2014. NOTE: this paycheck will have a mix of two pay rates because any hours worked December 29-31 would be at the old rate.
FYI: on this same 2nd paycheck in January we will also be going back to getting paid for excess sick leave time over 800 hours. The past two years the city was “banking” those hours for us rather than paying it out.
Our current MOU expires on June 30, 2014. The new MOU has not been negotiated yet: there is no way to know yet what will be in it.
Roy Stone's Letter to LA Times
A funny thing happened on the way to the LA Times. In response to reporter David Zahnister’s recent article criticizing our 5.5% raise due in 2014, Roy sent the really great letter below. The Times printed it….but cut out quite a bit. Evidently, Roy should not be “deeply disheartened” at the article; he can only be “disturbed.” He’s also prevented from pointing out that City Workers do not collect social security and that our average retirement salary is 32K.
Anyway, Roy’s original letter is directly below. The Times published rendition immediately follows in red font.
Re: David Zahniser’s article 1/1/14, LA city employees receive last in a costly series of raises
As a dedicated 30-plus-year librarian with the City of LA, I was deeply disheartened to read David Zahniser’s misleading LA Times article on 1/1/14, “LA city employees receive last in a costly series of raises.” The article portrays us as unreasonable city workers who are getting rich with these long-overdue raises. In fact, the opposite is true. City workers have come together repeatedly during the past five years – voluntarily opening up the contract not once, but twice, to work in good faith with city officials to relinquish $850 million in wages and benefits to assist the city in time of financial crisis. We helped the city reduce its workforce by 5,000 positions, took unpaid furlough days, deferred cost of living increases for more than two years, froze wages and voted voluntarily to pay an additional 5% for our pension costs (for a total of 11%), among the highest percentage in the state.
Remember, we don’t receive social security and our average retirement benefits are less than $32,000 a year. Hardly a prince’s ransom.
As we go into the new year, with the city’s economy finally rebounding, and reserves at an all-time high, it is disingenuous to see the LA Times and CAO Santana painting this raise as anything more than a fair raise and cost of living increase to overworked employees who have sacrificed much over the past five years to continue providing excellent service to the residents of LA.
Roy Stone, Librarian, Los Angeles Public Library
Re “City workers get last raise in ’07 deal,” Jan. 2
As a dedicated 30-plus-year librarian with the city of Los Angeles, I was disturbed by this article’s implication that city workers are getting rich with these long-overdue raises.
In fact, city workers have come together repeatedly during the past five years, twice opening up our contract and working in good faith with officials to relinquish $850 million in wages and benefits to assist the city in time of financial crisis.
We helped the city reduce its workforce by 5,000 positions, took unpaid furlough days, deferred cost-of-living increases, froze wages and voted to pay more toward our pension.
With the city’s economy finally rebounding, it is wrong to portray this raise as anything more than fair to overworked employees who have sacrificed much over the past five years to continue providing excellent services to the residents of L.A.
Roy Stone, Los Angeles