ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

October 1, 1997

1997.10.01: Training Program for Union Representatives

Filed under: ALAA History,Key Documents,Union Democracy and Structure — nyclaw01 @ 1:10 pm


Training Program for Union Representatives
By Michael Letwin
Rev. October 1997

Session 1: Role of Union Representatives.

1. Inform, hear, service, involve and lead unit members.

A. New Attorneys. Welcome, orient and recruit.

B. Written information. Contribute to and immediately distribute/post Union materials.

C. Meetings. Regular and/or emergency meetings, characterized by full participation; adequate deliberation; timely resolution/decision-making.

C. Individual contact.

2. Participate in and build Union leadership.

D. Regular Union rep. meetings (see criteria for successful meeting above at 1(C)).

E. Delegate responsibility and create accountability.

F. City-wide leadership role: Executive Committee (EC), maintain contact with officers and Union HQ.

3. Interact with Management (local/division): grievances & joint committees.

Session 2: Employee Rights

4. Contract. Substance and Procedure.

5. Statute.

6. Weingarten rights.

7. Insubordination.

8. Information.

9. Duty to bargain.

10. Discrimination.

11. Duty of fair representaztion.

H. Discrimination.

I. Health & safety.

J. Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

K. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Session 3: Legal Aid and ALAA

12. LAS.

L. History.

M. Funding sources.

N. Structure.

13. ALAA.

O. History.

P. Structure.

Session 4: Labor Movement Overview.

14. History.

15. NYC labor scene.

1997.10.01: Materials for Union Representative Training

Filed under: Labor Solidarity,Union Democracy and Structure — nyclaw01 @ 12:00 am

[Original format: Union rep readings]

Materials for Union Representative Training
Michael Letwin
October 1997

Note.  These readings (selected with an eye toward brevity) are designed to provide context and depth for ALAA’s Union Representative Training Program, which is presented in four 1-hour sessions.  Please read the materials prior to the pertinent session.

Session 1:  Role of Union Representatives. 

1.1             Organizing Skills.  Dan La Botz, Basics of Organizing, in A Troublemaker’s Handbook[1] 5-10 (1991).

1.2             New Members.  Staff Attorney Enrollment Form [1 page].

1.3             Meetings.

1.3.1          Chairing.  Kim Bobo, Jackie Kendall & Steve Max, Planning and Facilitating Meetings, in Organizing for Social Change 94-102 (1991).

1.3.2          Rules.  UAW Education Dept., Parliamentary Law Desk Chart (Sept. 1995) [1 page].

1.3.3          Speaking.  Being a Great Public Speaker, in Bobo, supra, at 104-115.

Session 2:  Employee Rights.

2.1             Statute.

2.1.1          TerminologyGlossary of Labor Terms, in id., at 156-160.

2.1.2          Overview.  Federal Labor Laws, Congressional Digest, June-July 1993 <; [6 pages].

2.1.3          Generally.  Robert M. Schwartz, The Legal Rights of Union Stewards (2d ed., 1994) [distributed separately].[2]

2.1.4          Concerted Activity.  Industrial Union Dept. (AFL-CIO), Concerted Activity Protections, in The Inside Game:  Winning With Workplace Strategies 65-75 (1986).

2.1.5         Bargaining.  Duty to Bargain in Good Faith, in id., at 77-83.

2.2             Collective Bargaining Agreement. 

2.2.1          TextCollective Bargaining Agreement [distributed separately].

2.2.2          EnforcementGrievance Form [1 page]; Health and Safety Grievance Form [2 pages].

2.3             Diversity.

2.3.1          Generally.       RacismOrganizing Against Racism, in LaBotz, supra, at 164-177.       Affirmative Action.  Carolyn Fletcher-Sharpe, Affirmative Action:  Myths and Realities, Labor Notes[3] # 176, November 1993, at 11 [2 pages].

2.3.2          In Indigent Representation       Diversity Consciousness.  Cessie Alfonso, Mitigation for the Millennium:  Developing Diversity Consciousness, 19 National Legal Aid and Defender Association Cornerstone 2, at 6-7, 22 (Summer 1997).       Legal Aid Society.  ALAA, Affirmative Action at New York Legal Aid[4] (Sept. 15, 1992) [2 pages].

Session 3:  Legal Aid and ALAA.

