ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

March 19, 2002

2001.03.19: ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin #81 (PDF)

2002.03.19 – ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin — OCR 2002.03.19 – ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin — OCR

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin #81

Tuesday, March 19,2002-6:30 p.m. sharp

•Location: 568 Broadway, Rm. 702A (N/R to Prince, B/D/F/Q to Broadway-Lafayette, 6 to Spring).

•Estimated length: Approximately 1 hour.

•All ALAA members welcome (only elected representatives may vote).

•Free pizza/soda.



Proposed Agenda

1. Collective Bargaining, etc. (25 minutes).

2.1. Shared services grievance (attached). EB recommendation for support of 1199


2.2. Comp time. Policy remains suspended; no further developments.

2. 3. 90 Church update.

2.4. Supplementallife.

2.5. LAS/Brooklyn DAs.

2. LAS Budget (10 minutes).

2.1 Campaign status.

2.2 Additional office meetings.

3. Political Action (5 minutes).

3 .1. March 23: Immigrant Detainees (attached).

3.2. March 26: Drop the Rock

4. Internal (10 minutes).

4.1. UAW convention delegates. Election of ALAA’s delegates (nominations closed as of

March 12). Nominees (uncontested):

•Delegates (2 positions). George Albro (Secy-Treas.), Charlotte Hitchcock (Rec.


•Alten1ates (2 positions). Susan Morris (CDD-Bk).

4.2. Bylaw Revision Commission. Consideration of any new nominations for reps from

CDD-Bx, CDD-Q, Civil, JRD, Volunteer.

4.3. Next delegate elections. Discussion of process.

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin 81 March 19, 2002 DC Meeting Page 2 ~[7

1199 Shared Services Grievance

WE, the undersigned, are very concerned to hear that Shared Services, as it existed at 90 Church Street, may

be disbanded and its staff split up amongst the various divisions they serve. We fail to see how such an arrangement

could be more efficient than the consolidated services we have had for the last several years.

We recognize that, due to the World Trade Center disaster, the Shared Services workload has increased

astronomically due to the need to deliver mail and court documents to our borough offices. The Shared Services staff

has done a remarkable job dealing with this workload with no increase in their staff. Furthermore, we feel they have

fulfilled this task under less than adequate conditions, such as being placed in small rooms with no space to work

comfortably and the lack of equipment necessary to expedite the workload of our attorneys and support staff.

We believe the solution to this problem is not to create more work by splitting up Shared Services and

rendering them less efficient. Therefore, we strongly feel that Shared Services should be afforded adequate space

and equipment in one of the new buildings in which LAS Management plans to consolidate much of the former 90

Church St. staff. Only this way can Shared Services go back to providing the full range of indispensable services they

provided to our society before.

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin 81 March 19, 2002 DC Meeting Page 3 of7

NYC Labor Solidarity

With Immigrant Detainees

Join trade unionists, immigrant, civil rights, peace, and social justice organizations to oppose the mass detention of

foreign nationals since Sept. 11. Most of the detainees are from the Mid· East and South Asia. The government has

refused to release most of the detainees’ names. Because of this secrecy, some detainees may not have access to

legal counsel. Some have suffered inhumane conditions of confinement. Virtually none have been charged with

terrorist acts. Some of these detainees are being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal prison in Sunset

Park, Brooklyn.

Saturday, March 23, 2002

Assemble: 10:30 a.m., 9 St./5 Ave., Bklyn. (N/R to 4 Ave.; F to 9 St.)

March: 11 a.m.-Sharp

Rally: 12 Noon-Sharp, Metro Detention Ctr., 29 St./3d Ave., Bklyn. (N/R to 25 St./4 Ave.)


•Freedom Legal Defense & Ed. Project

•Arab-American Family Support Ctr.

•Justice For Detainees Coal.

