City Workers Sue L.A. Over Furloughs

LOS ANGELES (CN) – More than 400 city employees say Los Angeles violated a collective bargaining agreement by refusing to arbitrate the forced, unpaid furloughs it imposed in July 2009 because of the continuing budget crisis. The Engineers and Architects Association filed on behalf of 424 named plaintiffs in Superior Court; the association says it represents 5,246 city employees in all.




     The plaintiffs are not all architects and engineers; they include administrative, technical, supervisory technical, and supervisory administrative personnel.
     They say their contracts entitle them to arbitration, but on July 1, 2009, the city “officially implemented its furlough plan only against EAA Bargaining Units, but did not implement a furlough against unrepresented city employees or employees represented by other unions.”
     The EAA filed grievances and denied them all, or failed to respond, the group says.
     Seventy-four of the complaint’s 78 pages are taken up by listing the plaintiffs, all of whose grievances were denied or ignored.
     They ask the court to compel arbitration. Their contracts remain in force until June.
     They are represented by Trina Roderick with Levy, Stern & Ford.

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