ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

November 13, 1998

1998.11.13: Affirmative Action (Azalia Torres)

Filed under: Affirmative Action,Union Democracy and Structure — nyclaw01 @ 12:00 am
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From:     Azalia Torres
To:     Everyone At The Legal Aid Society Everyone At The …
Date:     Fri, Nov 13, 1998 18 6:03 pm
Subject:     Affirmative Action

The purpose of our the E-mail sent out in response to the letter from the folks at Civil and PRP was to clarify. I have received many phone calls and e-mails from other folks within LAS commenting on this grievance and the process.  They all assumed that it was filed by the ACLA society-wide.

It was not to in any way to suggest that any individual within our union could not grieve any issue which is of concern to them.  I have always applauded the efforts of the Civil Division and Volunteers Division in the area of affirmative action.  I have always maintained that we must draw lessons from those efforts in forging a society-wide campaign for the enforcement of our contract provisions regarding affirmative action.

We must do this together.  No one division can speak for the needs of the others.  That is why I have also supported our pariticipation in the joint management-ALAA affirmative action committee.  It is important that we select our representatives to that committee and move forward to insure that our needs in this area are met.

This has been agreed upon in ACLA with representatives from Civil, CAB, PRP, CDD, JRD, Volunteer.

I support the bringing of grievances to address this and any other problems we face as attorneys at LAS.  Moreover, we have set up structures to insure that our voice is broadly representative and strong as a result.  If we come to decisions in these structures, then as a democratic union we should adhere to them even if they are not carried out in the particular form we personally would like or within the time frame we would prefer.  That’s the down side of democracy.  It doesn’t always run as smoothly or as quickly as many of us would like.

Civil/PRP have every right to bring this and any other grievance as a unit.  In the spirit of unity and respect for the efforts of so many others, I stress the importance of discussion with all of us who are just as concerned and who have demonstrated it in our practice in the many years here at LAS.

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