3.1             Legal Aid Society.

3.1.1          Funding.       LAS Budget.  Legal Aid Society, 1996 Annual Report, at 43-48.       City Government Structure.  Patricia U. Bonomi, Edward K. Spann & John Mollenkopf, Government and Politics, in The Encyclopedia of New York City (Kenneth T. Jackson ed., 1995) 476-493.

3.1.2          Client Population.       Poverty.    Generally.  Clara J. Hemphill & Raymond A. Mohl, Poverty, in id., 932-934.    Race, Class and Affirmative Action.  Jose Nova, Poverty Can Be Worse Than Racism, Newsday, October 7, 1997, at A39 [1 page].       African-American Community.  Sherrill D. Wilson & Larry A. Greene, Blacks, in The Encyclopedia of New York City (Kenneth T. Jackson ed., 1995), supra , at 112-115.      Latino Community.  Carla Rodríguez & Gabriel Haslip-Viera (with David L. González), Latin Americans, in id., 655-656.

3.1.3          Indigent Criminal Representation.       1876-1985.  Michael McConville & Chester L. Mirsky, Criminal Defense of the Poor in New York City, XV Rev. L. & Soc. Change 4 582, at 592-695 (1986-1987).[5]       Criminal Justice Demographics.  The Correctional Association of New York,    Basic Prison & Jail Fact Sheet (March 1997) [1 page].    Prisoner Profile (March 1997) [1 page].    Mandatory Sentencing Laws and Drug Offenders in New York State (Feb. 1997) [2 pages].       NYPD.  Joseph  P. Viteritti, Police, in The Encyclopedia of New York City (Kenneth T. Jackson ed., 1995), supra, at 910-913.       War on Drugs.”    Michael Z. Letwin, Report From the Front Line:  The Bennett Plan, Street-Level Drug Enforcement in New York City and the Legalization Debate, 18 Hofstra L. Rev. 795-830 (1990).    Michael Letwin, Sentencing Angela Thompson, NYLJ, April 18, 1994, at 2.

3.2             ALAA.  ALAA, Staff Attorney Union Manual (1997) [distributed separately].

Session 4:  Labor Movement.

4.1             History.[6]

4.1.1          Unions.  Melvin Dubofsky, Labor Organizations, in 2 Encyclopedia of American Economic History  524-551 (Glenn Porter ed., 1980).

4.1.2          NYC.  Kerry Candaele & Sean Wilentz, Labor, in The Encyclopedia of New York City (Kenneth T. Jackson ed., 1995) 646-649.

4.2             Contemporary.[7]

4.2.1          The New AFL-CIO.       Generally.  Kim Moody, American Labor:  A Movement Again?, 49 Monthly Review 3, July-Aug. 1997, at 63-79.       UPS Strike.  Jim West, Big Win at UPS!, Labor Notes #222, Sept. 1997, at 1, 14-15.       1997 Convention.  JoAnn Wypijewski, Union Time, The Nation,  October 20, 1997 <; [2 pages].

4.2.3          Political Action       Labor PartyA Call for Economic Justice, 1 Labor Party Press, at 1 (Summer 1996) [5 pages].       NYC Tax Policy.  Communication Workers of America Local 1180, A Proposal for a Fair & Progressive New York City Tax Policy (N.D. Mid-1990s) [9 pages].

[1]ALAA HQ and individual Bargaining Committee members (vice presidents and issue-specific representatives) have copies of this excellent resource for review.

[2]Please pass this on to your successor as Union representative.

[3]Labor Notes is distributed monthly to each Union representative.

[4]This briefing paper’s negative characterization of the Society’s position is no longer current, since the 1994-1998 contract contains strong affirmative action language.  It is included, however, because achieving greater diversity at Legal Aid — the need for which is articulated in this document — remains a problem.

[5]Both ALAA and the Society regarded as false the second part of this article (not included), which purported to show that Legal Aid attorneys in CDD improperly avoided taking cases at arraignments. The section included here, however, provides useful historical perceptive not available in any other single source.

[6]Optional further reading (materials not included):  American Social History Project, Who Built America:  Working People and the Nation’s Economy, Politics, Culture and Society (2 vol., 1992); James Green, The World of the Worker:  Labor in 20th Century America (1980); Nelson Lichtenstein, Walter Reuther (1995);

[7]Optional further reading (materials not included):  Kim Moody, An Injury to All (1988); Kim Moody, Workers in a Lean World (1997).

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