ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

October 17, 2006

2006.10.17: RE: Delegates Council Meeting Tonight (Editorial)

From: Susan Morris
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 2:39 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; James A. Bernal
Subject: RE: Delegates Council Meeting Tonight (Editorial)
(Note to Brooklyn folks – this is not an exact dubplicate of what I sent out to you.)

I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL DELEGATES TO VOTE AGAINST SENDING THIS CONTRACT TO THE MEMBERS.

Yes, we spoke with our lawyer last night while we were at the EB. Yes, there are certainly legal ramifications regarding which course we take next. Jim will be sharing these with you tonight at the DC. I was at last night’s meeting, and even knowing what these ramifications are, I stand by my statement above – DO NOT SEND THIS CONTRACT TO THE MEMBERS.

First – This is an incredibly divisive contract, for the following reasons:

This contract pits junior attorneys against non-junior attorneys by giving far bigger raises to steps 1-4.

This contract pits junior CDD attorneys against non-junior CDD attorneys via the concession of giving up comp days as viable banked leave days.

This contract pits divisions against each other by asking CDD for a HUGE give back – the comp days. It further puts CAB against the rest of us by requiring that CAB give up 5 lousy personal days per year.

We – the ENTIRE union membership – have struggled for years to make the other divsions comparable to CDD by demanding that management give them personal days in the first place. We have continued to struggle to give comp days to non-CDD people by virtue of their late sessions in court (JRD) and their required attendance at community meetings, housing committees, etc. (Civil). No wins yet, but we forge on.

When CDD gives up banked days, the union’s efforts to create parity with other divisions and their overtime issues will be for naught and will be officially useless in the future. When CAB gives up its personal days, the other divisions’ personal days will be right behind on the next contract.

Second – This contract is FULL of give backs.

The obvious give back is the banking of CDD comp days for leave purposes.

Another obvious give back is CAB’s personal days.

But wait! There’s MORE! Some members of the bargaining committee/EB are claiming that we have a huge success in getting a 24-month contract. I ask you, where is the success in getting a 24-month contract when only 9 months of it includes a raise? This contract provides a 15-month WAGE FREEZE.

If this contract is ratified, then every member must be prepared to push the EB and the leadership to NEVER GO WITHOUT A CONTRACT AGAIN. To agree to a 15-month wage freeze sets a very bad precedent. We MUST begin bargaining in January to ensure that we are never again working without a contract if we agree at this juncture to a contract that only gives a raise post-bargaining.

Bargaining in the middle of an RFP process is going to be a complicated proposition indeed. And yet, we will have no choice if we agree to a wage freeze as part of this package.

Additionally, the language which management has suggested regarding the involvement of the ALAA in the Affirmative Action POlicies of the organization is not at all close to that proposed byt the bargaining committee (with extensive feedback and input from ACLA), and the language of the current contract is actully better than the new, suggested language.

Yes, the leadership and members of the EB are still working to “tweak” certain aspects – the personal days for CAB as well as the Affirmative Action language, among other things.

These “tweaks,” however, do not create a non-divisive contract. Nor do they ensure that we can ever again hope to realistically get a contract that assures pay raises throughout the life of that contract.

For all of these reasons, I ONCE AGAIN STRONGLY ENCOURAGE THE DELEGATGES TO VOTE AGAINST SENDING THIS CONTRACT TO THE MEMBERS.
>>> James Rogers 10/17 11:57 AM >>>
Reminder:

At tonights Delegates Council meeting we will discuss managements last offer.

Starting this week there will be membership meetings in all the offices to continue the discussion of the contract.

The Executive Board met last night and will meet again November 2.
James Rogers
President
Association of Legal Aid Attorneys
(UAW 2325)(AFL-CIO)
568 Broadway Room 702 A
New York NY 10012
212-343-0708

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