Labor Sponsors (list in formation)


•AFSCME L.2627, DC 37

•Assn. of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW L.2325

•CWA L.1180

•Natl. Org. of Legal Services Workers/UAW L.2320

•Natl. Writers Union/UAW L.1981

•NY Taxi Workers Alliance

•NYC Labor Against the War (NY CLAW)

•Professional Staff Congress-CUNY/AFT L.2334

•SEIU NY State Council

•UAW Region 9A NYC Area CAP Council

•Amalg. Services & Allied Joint Bd., UNITE

•United Elec., Radio & Machine Workers of America (UE)

•Larry Adams, Pres., MHU L.300*

•Christine Karatnytsky, Exec. Bd., NY Public Library

Guild/AFSCME L.1930*

•Robert Lesko, V.P., AFT L.3882*

•John O’Connor, Secy.-Treas., AFM L.1 000*

•J.P. Patafio, Depot Chair, TWU L.1 00*

•Sheridan-Gonzalez, RN, Chair, Delegate Assembly, NYS

Nurses Assoc.*

•Joel Schwartz, Pres., CSEA/AFSCME L.446*

•Gangbox: Construction Workers News Serv. •Global Sweatshop CoaL •Greater NY

Labor-Religion Coai.•Melanie Kaye/Kantrowitz, Dir., Queens College Worker Ed.

Extension Ctr. (FIPO); PSG-CUNY/AFT L.2334 & NWU/UAW L.1981*•1ndustrial

Workers of the World (NYC)•Labor at the Crossroads TV•Natl. Employment Law

Project•Natl. Lawyers Guild/NYC Chap., Labor & EmploymentCttee. •New Caucus


Cosponsors (list in formation)

•American Assn. of Jurists•American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Cttee.•American

Friends Serv. Cttee. •Another World is Possible (AWIP)•Asian American Legal Defense

& Ed. Fund•Asian Americans for Equality•Biack Radical Congress•Brooklyn

Bridges•Brooklyn Heights Peace Action•Brooklyn Parents for Peace•Brooklyn Society

for Ethical Culture, Ethical Action Cttee. •Chhaya CDC•Dennis Brutus, S. African poet

& activist•Ctr. for Anti-Violence Ed. •Ctr. for Constitutional Rights (CCR)•Central

Brooklyn Independent Democrats•CoaL for the Human Rights of lmmigrants•Council

on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)•CUNY Is Our Future•Desis Rising Up & Moving

(DRUM)•Faith Health NY •Fiatbush PeaceAction•Green Party: Kings Co. & Park Slope

chapters•Help & Hope•Jews for Racial & Econ. Justice (JFREJ)•IntL Action Ctr.

(IAC)•Intl. A.N.S.W.E.R.•IntL Socialist Org (ISO)•Make the Road by

Walking•Metropolitan Council on Housing•NatL Korean American Serv. & Ed.

Consortium (NAKASEC)•NatL Lawyers Guild•NatL Lawyers Guild-NYC Chap.•NJ

lndependentAIIiance•NY CoaL for Peace & Justice•NY Immigration CoaL•NYC AIDS

Housing Network•Northwest Bronx Support Cttee. For the Homeless•Lesbian Herstory

Archives•Nicaragua Solidarity Network•Pakistan League of America•Prison Moratorium

Proj. •Prospect Lefferts Voices for Peace & Justice•Student Cttee. Against Labor

Exploitation•Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory•VEER Grassroots

Services-Clarence Fitch Chap. of Vietnam Veterans Againstthe War (VVAW) •War Is

Not the Answer•War Resisters League•Women for Afghan Women•Women’s Inti.

League For Peace & Freedom, NY Metro Branch•Workers Democracy

Network•Working Families Party, Brooklyn Waterfront Club•World Peace 911•Rev.

Paul Smith, First Presbyterian Church•Rev. Elizabeth Alexander, Church of

Gethsemane•Rev. Elizabeth Braddon, Park Slope United MethodistChurch•Rev. Peter

Laarman, Sr. Minister, Judson Memorial Church, Greenwich Village•City

Councilmember Margarita Lopez

“Position shown for ID only; no organizational endorsement implied.

