LG Update: May 2014
Prepared by Roy Stone and Henry Gambill
I. The Guild's Business Rep needs your Vote! Our very own Dolores Spears, who has represented (with much gusto) many librarians over the past few years, is seeking to be elected to her appointed seat on the United Neighborhoods Neighborhood Council. Dolores has served in UNNC since 2012. Dolores is a strong voice in her community who speaks out against the so-called Neighborhood Council "Budget Advocates" who continue to call for city workers to pay even more toward our pensions.
If you live, work, own property or participate within UNNC Community borders the Librarians' Guild Executive Board urges you to help elect Dolores.
When: This Saturday, May 10, 2014. 10am-4pm at the Council District 10 Field Office. 1819 S. Western Ave. LA 90006
UNNC Borders: Between the south side of Pico Bl., north side of Rodeo, east side of Crenshaw and the west side of Normandie. Moving inward to Western at the 10 fwy, then to Arlington at Jefferson, following the eastern boundary of Council District 10.
II. Library Budget Process and Details: For those new to city work, the annual budget exercise takes a long time. In September through October, Library Management prepares the budget for the following fiscal year. The Guild offers input as often as practicable. In November, the Board of Library Commissioners reviews, provides suggestions for, and approves the budget package. From there, the Mayor reviews, revises, and adjusts the budget and presents his package to the City Council in late April. Up until mid-May, the City Council's Budget and Finance Committee reviews everything and makes its recommendations. This is the stage we are in now.
(a) Opening Day: This Tuesday, April 29, Roy Stone, Henry Gambill, Selena Terrazas, Kian Daizadeh, and Vi Ha attended the first budget meeting of the Budget and Finance committee (Roy and Vi are in the photo). The Coalition of City Unions planned this as a city worker event, asking for many people to attend and speak. Vi represented the Guild and librarians extremely well when she addressed the committee; many others from a variety of departments spoke about their staffing problems and other issues. After that there was a presentation of the proposed budget by the Mayor's deputy Rick Cole. Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Miguel Santana then presented his usual recommendations to offer city workers no raises in the upcoming contract negotiations. In case any one has noticed, Santana and the Mayor have offered these same recommendations via the media for several months now.
(b) One Long Afternoon and the CAO "explains" Hiring Delays : The next day, Roy Stone, Theresa Webster and Erika Caswell sat through a long afternoon waiting for the Library to present its budget to the Budget and Finance Committee. First came the Police Department (two long hours), then Animal Services and Emergency Services, respectively. When it was the library's turn, Roy, Erika and 3090 President Alice Goff gave public comment, focusing on the need for more staff, the problem of the Managed (un)Hiring Committee holding up hiring and services, and the "new" debt (SURPRISE!) that city leaders have dropped (like a bomb) into the 2014-2015 library budget. This debt is no small number: $6.6 million is still owed on rebuilding Central Library all those years ago. We will provide more details about this as soon as we actually know more details (we know very little presently). However, this does look like it may continue for the next five years. To see Erika, Alice and Roy address the committee, go to: http://lacity.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=&clip_id=13033&caption_id=17910395
Council members asked several questions about Managed (un)Hiring, and the CAO informed them that from July 1, 2013 through March 30, 2014 his committee approved 80 of 81 hiring requests. Santana did not bring up Managed (un)Hiring's modus operandi of pointlessly stalling the hiring (and status change) process at nearly every step of the way, which is particularly outrageous since the library has 100% funding for every single new position. When pressed, the CAO offered a few incomprehensibly wonkish excuses for why Managed (un)Hiring could not quickly approve the library's hiring needs, claiming it had something to do with the convention center converting to private control. Yes, you read that right.
(c) Moving Forward: From May 16 through approximately May 23, there will be public hearings at the larger City Council. The next very important step is for your family and friends and all library supporters: ask your councilperson to remove the $6.6 Million debt that the mayor has imposed on the library budget. Tell them it is not in the spirit of Measure L to cripple library funds. This is our last chance to have input and to try to make a difference in the library budget.
The Committee then presents its revised budget by June 2 to the full Council. The Mayor has 5 working days after receipt of the budget to review any changes and approve or veto the changes. The Council has five days to consider the budget and then sustain or override each veto by a two-thirds vote. This completes the process.
III. The City audits our Spouses, Domestic Partners and Children: For the first time (perhaps ever) the city has requested all city employees to verify with proof any dependent or dependents enrolled in our Flex medical and/or dental plans. When we made inquiries questioning the timing of this, we learned that the city has the right to make such an audit, and they need a buffer of time from now until open enrollment in the Fall to solve any problems and/or consider any appeals.
If you have a dependent, you must complete the DEV process by submitting your DEV form and supporting documents no later than May 28, 2014, to keep your dependents enrolled. Librarians can snail mail, fax or upload online their supporting documents. Henry Gambill scanned his supporting documents and uploaded them to the website rather easily.
If you have not received your DEV package, or if you have misplaced it, log on to the DEV website at www.mercerdevs.com/COFLA. You can download an electronic copy of your package from the website. If you cannot access the website, you may contact the DEV Service Center at 1-800-893-3540 to request another package be mailed to your home address.IV. Contract Negotiations: After a long wait, we have finally learned that contract negotiations will begin this upcoming Tuesday, May 13, 2014. The sessions will (mostly) follow a weekly pattern of Tuesday meetings. The negotiating team is comprised of the President, two supervisor representatives, and three rank and file representatives. Alternates are in place, as well.
V. The May Membership Meeting visits the Valley: The location of our Saturday, May 31st Membership Meeting will be West Valley Regional. 6:30 dinner; 7:30 meeting commences. Look for the usual email with more details soon.
VI. Sunshine: Very late congratulations to Glen Creason for being honored with the David G. Cameron Preservation Award from the L.A. City Historical Society. Glen was so honored for preserving and expanding the library's extensive map collection and has written a great book, as well.
A speedy recovery is wished for Young Adult Librarian Marcel Manzi of Baldwin Hills Branch.
Condolences to the family, friends, and co-workers of Jose Paiz, longtime Clerk Typist, most recently in Literature and Fiction. Jose was much beloved throughout the library system.
VII. Moved? Change of Address? New preferred Email? Took leave without pay? Contact the Guild's Membership Chair Theresa Webster to update your information: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Phone: 213-228-7221 (Teen’Scape).