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Council approves more spending to pay law firm

Appropriation is extended as negotiation stalemate continues between the city and two unions.

October 03, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

The City Council set aside another $50,000 last week to continue to pay a law firm to represent Burbank in ongoing labor negotiations between the city and two bargaining groups — the recently formed Burbank City Attorneys Assn. and the Burbank Management Assn.

However, negotiations with both groups have reached an impasse.

The appropriation is in addition to $50,000 the council set aside in March for the same purpose. The Los Angeles-based law firm Liebert Cassidy Whitmore will continue to represent the city in negotiations.

Talks between the city and the attorneys union reached a stalemate this summer
when union members — having gone five years without a pay raise — continued to push for what city officials say would be a 13% salary increase retroactive to last November and an additional 2% salary increase each year for the next three years.

The attorneys union — formed in February — represents 10 city attorneys and a paralegal.

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Last month, a fact-finding panel of three jurists heard arguments from the city and the city attorneys and is slated to make a settlement recommendation early next month. A public hearing will follow, after which the city can still impose its final offer, according to the union.

A fact-finding panel has not yet been scheduled between the city and the management union, according to Betsy Dolan, interim management services director. The union, which represents roughly 175 employees, and the city have been at an impasse since July.

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

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