ALAA WEEKLY ORGANIZER #23
October 5, 1990
The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (District 65/UAW/AFL-CIO)
13 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003-6980 (212) 674-4188/673-5120/ (800) 221-5011, ext. 340
Attorneys And Support Staff Hold
Mass Rally To Support Bargaining Demands
A mass rally at Park Row on October 1st
opened the Union’s public campaign to
force management to respond to the
Association’s bargaining proposals.
Attendance and Determination
With as many as 400 people, the picket and
rally was the largest Association
demonstration in recent years. Large
numbers of those present represented
distant offices such as Queens CDD,
attorneys from the most recently hired
training classes, and the Union’s Attorneys
of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA) caucus. All
of those who came were extremely pleased
with the turnout, and made clear their
determination for significant progress in
this year’s contract.
Issues were addressed by Association
speakers from across the Society, including
Azalia Torres (Brooklyn CDD/ACLA),
Les Helfman(S.I. Civil!Barg. Cttee),
Martha Conforti (Bronx COD/Secretary),
Steve Dean (Brooklyn COD/Treasurer),
Susan Levine (Manhattan CDD/Barg.
Otee), Steve Statsinger (CAB/Lesbian &
Gay Caucus Barg. Cttee rep.), David
Addams Executive Director), John
Woodruff(Manhattan CDD/ACLA), and
Michael Z. Letwin (Brooklyn
(Continued on Page 2)
~~·~ . .
s 0 .a
As many as 400 members of ALAA, 1199 and other supporters rallied at Park Row
October 1st in support of Association demands to improve the Legal Aid Society.
Battle Over Judge’s Strike Button Order
On October 4th, a Manhattan
Supreme Court judge declared
war on the staff attorneys’s First
Amendment right to wear the
Union’s “Ready to Strike” button
That morning, Judge George Roberts
(Part 30), ordered CDD attorney and
Union delegate Robin Frankel to remove
her button as she stood before the bench
on a routine calendar call. When Frankel
refused, she was briefly held in contempt
before Roberts lifted the order and
proceeded to relieve her from her case.
Immediately thereafter, attorney Troy
Yancey was ordered from the
courtroom for refusing to remove her
button. The judge also announced that
beginning the next day, he would hold in
contempt anyone wearing the button.
Soon, button-wearing attorneys and
support staff from throughout
(Continued on Page 2)
Inside: Open Letter to Arch Murray, P. 3
Next EC Meeting: October 16th
Demonstration Sends the Right Message (Continued from Page I)
Particular attention was paid to
debunking Arch Murray’s memo of the
same day which grossly mischaracterized
the state of bargaining and issues such as
salaries and affirmative action in the
Society (see related article this issue).
Others who spoke in support of the
Association were private attorney and
former Legal Aid staff member Eric
Poulos, Legal Services Staff Association
co-president Anita Miller, Regina Little
(District 65 Vice-President), and George
Kennedy, Strike Solidarity Coordinator,
from the Greyhound strikers
(Amalgamated Transit Union local
1202). In addition, the rally was
..:ndorsed by District Council 37, the
National Conference of Black Lawyers,
and the NYC Chapter of the Coalition of
‘ Black Trade Unionists.
Messages of support were received from
State Senator David Patterson,
Assemblyman Frank Barbaro and
Transit Workers Union leader Sonny
Hall, who Mote a letter to Arch Murray
calling for acceptance of the
. Press Coverage
This rally received greater press
coverage than any other Association
demonstration since the 1982 strike,
including a lengthy and extremely
sympathetic October 3d report by Mary
Civiello on Channel 4 Eyewitness News,
and reports on CNN and in the New York
Law Journal. UPI put a substantial story
on the wire. The New York Times is also
preparing an article on bargaining at
Be sure to see this issue’s calendar for
upcoming strike committee meetings. ·
And remember the date for the next
major action, a mass demonstration at
the Society’s Annual Meeting at Boro of
Manhattan Community College on
Manhattan CDD Attorneys vs. Judge Over First Amendment
Manhattan CDD, joined by Association.
president Michael Letwin, met to
organize a response.
