ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

April 16, 2004

2004.04.16: Senior Attorneys Caucus Report

From: Azalia Torres
Sent: Friday, April 16, 2004 11:24 AM
Subject: Senior Attorneys Caucus Report

The April 15, 2004 citywide senior attorneys caucus meeting was attended by 38 ALAA members from various offices and divisions (see below*), who voted on the motions below (maker and vote ((for-against-abstentions)) in parentheses).

Motions Adopted

1. Convene a committee of senior attorney volunteers to produce constituent letters in support of LAS budget requests (Katie Kelleher, unanimous).

2. Endorse “No Give-Back, No Layoffs: We Are a Fighting Union” (Brooklyn CDD, March 24, 2004) (Michael Letwin, 16-12-5) (attached).

3. Propose that the Delegate Council meet as soon as possible following issuance of Executive Board’s financial report (Katie Kelleher, 25-0-6).

4. Circulate a written statement and hold meetings to explain how seniors are fighting against layoffs and to discuss ALAA’s previous experience with layoff threats (Steve Terry, 19-6-4).

5. Hold a citywide meeting in six months to discuss other senior attorneys issues (Katie Kelleher, unanimous).

Motions Defeated

1. Call on the Union to demand that the Society fire all managers with fiscal oversight responsibility (Steve Pokhart, 10-20).

2. Endorse April 12, 2004 resolution from Brooklyn CDD delegates (attached)(Michael Letwin, 12-13-7).

Meeting Attendance (from sign-in sheet)

Azalia Torres (Senior Attorney Representative; CDD-Brooklyn)




No Give-Backs, No Layoffs: We Are a Fighting Union
Emergency Resolution on the Legal Aid Fiscal Crisis
Submitted by the Senior Attorneys of Brooklyn CDD
(Endorsed by Brooklyn CDD Membership and Citywide Sr. Attorney Caucus)

Through the fog of Legal Aid’s fiscal crisis at least one thing is absolutely certain: If Union members and leadership seem resigned to bearing the cost, management and government will not find the funds necessary to maintain staffing and compensation. And while the results are not guaranteed, ALAA’s history shows that our best defense against both layoffs and give-backs is a highly-informed, active membership united on a determined response.
To reclaim our tradition a fighting, democratic union, we call on the Delegate Council, “the highest authority in the union after the membership” (Bylaws, Art. V), to clearly, publicly and immediately reaffirm the positions adopted by ALAA in response to funding crises in 2000 and 2002:
(1) ALAA’s Position: No layoffs, involuntary inter-division transfers, or contractual give-backs for staff attorneys or 1199 support staff. The Society’s fiscal crisis must be addressed through such measures as:
•Increased government and private funding.
•Reduction in management size and compensation; and increased workload and/or reassignment for remaining managers.
•Voluntary staff attorney buyouts, inter-divisional staff attorney transfers, and unpaid staff attorney leaves.
(2) Implementation: ALAA’s leadership is directed to:
•Convey the above position to management and outside funding sources.
•Provide the membership with frequent, factual *written* reports, including the specific dollar amounts (by division) of: (A) Legal Aid’s cumulative deficit; and (B) City and state budget cuts.
•Closely coordinate with our sister union, 1199SEIU.
Dated: March 24, 2004

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