ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

November 29, 2006

2006.11.29: Tomorrow’s Contract Vote – Which way forward…

From: L.Antonia Codling
Sent: Wednesday, November 29, 2006 6:44 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Tomorrow’s Contract Vote – Which way forward…

I don’t think that any one of us could accurately predict our future one way or the other after tomorrow’s vote.  So the question for me is, as a 9 year veteran of the Executive Board (who is about to retire), whether the members are prepared to stand up for any Union principles — ever (if not in this K, when).

Just over 2 years ago we stood quietly by as prior management ran this organization nearly into bankruptcy — not only did we remain silent about the corruption, we joined the Society to successfully lobby for millions of $ to save this organization.  We have never waged a successful fight against management to address the 86% and 88% K they entered into with the City;  we have never, ever waged a successful struggle against the 200+ clients that JRD is forced to represent.  We have been unsuccessful at securing meaningful flex time or comp time in non-CDD Divisions.  We recommened givebacks when our junior staff is faced with layoffs —  we recommend givebacks when nobody is presently facing layoffs…   We need to determine our bottom line — We need to determine what we stand for and what we’ll fall for.

If now is not the time, then when?   If we vote yes tomorrow, and LAS still does not get the RFP work in Brooklyn or CAB, what will we be willing to fight for next year — to do more work with less money in order to save jobs?  Will we give back our 2006 “bonuses” to save this institution — one that does not even respect us enough to give us a non-voting seat on its Board.

ALAA has a history.  Every member is given a Union packet when they arrive.  Active or not, union dues are deducted from each of our paychecks.

I have already announced my recommendation to the members to vote “no” (reasons and suggestions in subsequent email).  However, at this time, I don’t care how the majority of the members vote.  If the majority votes for this K tomorrow, then clearly the majority perceives that now is not the time to fight for anything.  But when do we stand in solidarity together — when do we struggle to fight for a better LAS for ourselves and our clients?

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