‘lociety chief Arch Murray, COD head
Bob Baum and deputy head Ivar Goldart
arrived shortly to announce their
unconditional support for the right of
attorneys to wear the “Strike” buttons in
court and that the So–:1~_._/ would file an
article 78 proceeding in order to
challenge Roberts’ ruling.
The Association of
Legal Aid Attorneys
Michael Z. Letwin!President
Annette DePalma/Vice President
R. David Addams/Executive Director
Isabel Lobelo/Office Administrator
Ron Luciano/Office Secretary
(Continued from Page 1)
After lunch, while attorneys and support
staff packed the courtroom, management
negotiated with Roberts and other
judges. Finally, in a huge retreat,
Roberts suspended his new-found rule
pending the outcome of the Appellate
Division’s ruling on the Article 78
Roberts’ attack on the Strike button
represents both a blatant violation of the
First Amendment and an open hostility
to the Union. But when Manhattan COD
ALAA and 1199 members demonstrated
a united response, Roberts had no choice
but to back off, at least for the present.
That’s a powerful demonstration of our
AlAA Weekly Organizer
powerv.-ith great relevance to bargaining.
But ManhatLau CJD <1ttorneys are still
under the gun if Roberts or other judges
move ahead. Therefore, it is crucial that
all attorneys who are not on trial show their
support for their Manhattan colleagues by
wearing the buttons to cowt every day.
Moreover, if an attorney is victimized for
exercising their rights, members from
around the city must be prepared to
render assistance by immediately
reporting to the courtroom in question.
We will only be taken seriously in contract
bargaining if we are prepared to stan,f up
for each other and the First Amendment.
October 5, 1990
Dear Arch, You’ve Got it All Wrong …
The following is a reply to Arch Murray’s memo of October 1st, which complains that the Association has
misrepresented the status of bargaining at Legal Aid.
Who Suspended Bargaining?
Had you been present at the four bargaining sessions held to date, you would be aware that the Association never “mutually agreed
to suspend the [bargaining] process” until the City finalized the Legal Aid budget.
In fact, in early July we provided management with thirty-five pages of extremely detailed bargaining proposals– none of which
were accepted over the course of three bargaining sessions. At the fourth session, on August 28th, in response to our request for
counterproposals, management counsel Bob Batterman stated “you will be hearing from us,” and proceeded to lead his team out of
the room. It was not until September 26th, nearly a full month later, that we received management’s offer to reconvene. On October
3d, we agreed to meet to discUss any counterproposals that management is willing to advance.
We have requested counterproposals precisely because approval of the Legal Aid budget has little or nothing to do with such issues
as affirmative action, job security, improved case resources or objective health, safety and working conditions standards, ending
discrimination against gay and lesbian attorneys or Board representation, and we regard management’s failure to address these
crucial areas as a refusal to acknowledge their importance.
Your defense of our salary schedule as being “competitive with comparable publicly fr’l~ed organizations” is likewise contradicted
by the facts below:
Legal Aid Society
DC37 Legal Services Plan (NYC)
Human Resources Administration (NYC)
18-B Office of the Appellate Defender
Alameda (Calif.) Public Defender
San Francisco Public Defender
In contrast to our maximum 13th step staff salary of $60,000, the maximum salary in the San Francisco Public Defender Office is
$82,394. Interestingly, San Francisco’s head Public Defender makes $101,714, an amount that is surely less than the secret salaries
th.ar Legal Aid management pays itself.
Myths of Affirmative Action at Legal Aid
The facts also contradict your claim that in the area of affirmative action the Society’s ‘statistics … are second to no other even remotely
(Continued on Page 4)
October 5, 1990 ALAA Weekly Organizer Page 3
Legal Aid Society
Philadelphia Public Defender
Bronx District Attorney
Legal Services of New York
Fresno (Calif.) Public Defender
Los Angeles Public Defender
Los Angeles City Attorney
Los Angeles District Attorney
Public Defender Services (D.C.)
