Sunday, October 27, 2013

Technology Committee Announcement

With the unanimous recommendation of the Executive Committee and the approval of the Delegate Body, the District Council will be issuing an RFP (Request for Proposal) to hire an consultant to aid the Technology Committee in determining the IT structure best suited to achieve an integrated system that supports the Union’s work. The establishment of the Technology Committee was unanimously voted in favor by the Executive Committee, and the Technology Members were appointed by EST Pro Tem McInnis.

Among the important goals of the Committee’s work is to develop an integrated computer hardware and software system by which the Shop Stewards, Reps, the Out of Work List, the Organizing Department, and all other departments within the District Council can effectively and efficiently share information about jobs, hours, grievances, organizing, and the honest building and running of the Union free from corruption. Another goal is to develop the means by which the District Council’s information on members’ jobs and hours will be coordinated with the Benefit Funds.

The Technology Committee has been tasked by the Executive Committee and the Delegate Body with reviewing all RFP’s for an IT Consultant. Recommendations will be provided to the Executive Committee and the Delegate Body will provide the final approval/disapproval of the selected candidate. The IT Consultant, when hired, will review the current computer operations and make recommendations to the Technology Committee, the Executive Committee, and the Delegate Body on how best to upgrade and integrate all of the District Council’s information technology needs. The ultimate goal is to provide the best services to members and to make sure that all jobs and hours are captured so that members are fully paid and the Benefit Funds receive all the contributions that contractors owe under the District Council’s collective bargaining agreements.

The members of the Technology Committee are the following:

EST Pro Tem and President Steve McInnis, Vice-President Michael Cavanaugh, Director of Operations Matthew Walker, Inspector General Scott C. Danielson, Director of Human Resources Dana Brownstein, OWL Supervisor Aaron Gholston, Director of Organizing Eddie McWilliams, Director of Communications Kwame Patterson, Manhattan District Manager Paul Capurso, Queens District Manager Mike Rodin, Manhattan Lead Manager Joe DiNapoli, Chief Compliance Officer Josh Leicht, DC Counsel James Murphy, DC Counsel Barbara Jones, LTC Director Elly Spicer, Benefit Funds Director of IT Charles Jackson, and Benefit Funds Project Manager Jennifer Gordon.

Source: NYCDC


  1. The District Council’s Executive Committee voted to recommend to the Delegate Body the retention of Judge Barbara S. Jones (retired) and her firm, Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, in order, as per the earlier motion passed by the Delegate Body, to “hire outside counsel to deal with the Review Officer, the Stipulation and Order, and all other issues involved in that.” The District Council received numerous responses from attorneys and their law firms to the request for proposal (RFP) published last week and this past Monday in the New York Law Journal. After reviewing the responses, five law firms were asked to appear and did appear yesterday to meet with a committee consisting of Vice President Mike Cavanaugh, General Counsel Jim Murphy, and Chief Compliance Officer Josh Leicht. After meeting for at least an hour with an attorney or attorneys for each firm, the committee recommended to the Executive Committee the retention of Judge Jones and her firm.

    Judge Jones served as a Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York for 16 years, retiring this past December. Prior to her nomination and confirmation as a federal district judge, she served as the First Deputy District Attorney to New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau. Before that position, she served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, where she tried a number of criminal RICO cases and rose to be the chief of the Organized Crime Strike Force in Manhattan. She was recently appointed by the Secretary of Defense to serve on the Pentagon’s Defense's Response Systems to Adult Sexual Assault Crimes Panel. A copy of Judge Jones’ biography is attached.

    Judge Jones and her firm are prepared to appear on behalf of the District Council at a conference and hearing scheduled for Monday before Judge Berman on the Review Officer’s motion for an order regarding the District Council’s IT modernization plan. Judge Jones’ regular hourly fee is $925, which is typical of a senior attorney of her experience and expertise. Judge Jones has represented to the District Council that she will work with the Union to relax the hourly fees for herself and any other attorneys in her firm required to do work on this representation.


  3. Funny how most members of the "technology committee" barely know how to send an email.

  4. Several issues witht this report worth noting:

    1) "Another goal is to develop the means by which the District Council’s information on members’ jobs and hours will be coordinated with the Benefit Funds".

    This is not a goal, rather, it is a 'mandate' by the R.O. & it has been approved by the Court.

    2) There is no review to date for total costs of computer hardware & software expenses expended over the last 5-years. The D.C. spends an exhorbitant amount (millions) on these line items & it has constantly been up apgrading said systems, yet nothing ever improves.

    3) There is no stated or projected budget allocation for said purpose & no timetable for its completion, integration & back-checking and/or audit of the program to prove its economic viability and prove it actually works once implemented.

    4) Let's see, we have the EST delegating to the Executive Committee delegating to the Delegate Body delegating to the Technology Committee delegating to a yet to be named group of potential vendors and/or subcontractors to submit an RFP for unstated & non-budgeted performance based "goals" per the D.C. spin doctors, which in reality are mandates of the R.O & the Federal District Court; all of which is backed up by the half a dozen or more outside legal counsel on varying retainer agreements as well as the in house legal counsel James Murphy.

    Sound about right? So, what we have here, besides a failure to communicate is one too many layers in a mine field of incompetence & everyone of the so called players involved is simply passing the buck & the responsibility to anyone but themselves. Anyone see a pattern here?

    Ole Forrest got it right when he said - "Stupid is as Stupid does".

    So, uhh, who's got the ball on this one? Who's on first? Anyone? Where's the leadership, or will that be subcontracted out too?

    1. What if you were told your statement, ie: "mandates of the R.O & the Federal District Court" has been deemed not true by the feds themselves.

  5. Watch for the EST forum video. You'll hear from McInnis as to what he envisions this IT program to be.

    "which in reality are mandates of the R.O & the Federal District Court; all of which is backed up by the half a dozen or more outside legal counsel on varying retainer agreements as well as the in house legal counsel James Murphy."

    Exactly! Funny, he avoided that issue altogether. Guess we have to pass it in order to find out what's in it?

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