ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

October 23, 2015

7pm Tomorrow (Sat.) in Brooklyn: Black & Palestinian Struggle for Liberation: What Does Solidarity Look Like?

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 11:08 AM
Subject: 7pm Tomorrow (Sat.) in Brooklyn: Black & Palestinian Struggle for Liberation: What Does Solidarity Look Like?

Apologies for cross-postings – please share widely via social media and email.

A lawyer wearing his official robes kicks a tear gas canister back toward Israeli soldiers during a demonstration by scores of Palestinian lawyers called for by the Palestinian Bar Association in solidarity with protesters at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, near Ramallah, West Bank, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015.

Black & Palestinian Struggle for Liberation: What Does Solidarity Look Like?
With the current uprising in Palestine, the continued growth of Black resistance to white supremacy and state oppression in this country, and on the heels of the 2015 Black Solidarity with Palestine Statement, the “When I see Them I See Us” video from Black-Palestine Solidarity, and the recent BDS call for an immediate “International Wave of Action in Solidarity with Palestine,” we invite you to join us on Saturday, October 24, 7-10p, at The Church of St. Luke and St. Matthew, 520 Clinton Ave, Brooklyn, NY to explore how to build on our marches, boycotts, and statements.

We know action is necessary. We know we need to escalate. Let’s think together how our actions can match the moment and its challenges.

The evening will open with remarks from Johanna Fernandez (coordinator, Campaign to Bring Mumia Home), Amin Husain (founder, NYC Solidarity with Palestine/Direct Action Front for Palestine), David Letwin (co-founder, Jews for Palestinian Right of Return), and Khury Petersen-Smith (co-organizer, 2015 Black Solidarity with Palestine statement). The space will then be opened up for collective engagement. Refreshments will be served.

Come help forge these important links of solidarity and struggle!

“The past year has been one of high-profile growth for Black-Palestinian solidarity. Out of the terror directed against us—from numerous attacks on Black life to Israel’s brutal war on Gaza and chokehold on the West Bank—strengthened resilience and joint-struggle have emerged between our movements.” — 2015 Black Solidarity with Palestine statement

“We understand your moral outrage, we empathize with your hurt and anger. We understand the impulse to rebel against the infrastructure of a racist capitalist system that systematically pushes you to the margins of humanity. And we stand with you.” — 2014 Palestinian statement of support to the Black community in Ferguson, Missouri

October 16, 2015

FYI: This Weekend: International Wave of Solidarity With Palestine

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Fri, Oct 16, 2015 at 4:30 PM
Subject: FYI: This Weekend: International Wave of Solidarity With Palestine

Thanks to everyone who’s spoken up for free speech at LAS this week, and hope to see folks at this Sunday’s protest for Palestine, 5pm in Times Square.

Appeal from Palestine is below – please forward widely.

Palestinian Lives Matter!

Solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance! Boycott Israel now!

Join a #SolidarityWaveBDS protest this weekend.

Palestinians are continuing to rise up against Israel’s brutal, decades-old system of occupation, settler colonialism and apartheid. Tens of thousands of Palestinians have joined youth-led demonstrations across historic Palestine. More than 20,000 people joined a demonstration in Sakhnin in the north of 1948 Palestine/Israel and protests are raging in cities from Gaza to Bethlehem, from Hebron to Jerusalem.

Earlier this week, the Palestinian BDS National Committee called for a wave of actions and protests in solidarity with the Palestinian popular resistance and for action to pressure governments, institutions and corporations to end their role in Israel’s crimes.

The response has been incredible. There are more than 60 #SolidarityWaveBDS protests taking place in 17 countries across the world. Visit our website now to find out the details of a protest near you.

Let’s make this weekend’s mobilisations as big as possible. Let’s stand alongside Palestinians and challenge international support for Israeli apartheid.

If you’re joining a demonstration this weekend, please share updates using #SolidarityWaveBDS.

In friendship,

Palestinian BDS National Committee

Are you organising a protest in your town or city?  Let us know about what you’re planning by filling out this form. Please send photos and reports from your actions to and share updates using #SolidarityWaveBDS

October 15, 2015

RE: Urgent Message From Public Defenders in Palestine

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Thursday, October 15, 2015 5:19 PM
Cc: James, Seymour; Rosenberg, Scott; Luongo, Justine
Subject: RE: Urgent Message From Public Defenders in Palestine

Allan Fox’ message (below) is the most recent example of systematic discrimination against Palestine human rights advocacy on the Society’s email system.