DC37 Legal Services Plan (NYC)
San Francisco Public Defender
% of Staff Attorneys of Color
Organization Attorneys of Color Share in Management
Legal Aid Society 9%
Bronx District Attorney
California State Public Defender
Philadelphia Public Defender
San Francisco Public Defender
DC37 Legal Services Plan (NYC)
Los Angeles City Attorney
The absence of meaningful affirmative action at Legal Aid is of concern to each of our members. First, it is morally inexcusable that
the Society, which purports to champion justice in the courts, has not done more to overcome ongoing exclusion of people of color
from the legal system, particularly in this period of great attention to racial injustice in New York.
Moreover, in light of the fact that our clients are 85 to 90 percent people of color, the Society’s failure to make significant affirmative
action progress undermines our very mission. As Judge Wachtler’s Judicial Commission on Minorities has pointed out, the gross
racial imbalance between those who work in the judicial system, and those who are subjected to it, li1 ‘s “~T]J–~ perception” of ‘a
predominantly wuite .::ourt system meting out ‘justice’ to litigants who in significant numbers are Black, Hispanic, Native American
and Asian American .. .” Until by its deeds the Society clearly distinguishes itself from that perception, many of our clients, and the
communities from which they come, will inevitably tend to view all Legal Aid attorneys as co-conspirators in injustice. The resulting
threat to attorney-client trust cannot but jeopardize high quality representation.
Precisely because the Society is not in the lead that the Association has submitted a detailed program to improve affirmative action
at Legal Aid, including a very moderate initial goal of33 percent people of color among the ranks of staff attorneys and management,
and to realize that goal through full involvement of staff attorneys in the affirmative action process.
Earlier this year, we criticized the Office of Court Administration for failing to carry out its affirmative action responsibilities in
connection with the contract for juvenile representation in Manhattan. It would be hypocritical not to address the same injustice
closer to home.
We trust that the above information sets the record straight.
Page 4 ALAA Weekly Organizer October 5, 1990
ALAA October 1990 Calendar
Tuesday, October 9
Board liaison Strike Committee meeting, union office
Wednesday, October 10
Manhattan CDD Affirmative Action Meeting, 9th Fl. Con£. room
District 65 Legal Division Health and Safety meeting, union office
Community Outreach Strike Committee meeting, union office
Thursday, October 11
Bronx CDD delegates and interested members meeting
Civil Division Affirmative Action meeting, 11 Park Place
Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid meeting, union office
Finance Strike Committee meeting, union office
Monday, October 15
Bargaining Committee meeting, union office
Tuesday, October 16
Union presentation at Society Board of Directors meeting, Paul Weiss
Executive Committee meeting, union office (everyone welcome)
(Continued on Page 6)
October 5, 1990 ALAA Weekly Organizer Page 5
Thursday, October 18
1 p.m. Criminal Appeals Bureau Affirmative Action Committee welcome party for new attorneys
Saturday, October 20
FYI: “Brings the Troops Home” demonstration, Columbus Circle, 59th Street & Broadway
Conference: “Building Communities of Trust: Inside and Outside Prison Walls,”
sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee. Workshop on the drug wars
Letwin. 15th Street Friends Meeting House, 15th Street and Rutherford Place, Man.
Monday, October 22
6 p.m. Picket/Phone Tree Strike Committee meeting, union ofuce
Tuesday, October 23
After work: Mass bargaining demonstration at Legal Aid Society annual meeting
Wednesday, October 24
Inner-City drug wars conference planning meeting, Lawyers Guild, 55 Sixth Ave.,
Manhattan. Call office for details
Thursday, October 25
National Lawyers Guild Forum on Rikers Island, NYU Law School. Speakers to include
AlAA member and Prisoners’ Rights Project attorney John Boston and Michael Letwin
ALAA Weekly Organizer October 5, 1990
October 6, 1990, p. 23, col. 2
Wrong Way to Fight Crime.
