City Lawyers Vote Themselves Two Percent Pay Cut -- Again

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The union representing the lawyers staffing the offices of San Francisco's City Attorney, District Attorney, Public Defender, and others yesterday announced its membership has voted by a two-to-one margin to approve a wage concession in which attorneys forfeit two percent of their yearly salaries.

Jerry Coleman, a 30-year attorney in the DA's office and a member of the Municipal Attorney's Association union executive board, told SF Weekly the deal calls for city lawyers to be paid for 78.5 hours of every 80-hour pay period -- essentially a furlough without days off. This is the second consecutive year that city lawyers have voted themselves a pay cut.

"We had been in discussions with the city concerning what kind of assistance we as a group could provide," says Coleman of the deal. In exchange for the pay cut, the city agreed to the lawyers' major demand -- that any attorney retiring during the next year has his or her pension determined using the full 80-hour pay rate.

How much money this will save the city is not immediately apparent -- but since city lawyers earn between $98,500 and $172,600 and the MAA represents around 400 non-management attorneys, the savings are likely over $1 million. Coleman estimated it would save the city roughly $1.4 million.

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