ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

March 13, 1995

1995.03.13: ALAA/1199 Update

[Download .pdf version: 25update]

FAX Operator: Please deliver immediately/Union Reps: For all ALAA & 1199 Members

ALAA/1199 Update
March 13, 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

State Funding Still at Risk — Layoffs Possible

Governor Pataki’s final budget proposal restored all “Aid in Prosecution” but no “Aid to Defense” funding, which includes $10.8 million for Legal Aid’s criminal work.

Lobbying efforts by the Unions and the Society now focus on state legislators, particularly Republicans in control of the State Senate. 1199 and the United Auto Workers (UAW) are assisting these efforts.

A worst-case scenario in which neither the State nor the City provides these funds would mean layoffs in CDD and CAB, possibly by April 1, the beginning of the State’s fiscal year [attached are the Society’s preliminary estimates of how varying levels of funding cuts could impact the staff].

Such cuts would make it impossible for the Society to fulfill its new criminal contract with the City, which requires Legal Aid to take all non-conflict cases other than homicides.

A collapse of the Society’s criminal contract would almost certainly have a serious impact on the non-criminal divisions as well, particularly in the extreme event that Legal Aid goes into bankruptcy.

In coming weeks and months, the Civil and Volunteer divisions also face the additional threat of large cuts in federal, state and city funding. Union and Society representatives are working closely with the National Organization of Legal Services Workers (UAW) and Legal Services for New York to restore this money.

ALAA Bargaining Committee members will hold office meetings this week to discuss these and related issues.

Volunteer Division Restored

In response to widespread outcry, Danny Greenberg has restored the Volunteer Division and reinstated David Weschler at its head. An official press statement to this effect was sent to all staff on Friday. In a related development, Greenberg has met with staff and supervisor representatives to discuss the reorganization of CAB.

CDD Restructure

Support Staff Hiring. In response to calls from staff in the boro for additional support staff, especially investigators and paralegals with legal research training, Human Resources Director Elaine Kurtz has agreed that the Society will give priority to filling ten open support staff positions, the classifications and locations of which will be jointly determined with the Unions in coming weeks.

Supervisors & Teams. ALAA continues to stand by the position agreed to some time ago by the citywide joint CDD transition committee that attorney supervisors are not team members, that they may attend team meetings by invitation only and that a supervisor’s main responsibilities include availability for Staff Attorney trials, training and evaluations, particularly for new attorneys. If the role of supervisors is a problem in your team, please contact ALAA.

Bereavement, Vacation Grievances Settled

Danny Greenberg has agreed to settlements in the following ALAA grievances, both of which had been previously denied by Arch Murray.

Bereavement. Like support and management staff, Staff Attorneys will now be entitled to bereavement leave of five consecutive workdays, rather than the previous policy of five consecutive calendar days. Three attorneys who filed grievances on this issue will be reimbursed for the appropriate number of vacation days.

Vacation Usage. Arising from a grievance by a Brooklyn JRD Staff Attorney who was denied the right to use individual vacation days to care for his infant child, the use of such days will now be subject only to approval based on the particular case coverage needs of the office on the day(s) in question.

JRD Special Litigation Position

The JRD Special Litigation Unit seeks an experienced litigator for a Staff Attorney position. The unit litigates complex class and individual civil actions in the NY federal and state courts on behalf of children who are involved in the child welfare, juvenile justice and education systems. The Unit also addresses childrens’ public policy issues through various forms of advocacy and services as a legal support resource to attorneys in the Division’s county offices.

Requires 3+ years litigation experience in federal/NYS court, excellent writing, analytical, organizational, litigation and negotiation skills, and admission/eligibility to practice in NYS. EEO. Send resume by March 24, 1995 to: Henry Weintraub, Director, Special Litigation Unit, The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, 15 Park Row – 21st Floor, NY, NY 10038 Juvenile rights/constitutional law experience preferred.

Unions Join to Resist Budget Cuts

ALAA and 1199 representatives joined hundreds of rank-and-file public sector unionists on Saturday, March 4 to organize a resistance movement against all City and State budget cuts.

The meeting launched a petition campaign addressed to Mayor Giuliani and Governor Pataki demanding: 1) A moratorium on tax cuts; 2) Stop the tax giveaways to real estate developers; 3) Convene a blue ribbon panel to determine what services are needed by the people of New York City; and 4) No cuts to services, jobs or wages.

The petition – copies of which are attached – will be circulated in workplaces and elsewhere. Each signer will be asked to contribute a dollar in order to publish the petition in the Chief-Leader, a weekly newspaper that is widely read in the New York City civil service and public sector.

Additional Petitions are available from CWA Local 1180, 6 Harrison Street, NYC, 212.226.6565, and should be returned, along with the donations collected, by Friday, March 17.

The four-hour conference was initiated by Local 1930, New York Library Guild, DC37, AFSCME. It was sponsored by a coalition of unions which also include Locals 1180 and 1188 of the Communication Workers; American Federal of Musicians, Local 802; American Transport Union Local 726 (NYC Transit Authority); Association of Legal Aid Attorneys; Committee of Interns and Residents; EMS Local 2507, DC 37, AFSCME; and others.

Other unions with members in attendance included 1199 National Health and Human Service Employees Union; Transport Workers Union Local 100 (NYC Transit Authority); United Federation of Teachers; Professional Staff Congress of CUNY; and Teamsters Local 237.

ALAA Executive Committee Meeting:

Wednesday, March 22, 1995, 6:30 p.m.

Please be advised that this date may change depending on the budgetary events discussed above. An agenda will be sent out shortly.

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