San Francisco government lawyers have agreed to dock their own pay by 2 percent for another year to pitch in during an ugly budget season, according to officials from the Municipal Attorney's Association.
After two days of voting that ended Wednesday night, 167 attorneys said yes to the cut, while 73 said no. The MAA represents roughly 400 non-management lawyers in the district attorney, city attorney and public defender’s office.
Still, no one knows where that money will go ...
Union Vice President Elliot Beckelman, an assistant DA, said he didn’t think the lopsided vote means that conflicted feelings about the cut have disappeared.
“I think the vote is really a reflection of the dismal economic conditions that are affecting the city, the state and the government,” he said.
Agreeing to extend the 2 percent cut through the coming fiscal year theoretically gives the MAA a negotiating advantage during next year’s budget cycle, and the estimated $2 million or so that the giveback will save might actually help some other city offices. On the other hand, the MAA did not get a guarantee against further layoffs from the city (SEIU local 1021 got a no-layoff guarantee until November) and no one really knows where the saved money will go.
Most of those who belong to San Francisco’s Municipal Attorneys Association are designated “8177 – Attorney (Civil/Criminal),” and their pay depends on where they are in the 16-step hierarchy that applies to that class. Attorneys at the low end of that class, earning $98,514 a year, will lose $75.78 per paycheck, while attorneys at the top end, earning $172,588, will lose $132.76.
— Evan Hill