By Michael Z. Letwin
Faced with understandable
alarm over rising
violence, Mayor David
Dinkins has proposed a
$1.8 billion ami-crime
plan, most of it devoted
to greater numbers of police and jail
cells. Even if it survives intact in the
face of the city’s financial troubles,
the plan is unlikely to roll back the
violence that is an inevitable result of
an illegal crack trade flourishing
amidst deepening poverty.
As the Prohibition Era made plain,
when addictive substances are criminalized,
users and traders resort to
violence to obtain and sell them. Unable
to contain the violence, law enforcement
only compounds the harm.
Today, because crack is illegal and
its high is short-lived, poor users –
unlike their Wall Street brethren –
commit street crime and sell drugs to
support habits that can cost as much
as $100 a day. In addition, the immense,
artifically inflated profit in
illegal drugs, combined with dwindling
economic opportunity, draws
yow~~ people into the low-level trade.
:f wars over those profits have
turned entire inner-city neighborhoods
into free-fire zones where, in
the last few months, numerous victims
have been small children, such
as three-year-old Benjamin Williams.
Over all, fully half the city’s 1988
homicides were drug-related, and
three-quarters of those resulted from
competition for control of street-level
drug traffic. Drug-related violence
encourages the settlement of even
Michael Z. Letwin is president of the
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys.
petty disputes with guns and knives.
The 1990 homicide rate is already 19
percent above last year’s record figure
of 1 ,905, excluding the victims of ·
the Happy Land social club fire. And
while bloodshed has long plagued
poor neighborhoods, roving bands of
angry and alienated youths have increasingly
brought it into formerly
“safe” areas, an example of which
was the recent murder of Brian Watkins
in midtown Manhattan.
In the face of these powerful dynamics,
highly touted police programs
have consistently proved
themselves to be impotent. Experts
report that the New York Police Department’s
Operation Pressure Point
on Manhattan’s Lower East Side
probably drove crime and drugs elsewhere;
an August 1989 internal Police
Department report admits that
drug traffic in the target area continues
New York’s Tactical Narcotics
Team sweeps have had even less success
in reducing drugs and crime, despite
the allocation of huge sums of
money, tens of thousands of drug arrests,
prosecutions and incarcerations.
The drug trade simply shifts to
another area. Apprehended dealers
are replaced from a seemingly bottomless
pool, for jail is not a deterrent
to those who daily risk death in
the drug trade. The Department’s recent
“community policing program,”
Operation Take Back, has been similarly
Identical results have come in from
around the U.S. Although the District
of Columbia police have twice the
officers per capita as New York City,
the capital has a homicide rate three
times as high. In Oakland, Calif., a
frustrated police lieutenant said:
“Don’t say give me more cars, give
me more guns, give me more cops.
That’s been tried before, and it doesn’t
Escalated police programs have
succeeded only in crippling the criminal
justice system and assaulting
predominantly minority New Yorkers
with illegal searches and seizures,
frame-ups, physical abuse and
questionable police shootings.
As a result of these policies and racially
discriminatory sentencing, almost
one in four young AfricanAmerican
men in New York is in jail,
prison, on probation or parole. Worse,
such policies are paid for by cutting
to the bone services such as health
care, housing, sanitation, libraries,
education and residential drug treatment
New York ?nd other dties can be
made safer only by treating drugs as
a health and economic problem. Decriminalization
curtail street crime and turf wars by
deflating the price of drugs and making
them legally available to those
who use them. Instead of punishment,
treatment could be provided for those
who need it.
But decriminalization is neither a
complete nor permanent solution to
drug abuse, crime and violence. They
will yield only when racial and economic
JUStice ·offer hope to every
member of our community. 0
THE A!>SOCIATION OF LEGAL AID AnORNEYS.
