By BOB HENNELLY Dec 24, 2019
WORKING OUT THE KINKS: Communications Workers of America Local 1180 President Gloria Middleton, seen here at a union rally prior to reaching a settlement with the de Blasio administration involving the union’s pay-discrimination suit on behalf of 1,800 past and present Administrative Managers, has had to deal with city glitches in making the proper payments to employees and complaints by some of her members about how much of their awards were diverted to pay lawyers’ fees in the case.
The Office of Payroll Administration mishandled payouts that were due to 1,400 members of Communications Workers of America Local 1180 who were part of a class-action pay-discrimination lawsuit, city officials have acknowledged. In April, a Federal Judge approved a $15-million settlement of a lawsuit brought by the union in 2013 during Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s final year in office. The pact between the de Blasio administration and Local 1180 covered 1,800 active and retired Administrative Managers who were on the job from December 2013 through 2017.
Sharing $5.5M Payout As part of that settlement, Local 1180 members were to receive checks for the $5.5-million portion of the settlement that covers retroactive and damage payments in compensation for past pay disparities. The clerical error, which resulted in initially inaccurate electronic payments being deposited in the city employees’ bank accounts, which were then withdrawn by the city, was rectified with the mailing of paper checks for the proper amounts. The city’s gyrations with the payments added to the disappointment of Patty McCabe, a CWA 1180 member who works as an administrator at the Fire Academy. She said in a phone interview that she was also taken aback by the size of the legal fees deducted from her settlement. “I cleared just $2,000 for waiting for nine years, and I took more responsibility all along the way, and the union misled us,” she said. “The lawyers are the only ones who made out on this.” Two other union members called this newspaper to complain about the size of their payout but did not want their name published.