His last such warning (June 25, 2015) declared that “discussions concerning, for example, whether Judaism should or should not be equated with Zionism are neither work-related nor Section 7 protected activity and therefore violate the Society’s e-mail policy. . . . [and] may subject the sender to discipline and a restriction of access to Legal Aid Distribution Lists.”

Since then, at least 144 “non-work” messages have been sent to various public LAS distribution lists. Topics have included causes and political candidates (16); requests for personal legal and other services (33); selling or donating tickets, MetroCards, pets, etc. (34); taxes and student loans (5); and spiritual/feel good (55).

How many of those generated a public warning from Allan Fox? None.

This selective censorship not only violates the Free Speech provision (Section § 3.5) of ALAA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (“The expression of personal religious, political, social or economic beliefs of each and every attorney is fully guaranteed.”), but reflects the broad witch-hunt discussed in the Center for Constitutional Rights’ new report, The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack in the US.

Is such blatant racism against Palestinians really consistent with “Making the Case for Humanity”?

October 14, 2015

Memorandum of Agreement [With Salary Steps]

Filed under: Collective Bargaining,Uncategorized — nyclaw01 @ 5:30 pm

View in readable PDF format: MOA Final 10-2015.OCR


The Legal Aid Society (LAS) and the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys (ALAA) hereby

agree to the following contract modification which shall supersede all prior memoranda

of understanding, contractual provisions, and/or practices to the contrary:

The term of the Collective Bargaining Agreement will be extended through September


Effective April 1, 2015 all staff attorneys will receive a cost of living adjustment (COLA)

equivalent to 2.5~ of their base salary and be paid in accordance with the salary: step

schedule listed under “Effective 4/1/2015” in Exhibit A ..

Effective October 1. 2015 all staff attorneys will be paid in accordance with the salary

step schedule listed under “Effective 1 0/1/2015” in Exhibit A

Within thirtY (30) days of ratification. The Legal Aid Society will implement the

retroactive salary increases set forth in the preceding two paragraphs for each Staff,

Attorney in active status at that time. For each Staff Attorney who is on an authorized

leave when the Society implements the retroactive salary increases at the levels set

forth in Exhibit A, the Society will make retroactive salary adjustments, if any are

required, within thirty (30) days of the Staff Attorney’s return from authorized leave. In

accordance with the Society’s salary payroll procedures, retroactive salary increases

are subject to applicable payroll deductions and are pensionable.

Effective upon ratification, paid pare~.ntalleave will increase from 8 weeks to 12 weeks.

This will apply to all leaves where the triggering event occurs on or after the date of


The Legal Aid Society will fund a one time early retirement offering for up to ten staff

attorneys who are on active payroll status and: a) have at least 20 years of service as of

December 31, 2015; b) are 60 years of age or older as of December 31, 2015; and

c) submit a written application for the early retirement program on or before December

31, 2015 and thereby agree to retire from The Legal Aid Society effective as of the close

of business on January 31, 2016. Each attorney accepting this offer will receive a onetime

payment of $50,000, which is subject to any applicable payroll deductions. If more

than ten eligible staff attorneys apply for this benefit, it will be given based on seniority.

The Legal Aid Society will allow a one-time “buy-back” opportunity for those attorneys

with pre-2005 “frozen” comp days. LAS will allow those attorneys to cash in up to 5

days per eligible attorney for a total amount up to $250,000. If requests exceed

$250,000, the amount paid per attorney and the number of days cashed in will be prorated


1 of2

Staff attorneys in the Staten Island Criminal Office will be allowed to participate in an

annual buy-back of up to 2 vacation days as described below:

They may elect to be paid for up to two vacation days iftheir annual buy-back in

the preceding fiscal year was for three days or less. They may elect to be paid for one

vacation day if their annual camp buyback in the preceding fiscal year was for four

days or less. An attorney whose annual camp buy-back in the preceding fiscal year

was for five or more days will not be eligible for vacation buy-back.