Info: 212.343.0708,

Union labor donated (March 18, 2002(1))

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin 81 March 19, 2002 DC Meeting Page 4 ({[7

Minutes of ALAA Delegate Council: January 24, 2002

Legend: Black=Present; Gray=Absent; Lowercase=Alternate


Danny Engelstein

Executive Board

President: LETWIN

Secretary-Treasurer: ALBRO

Recording Secretary: HITCHCOCK

VP-CAB/CAP/Fed: BLUM, P. (Acting), /d: Ä’:,?::·;,~n:::


VP-CDD/BI>:: ZUSS, Al: :LL ”’h:..:::rnn·.t::·

VP-CDD/M: WRIGHT, Al: Mulligan

VP-CDD/Qns: P:(){·’-::i-”fH: .. ”’ A.J ::

VP-Civil: HOLDER:: o::,J: -,.-,:;:::.&J~;:

VP-JRD: HOCHBERG, .A 1:· Ä-‘,::(,;::;,;~

VP-Vol. (CLO):

ACLA: ”’:COn:L:C’:;,(:

Aff. Action: 1:::;/::,IfN-‘:,

Health & Safety: ”’ i:(J}}:i:/Yf/J:R

Health: :::,;.·r’VffT’J}

Junior: ~-HUGHES

Lesbian & Gay: · ·:Et:\J:ff::

Senior: *TORRES

*Nonvoting in this capacity

Criminal Appeals Bureau (CAB)

iC{>t:i ?. :·:.:,, ;u r.txn:: i’f’:::l . F/?-. ;g i:..:,,-r”d::: ., ,c;:.n: ..- :,,-·vru::… HARPA Z,

HOPKIRK, A~.:L: A2: Blum, P. * .

Capital Defender Division

Criminal Defense Division (CDD)-Bronx

BxA: ROGERS, i’i:J.:: /:,.·::;; ;::… A.::~::


Criminal Defense Division (CDD)-Brooklyn

BKl: BAKER, BELL, Al: Newton, /:J: })i;::::\i:::,::::

BK2: __ ,·;,,}”:i(;;.J?.t::~;,-:;,_r,,;r_r, ASHWORTH, /:J: };:;;::·nt.~:::::::., .. A.-:5.::: l”i;H;::.,


Criminal Defense Division (CDD)-Manhattan

Ml: DALEY, NEVINS, AJ: /!:.r::d::_::rs<;r:,


M3 : :C.-:.i – ,;··: ._ .:.;.:.:.i.J..:.<... ,. VASQUEZ Al : C 0 11I· DS

M4: rV:i.A:.!::::_:():;·:.:: .. MULLIGAN. /:, t:




Criminal Defense Division (CDD)-Queens

Ql: ‘Vii{)i::t A:::·::t:::o;::.n<

Q3: ‘Fl{fliiEJRJf:( lf(‘\iJ(;;.rrrL.’1:’,.<“:, ::.: IL:::i::~.•::· .. /t2:

Civil Division

Aging: ·,;,;_.:::.{:·A:.l”:rr ..A .. ::·: ::>::cn:·t::::,;:-:,:;

Appeals/HRP: KELLEHER, /i:J: {;i:::Idi!;:~::K:r .. A: .. 2:: _f:.;::·::i!: … A:t:

Bronx: i::’l'{fL .. L’!F:._R .. , .A l:: {;:-<;·<:-UBrooklynNeighborhood

Office (BNO): (‘:to·:’::;:::;-;•:,; r::Enr; ..

Far Rockaway: :::a-J :() !i·n:.t.L .. /::. :1 ·:

Harlem: i\.J :

Immigration: l”t{>··:,,T;:•. [‘;::!,\’\·”fiR … -“: .. :i ·: f’::i.::>.”-”·<Yn::

Lower Manhattan Neiborhood Office (LMNO): lf::-i.J:UIVf”‘-i

Queens: ·r·t.::::::f:}J:.S., i’->J •

Staten Island: E:\.L.’\/A:.’l’OltE … Ali: /::.2: TVt:i … :::::n:

Federal Defender Division

Appeals & SDNY: ::::~’fA.J’FP’:l{;;En:

EDNY: r·,:::,_:Gi:>It:-‘<: .. ;:-;<:·1<:-!:,,r·(:ft

Juvenile Rights Division (JRD)

Appeals/Spec Lit: Ad:: }1-:_,.,,:K::::::::’h:d

Bronx: ::;,;:_:;:):f·:,.’if_·~>f’::i. /;,_::: r:’·’V:/::.t.:::<::r::

BROOKLYN: (;;.:;:n::Ti:i’::!fit.’\

Staten Island: I. t.f

Parole Revocation (PRDU)

