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Burbank appropriates money for negotiations with new city attorneys union

March 28, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene@tchekmedyian@latimes.com

The City Council has set aside $50,000 to pay a law firm to assist the city in labor negotiations with the Burbank City Attorney’s Assn., a newly formed bargaining group that includes 10 attorneys and a paralegal at City Hall.

The group has been in negotiations with the city since shortly after it was formed last month, officials said. The Los Angeles-based law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore will represent the city in its business with the group.

Prior to the formation of the bargaining group, the employees were unrepresented and their compensation was set by resolutions passed by the council, said Interim Management Services Director Betsy Dolan.

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The city has another roughly 65 unrepresented employees across all departments, she added.

City Atty. Amy Albano, being a direct employee of the City Council, is not part of the newly formed group.

The move marks the first time the city has sought outside legal services to assist with labor negotiations. The attorneys in the association usually represent the city in negotiations with other bargaining groups, which explains the need for outside counsel in this case, Dolan said.

“It’s an inherent conflict for them,” Dolan said. “They can’t represent themselves and also help city management."

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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