Original format: 29UPDATE
FAX OPERATOR: PLEASE DELIVER IMMEDIATELY
UNION REPS: FOR ALL ALAA & 1199 MEMBERS
ALAA/1199 UPDATE #29
MARCH 31, 1995
ASSOCIATION OF LEGAL AID ATTORNEYS/LEGAL AID CHAPTER OF 1199
568 BROADWAY, RM. 702A, NY, NY 10012-3225•212.343.0708•FAX 212.343.0966
STATUS OF CRIMINAL DEFENSE FUNDING
The first news story about state Aid to Defense funding appeared yesterday in the New York Law Journal, which announced that Republican State Senator Dale Volker acknowledges the need for at least some funding restoration. Volker’s statement appears to have been a result of Union/Society lobbying efforts. Lobbying teams will go to Albany again next week.
TUESDAY’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
On Tuesday night, representatives of Supervisors, Exempt staff, Staff Attorneys and Support Staff addressed the Board of Directors concerning the impact of any state cuts. The Supervisors and Exempt Staff each made their presentations out of the presence of all other constituencies. ALAA and 1199 made a joint presentation.
●UNION PRESENTATIONS. The Unions’ central theme was that Legal Aid would forfeit its increasingly-tenuous status as primary defender were it to lose any further Staff Attorneys or Support Staff in the criminal divisions. That, said the Unions, would threaten the criminal divisions with gradual — or even rapid — extinction.
ALAA further stated that the loss of former supervisors (who would be laid-off first) would sacrifice needed experience, while laying-off recent Staff Attorney classes (who would be laid-off next) would wreck CDD’s team concept and undermine the Society’s future ability to attract essential new Staff Attorneys.
ALAA reported that Management’s preliminary proposal for CAB, which called for no Staff Attorney lay-offs, is sensible in light of growing Staff Attorney seniority in CAB, the small size of recent entering classes, implementation of teaming and other staff-based cooperation, and a resulting Supervisor:Staff Attorney ratio that would still be significantly higher than other appellate defender offices, such as that in Chicago.
Both Unions opposed any Support Staff lay-offs in CAB.
In order to ensure quality representation under these reduced ratios, ALAA detailed its previously-reported proposal for a staff-based mentoring/training program.
1199 identified those job classifications that would be particularly impacted by the cuts.
The Unions also stressed the need to consider a scenario in which the state restores some, but not all, funds.
●BOARD ACTION. In a presentation to the ALAA and 1199 Bargaining Committees on Thursday afternoon, Danny Greenberg and Human Resources Director Elaine Kurtz reported that the Board (which met until after midnight), agreed that the Society would not be able to handle all the criminal work under a worst-case state cut scenario. It also explicitly delegated to Management decisions about how to implement any state budget cuts that may occur.
Greenberg and Kurtz also reported that the Board had discussed, but has not reached a decision on, whether to offer buy-outs and/or severance beyond that already provided for by existing agreements.
As a result, any buy-out offers would probably be made available only after lay-off notices are issued. Buyouts would then reduce the number of effective notices. On Thursday, The Society had a preliminary discussion with the City on how buyout and/or severance could be funded.
On Monday, Society representatives with meet with Criminal Justice Coordina¬tor Katy Lapp to explore her previous offer to expedite admission of Legal Aid attorneys to the 18-B panel in the event of lay-offs or buy-outs.
Management also said that there will be no lay-off notices prior to the next Board meeting, which will take place on Tuesday morning.
ALAA & 1199 MOBILIZE FOR TUESDAY PROTEST TO STOP PATAKI’S CUTS
Both Unions strongly urge their members to join a mass Walk for Justice on the 27th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to be held this Tuesday, March 4, 2 p.m. (flyer attached).
The march will go from City Hall Park to Wall Street.
The protest is sponsored by numerous churches, unions, students, and advocates for the poor. It demands that the Pataki administration “stop the budget cuts, repeal tax cuts and end corporate welfare.”
The ALAA/Legal Aid Chapter 1199 contingent, with our Unions’ signs and banners, will gather at 2 p.m. sharp, directly in front of 15 Park Row.
All members are invited — officers, delegates, alternates and other interested members from nearby offices (lower Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn) are particularly asked to attend, so that we may bring attention to the cuts at Legal Aid, and oppose all the other cuts which we and our clients face.