OF THE CITY OF NEW YORY., DISTRICT &5 U.A.W.
13 Astor Place New York. NY 10003
She Ne\tt Uorl( SinteB
_____ !!_Ui__NE_ _v y_yo~I:S TIMEs METROPOLITAN suNDAY. oCTOBER 7, I99o 41
Legal-Aid Labor Dispute Could Cripple the Courts Legal Aid provides lawyers In about 60 to remain lonR”r and work In a more
percent of ali indigent cases. The re- profe.slonal atmosphere.
malnlng cases are handled by private “Clients should get from Legal· Aid
By WILLIAM GLABERSON
A labor dispute between the Legal
Aid Society and the union representing
Its lawyers I~ threatening to paralyze
ltM! New York City courts just as they
liN! ~ring up to deal more aggresalvt”
fy with criminal cases.
R~~tatlves of the Legal Aid
Sodety, a private group providing legal
N!~latlon to poor people, and
n\ore than 1,000 unionized lawyers neIOf.
laled without reaching a set!lement
al’ter the lawyer~· contract expired on
June 3ill. Tile talks are now stalled. with
each side accu~lng the othn of refusln&
to return to the bargaining table
lllnd the union’~ president, Michael Z.
Letwln, talking about the possibility or
a strike by the end of October.
“If manag(‘ment refuses In a general
way to consider our proposals,” Mr.
Letwln said, “they will force us to
strike. If that happens, the courts will
not be able to function.”
Archibald R. Murray, the executive
director of the Legal Aid Society, said
the society Is waiting lor the range of
expected pay Increases for municipal
employees before making commitments
to Its lawyers. Legal Aid represents
Indigent defendants In the city’s
courts under a contract with the city,
and dty orf!ciais generally require
L~gal Aid to keep Its pay increases In
line with city contracts.
Mr. Murray crlt!clzed Mr. Letwin’s
approach to the stalled negotlatlom •. “I
don’t see where he gets off talking
about a strike or closing the courts,” he
said. “I think that’s not responsible
work or leadership.··
Legal Aid lawyers are a critical com·
ponent of the courts in New York City
because, under the law, people accused
or serious crimes who cannot afford to
hire their own lawyers must have lawyers
appointed for theln. In recent
years, as many as 85 perc~nt of all city
criminal defendants have been judged
too poor to hire their own lawyers.
Under its contract with the city,
lawyers appointed Individually.’ · the same quality of representation they
The Strike ol ’82 would get If they could pay for It,” Mr.
In 1982, a 10-week strike by the union Mr. Murray said poor clienu receive
slowed the courts and Infuriated Mayor excellent ~resentatlon In most cases.
Edward I. Koch, who appointed a com· Tile lawyers’ pey ..:ale ranges from
mittee to study whether the city was $29,000 for a beginning lAwyer to
too reliant on the Legal Aid Society. ~ 000 for thrnoe with more than 13
The committee concluded that the years experlenao. The union, the Ascity’s
agreement with Legal Aid !!oclatlon or Legal Aid Attorneys, Is
“falls” by allowing the union “to serl- seeking a 15 percent pay Increase and
ously disrupt the criminal justic”‘ pro- changes In working rond!tlons.
eess.” ‘ ~main issue Is a union demand for
Mr. Letwln de•crlbed th~ Issues more minority hiring. Minority lawseparating
the two sides as major dlf- yers make up 18 percent of the Legal
ferences in approach over the role of Aid staff, IU clients are overwhelmthe
lawyers. He said the union was ingly membefll of minority groups.
sPeking to raise their !tature through Other Issues Involve concerns about
measures that would encourage them office space, growing case loads, job SPOf
THE CITY OF” ‘i(W YORI’:. DISTRICT e,5 U A..W
13 Astor Place New York. NY 10003
curlty and a demand that gay !Mid le•blan
lawyers receive health and-.other
benefits for their partners.
