May 27, 2016
Our union has reached agreement with LSNYC management on the method for determining the salary and anniversary date for lawyers and social workers that will result in salary increases and retroactive payments for a number of staff hired in the last seven years.
Our union contract states that attorneys and social workers will be placed on a salary step giving credit for the actual number of years, including months, since the affected employee graduated from law school or social work school. In July of 2009, we implemented a change to that section of the union contract to ensure that people who graduated at the same time would end up on the same salary step, even if they were hired at different times. This change, known as the “eight month rule” and found in CBA 18.3(A), stated that “Where the new employee’s total years include a partial year of less than eight (8) months, his/her step placement shall be recalculated when his/her total years first include a partial year of eight (8) months or more, as if s/he had been hired at that later date and his/her anniversary date for all purposes affecting salary shall be adjusted to that month.”
Earlier this year management brought to our attention that this provision was not being properly implemented. We have now reached agreement on the below understanding for how the salary and anniversary date for lawyers and social workers shall be determined. The LSNYC payroll department, working in conjunction with the union, will now review salaries for staff hired since July 1, 2009, and will adjust salary steps upward and issue retroactive payments for anyone placed on a step lower than they were supposed to be placed on.
What step do you start on when you are hired?
Count the number of years and months since you graduated from law school or social work school. Section 18.3 of the CBA states that you will be placed on the steps based on the number of years since graduation from law or social work school.
If your total years include a partial year of eight months or more, you will be given credit for one additional year of service.
Example: Martin graduated from law school in May 2013. He is hired in December 2014. He has one year and eight months of experience since graduation. The partial year of eight months qualifies him for credit for an additional year of service. He starts with two years of service on step three.
If your total years include a partial year of less than eight months, your step placement will be recalculated when your total years first include a partial year of eight or more months, and your anniversary date will be adjusted to that month.
Example: Diana graduated from law school in May 2013. She is hired in September 2014. She has one year and five months of experience since graduation. She starts with one year of service on step two.
Three months later, in December 2014, when Diana has one year and eight months of experience since graduation, she moves up to step three. Her new anniversary date becomes December 2014.
What about gaps in my work history?
Did you take time off to travel around the world? Or to raise a child? Periods of time when you were not practicing law or social work 75% of the time are not counted towards the calculation of your years of experience since graduation. But time spent studying for the bar does count.
When do you move to the next step?
Section 18.4 of the CBA states that you move to the next step at the beginning of the quarter of your anniversary date.
Example: Martin’s anniversary date and Diana’s adjusted anniversary date are both December 2014. They both move to the next step at the beginning of the fourth quarter of the year, which is October.