ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

December 6, 2011

2011.12.06: Why I Cannot Vote Yes

Filed under: 1199 Alliance,ALAA History,Collective Bargaining,Key Documents — nyclaw01 @ 11:02 am

From: Arafa, Noha
Sent: Tuesday, December 06, 2011 11:02 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: Why I Cannot Vote Yes

I am sorry this e-mail has come at the 11th hour.  I was away while most of this has taken place, but after reading my colleagues e-mails and speaking with colleagues I have many concerns.

My main concern is that management has not spoken to 1199 members, nor did they have any idea about this proposal until we lawyers started talking about this in office.  I think it is highly disrespectful to our 1199 colleagues that management has yet to speak with them.  I also think it is highly disrespectful for us to vote until management has spoken with them.  Our 1199 colleagues are integral to our work.  Without their support we could not do our jobs.  We are no better than them because we are lawyers. I do not understand why a vote cannot be post-postponed.  I also do not understand why we cannot demand management speak to our 1199 colleagues and voice to management how disappointed we are at the lack of respect our 1199 colleagues have received.  I do not know the inner workings of 1199.  However, something seems completely off to me.

I would love to take the money.  We are all underpaid for what we do as well as under valued.  I cannot however take money and disregard principal.  This is not a value I was raised with.  I say this with all sincerity and do not mean to sound high and mighty.  Please excuse me if I do.

My other concern is the fact that this was voted on by the EB without the EB coming and speaking to the membership first.  This is disrespectful to us and is contrary to the values of a “union.”

Third, I do believe senior attorneys should be receiving more.  There are people who have been here for 15, 20, 30 years and the step increases they receive is a slap in the face to them considering the hard work that they do and considering their dedication to this organization.  Why can’t this money be distributed to implement raises, which we have not received since 2008, across the steps?  That would seem like the fair thing to do.

I have included 1199 in this e-mail, despite people asking me not to.  I want to let the people who support me every day and without whose help I cannot do my job that I support them.  This may be an unpopular move, but I also was not raised from cowering away from doing the right thing, regardless of how unpopular it is.

George, as our union leader I hope you voice the sentiments of disgust that many of us have to management for how they have dealt with this, regardless of how the elections turn out.  Those of us who dissent should have a voice too.  Their actions regarding this issue, amongst several others, has shown me that they do not care about their employees.  If they do, then they need to show it in a much better way.

I am open to discussion.  If I am mistaken about any of this please feel free to e-mail me.  Again, I was away for most of this.  Perhaps there are things I am ignorant about, but if in the end of the day no one can enlighten me, then I am voting NO!

In solidarity,



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