‘Ready to Strike’ Buuom
Last week, tension on the labor confrontation
boiled over In State Supreme
Co\]rt In Manhattan. On Thursday,
Judge George F. Roberts ordered two
Legal Aid lawyers removed from his
courtroom becaus~ they were wearJng
buttons that said “Ready to Strike.”
Senior Legal Aid officials Intervened
and the judge agreed to suspend his order
while the society appeal•, srguing
that the lawyers have a First Amendment
rtght to wear the buttons.
By Friday, Legal Aid lawyers were
wearing the buttons In courtrooms ali
ovf’r the city. “We’v~ put out the word
for everybody to wear buttons,” Mr.
THE ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL AID ATTORNEYS
(District 65/UA W)
13 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003-6980
(212) 674-4188/673-5120 (800) 221-5011, ext. 312/ FAX: (212) 475-6091
~lichael z. Letwin, President Annette DePalma, Vice President Martha .c.oniorti, Secretary, Stephen Dean, Treasurer
R. David Addams, Executive Director Isabel Lobelo, Office Admmzstrator Ron Lucmno, Office Secretary
WELCOME TO NEW ATTORNEYS!
Attached are orientation materials compiled for you by the
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys. The Union represents the
attorneys at Legal Aid, and nearly all attorneys are members.
We believe the representation it provides will lead you to join
Why Do Legal Aid Attorneys Need a Union?
In theory, The Legal Aid Society is committed to providing
quality legal representation to poor people in New York City.
In reality, however, Legal Aid management — and the legal
system of which it is a part — has all too often put ruantity
representation over quality representation.. The Uruon. was
formed in 1%9 in order to ensure that the mterests of clients
NO! WAtT! LETS IAI<E A
CLOS~.R LOOK .~T THIS,
come first. Thus, in the early seventies, we twice went on strike
to establish “vertical representation,” so that clients could count
on having the same attorney throughout their case.
To enable our members to seek justice for our clients, the Union
has also fought for and won improvements in salaries and
benefits, caseloads, working conditions, affirmative action and
other areas. (See enclosed Union history). We have also
addressed issues of concern in the City and beyond that are of
concern to our members and clients. In short, the Union is
widely recognized as the “conscience” of Legal Aid.
Who is in the Union?
We come from all of the Society’s divisions: Civil, Criminal
Defense (CDD), Criminal Appeals (CAB), ,Juvenile Rights
(JRD) and Volunteer. We are of different racial and cultural
backgrounds. We are of different genders and sexual
preferences. We do not always agree .. But t~e~er we s.trive ~o
provide the best possible representation for mdigent clients m
the face of the same — often miserable – conditions. More
broadly, we are a self-governing affiliate of the Legal Division of
District 65, UAW, AFL-CIO. We staunchly support each other
as union brothers and sisters guided by the principle of
Are There Other Unions at Legal Aid?
Legal Aid support staff (including secretaries, word processors,
receptionists, switchboard operators, social workers, clerks and
paralegals) are represented by our sister union, Local 1199.
Although management does its best to keep attorneys and –
support staff apart, we regard 1199 members as our brothers and
sisters. We must diligently apply mutual respect to each other
and work out any differences between ourselves. United We
Stand, Divided We Fall.
.Do We Have a Union Contract?
The Union Contract (and sideletters) is your Legal Aid Bill of
Rights. For your own protection, learn it like a statute and
always keep a copy handy. You’ll need it. But like all freedoms,
our contract rights will atrophy if they are not enforced. If our
rights are violated, we bring grievances, file for arbitration and
take all other n~ action.
What Has the Union Done Lately’?
New York City’s court system increasingly resembles an
assemblyline gone berserk. Because the Union has consistently
insisted on quality rather than quantity, our members have come
under increasing attack from both management and the courts.