Staff attorneys in the Community Justice Unit will be permitted to earn camp time for

institutional assignments performed beyond the normal workday of 9 am to 5 pm.

A committee will be formed to explore how staff can participate in manager evaluations.

Each practice will create at least one rotator position for their special litigation/law

reform unit (if applicable) that will allow current staff attorneys to join the unit for a period

of two years.

CBA section 4.3.1 .3 will be amended to include the following language:

The Society will provide the reports of said monitoring to a union representative on a

monthly basis, or provide access to this information at any time on Law Manager, or

other technology used for this purpose.

Management will create a committee to explore the feasibility, cost and potential liability

issues regarding the provision of childcare services or a childcare subsidy.

Each practice will provide at least one comprehensive (8 hours or more) training/CLE

per year, targeted toward experienced staff, addressing issues relevant to their practice.

CBA section 3.13 shall be amended as follows:

There will be a joint UnionManagement committee to study the financial and other

issues of retaining senior Staff Attorneys above step 13. Said committee shall provide

findings to both ALAA and Management at least once per calendar year.

Dated: October \4 , 2015

The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys




::111 AID


Deborah Wright


Association of Legal Aid Attorneys

UA W Local2325, AFL-CIO

52 Broadway

New York, New York I 0004

Dear Debbie:

October 9, 2015

This is to confirm the following agreement among the parties:

With regard to employee benefits, effective January I, 2016:

199 Water Street

New York, NY I 0038

r (212) sn-JJOO

Oirecl Dial: (212) 577-3646

Direct Fax: (646) 616-4646


Richard J. Davis

ChDirperson of the Board

Blaine (Fin) V. Fogg


Seymour W. James, Jr.


The Society will offer a dental plan through United HealthCare with a higher level

of benefits than the current plan.

The Society will offer a new vision plan with a higher level of benefits and a larger

network than the current plan.

Descriptions of the updated dental and vision plans are forthcoming.

The health insurance available through Oxford will include transgender health

benefits. The description of these benefits is currently being finalized by Oxford.

The lifetime maximwn for IVF treatments will increase from $10,000 to $25,000.

Oxford health coverage will be available to domestic partners of the opposite sex.

The Society will provide the opportunity to purchase supplemental disability insurance and

long term care insurance at the employee’s expense at some time during the contract year.

\0\ Ä.~ l~sDate


STEP Proposed Contract Proposed Contract

2.5% at all stegs

Effective 41112015 Effective 10/112015

LG 51.250 51,250

1 56.375 60,000

2 58.425 61.000

3 60,475 62.000

4 64,635 64.635

6 67.151 67,151

8 72.101 72.101

7 76.244 75.500

8 78.063 78,500

9 80,695 81,000

10 86.279 86,279

11 91.629 91,629

12 96,642 95,642

13 100,868 100.868

14 101,499 101,688

15 102.131 102.468

16 102.761 103.268

17 103.391 104.088

18 104,021 104,868

19 104,651 105.688

20 105.283 106,468

21 106.913 107.268

22 108.544 108,088

23 107.173 108.868

24 107.804 109,688

25 ·1o9.4Ef1 · 11·0.4118

26 109.563 110.571

27 109.666 110.674

28 109,768 11o.m

29 109.871 110.880

30 112.818 112.818

36 113,331 113,331

October 5, 2015

Two Important Palestine Rights Events Tomorrow (Tues.)

From: mletwin
Date: Mon, Oct 5, 2015 at 1:35 PM
Subject: Two Important Palestine Rights Events Tomorrow (Tues.)
To: – – all-alaa

Apologies for cross-postings – Please forward widely
5 PM: Rally in solidarity with Palestine’s “Day of Rage”
Palestinian forces have called for a “Day of Rage” on Tuesday, October
6th, in response to the recent killings of Palestinian youth.
We will march from: The Israeli Consulate, 800 2nd Ave, New York, NY
10017, (between E 42nd and E 43rd on 2nd Ave)

7 PM: Steven Salaita and Joseph Massad: Palestine and the Limits of
Academic Freedom
Join us for a discussion with Steven Salaita and Joseph Massad on academic
freedom, free speech on campus, and the movement for justice in Palestine.
New York University School of Law, Vanderbilt Hall Room 210, 40 Washington
Square S New York, NY 10012

Blog at