In 1990, for the first time in fifteen years, our members were laid
off from the Juvenile Rights Division (JRD). Only the
determination of Association and 1199 members won the
affected attorneys transfers to other divisions, and prevented the
st-ate from dismantling the entire Manhattan JRD office. ·
Also in the last year, we fought against oppressive “quotas” in the
Criminal Appeals Bureau (CAB), for decent health and safety
in Manhattan CDD and Bronx Civil offices, for affirmative
action in Civil Division and protested police and correction
officer brutality against our clients. (See enclosed leaflets and
What is Bargaining About This Year?
We are now in the midst of contract negotiations with
management to win improved salaries and benefits, affirmative
action, working conditions, client representation, job security,
dependent care and a wide variety of other important advances.
How is the Union Organized?
Nothing is won simply because we ask. Ulilinately, our ability to
move forward depends on the power of an organized and active
membership. For .this reason, ours is a profoundly democratic
union and we invite your participation at every leveL
Each unit and/or office (depending on size) elects a Union
delegate. The delegate brings the unit’s concerns to the Union
as a whole, brings Union information and decisions back to the
unit and organizes the Unit’s members. Units alsoelect one or
more alternate delegates. Delegates and alternates are subject
to recall by the Unit.
A key part of your delegate’s job is to represent you in any
disciplinary proceedings brought by management. So,
remember that you should always have a delegate present if your
supervisor wishes to discuss problems with your work. Always feel
free to approach a delegate for help.
The Union Office
The office is conveniently located in Manhattan at 13 Astor
Place, Room 901. (N or R trains to 8th Street, #6 to Astor
Place). The fulltime staff includes Michael Letwin (president),
David Addams (executive director), Isabel Lobelo (office
administrator) and Ron Luciano (office secretary). If your
delegate cannot help with a problem or question, call us or come
by any time. Regular office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The E+ecutive Committee
Composed of delegates: and officers, the EC is the governing
body of the Union. All members are encouraged to attend and
participate in these meetings (but only delegates or substituting
alternates may vote). Meetings are held at the office, usually on
the third Tuesday of the month.
The Bargaining Committee
The Bargaining Committee exists during contract ;-t:;.us tu
negotiate with management. It is made up of the ulficers,
representatives of each major office and/or division, and
11embers with special knowledge in areas such as affirmative
action, health and safety, gay and lesbian rights, and health
benefits. The Committee will bargain to its best ability and bring
to the entire membership its recommendations. The last strike
was in 1982 and a strike is possible this year. All members should
put aside some extra savings and join a strike committee to
prepare for every eventuality.
In addition to the president, the Union has a vice president .
(Annette DePalma/Chelsea Civil), treasurer (Steve
Dean/Brooklyn CDD) and secretary (Martha Conforti/Bronx
CDD). These officers are fulltime staff attorneys. Officers are
elected at the annual membership meeting in January. In 1991,
the current positions will be replaced with. a structure of
president, secretary-treasurer and seven vice presidents, one
from each major division and/or office.
Union Publications and Information
The office publishes the ALAA Weekly Organizer, which is
distributed each week by your delegate. From time to time, the
Union also publishes a longer .newsletter, TheALAA Organizer.
(Copies are enclosed). These contain essential information and
if you aren’t receiving it, let your delegate and/or the Union
office know. Each delegate is also charged with maintaining a
unit Union bulletin board on which relevant articles and
announcements are posted.
Union Sub-Committees and Caucuses
Ongoing Union committees address various issues, including
affirmative action, aid to other unions, political action and drug
policy. The Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid, the Women’s
Caucus and th~ Gay and Lesbian Caucus also invite your
participation. Fill out and return the enclosed activity sheet or
call the office for information.
r_vx.A _\. I :– –... .–, ~‘ ~
·~~,”~~-. ·n ….
“It’s settled. If they go on strike, we’ll operate the plant ourselves.
Anyone know where it is?”
What’s The Bottom Line?
Your colleagues invite you to fill out ana return the enclosed
membership form ana dues checkoff authoriuJtion. Join and be
active in your Union.