A3: Morris

BK4: ,C’/:,Sfri\1.:\:i\., /:,1: t:..Br:< .. ;:.,A.): Prisoners Rights Project


Volunteer Division/(Community Law Office)

ii!J·’·:::.;.TLf:’:>: .. LUNDGREN, Al: Carlesimo, ;,/:.·:t: L:Ji:::i·:xr::i::::

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin 81 March 19, 2002 DC Meeting Page 5 of7




1. Legal Action. Table further legal action on

CDD comp day change until Management makes

concrete response to ALAA grievance and related

negotiations, at which point a special DC will be

promptly convened (Bomba)–Passed (hand vote): 16-

15. [NB: The Executive Board will meet next week

with legal counsel concerning implementation of the


2. Membership Action. Accompany ALAA

grievance on CDD comp time by encouraging members

to file individual grievances that detail personal impact,

to file reguests to use comp days, and to otherwise put

pressure on Management (Letwin!Baker )–Passed (voice

vote): Unanimous.

3. Next DC. Hold the next DC meeting on the

irrevocable date ofF ebruary 21, except that an earlier

DC meeting is held (Gross/Baker)–Passed (voice vote).

4. Negotiation. Include as many CDD VPs as

possible, but at least one, in any negotiations with

Management on change in CDD comp time (Gross)-Passed

(voice vote): Unanimous.

Not adopted:

1. De Leon Presentation. Dispense with Theresa

DeLeon’s scheduled report to the Delegate Council, and

proceed immediately to discussion of ALAA’ s response

to change in CDD comp day policy (Wright)–Failed:

14-18-2 (hand vote, with results confirmed by roll-call

vote (Aftler))[For: Wright, Rogers, Baker, Bell, Daley,

Nevins, Gross, Mitchell, Vasquez, Collins, Mulligan,

Seeley, Aftler, Zablocki. Against: Albro, Hitchcock,

Blum, Zuss, Holder, Hochberg, Harpaz, Hopkirk,

Martin, Zelermyer, Gurwitch, Ashworth, Morris, Pratt,

Soto, Kelleher, Lundgren, Carlisimo ). Abstain: Bomba,

Wasserman, S.]

2. Arbitration. Conduct arbitration of change in

CDD comp time, if necessary by attorney other than

ALAA counsel (Aftler/Velasquez)–Tabled (see above).



1. Reports. ALAA HQ to disseminate bi-weekly

written ALAA health and safety updates

(Kelleher/Gross)–Passed (voice vote).

2. Outreach. ALAA HQ to consult with other

unions and with NY COSH concerning appropriate steps

concerning air guality in Lower Manhattan (Kelleher)-Passed

(voice vote): Unanimous.

3. Testing. Pursue ongoing tests of material

transferred from 90 Church St. to other LAS offices

(Newton!Holder)–Passed (voice vote): Unanimous.

NB: The balance of the agenda was tabled.

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin 81 March 19, 2002 DC Meeting Page 6 ~f7

Minutes of ALAA Delegate Council: February 21,2002

Legend: Black=Present; Gray=Absent; Lowercase=Alternate


Danny Engelstein

Executive Board

President: LETWIN

Secretary-Treasurer: ALBRO

Recording Secretary: HITCHCOCK

VP-CAB/CAP/Fed: BLUM, P. (Acting), /’:.!: ·v:.:::::r::H

VP-CDD/Bx: GELTMAN ,’\ :i · ·v:,:::::::::::·:::

VP-CDD/Bk: ZUSS, Al: *Torres,./: .. :-:. :·:·:·;(_c·rt:d.:.~.,~:c

VP-CDD/M: \>V’P.l:!}f·fi” /:.·::

VP-CDD/Qns: P:C.>Pf’T:’:H ,._,.i\.1.

VP-Civil: · A :: : ··./::::::.:::n:·

VP-JRD: HOCHBERG, hi \/.:::,;·:::rd

VP-Vol. (CLO): \/h Ci”:. i”Tf’ ,-:._!: r::-::::;,::; .. ):I·Y” .. \:.!’ ·


Aff. Action: !’:,1 i\? k ,:\

Health & Safety: ‘i’KO·Pt:·ct·zr::I’

Health: ·’ :::: :0./lff}{

Junior: ‘”ITU::::;I:!’.F:S

Lesbian & Gay: ·”1-::J, Hr:

Senior: *TORRES

*Nonvoting in this capacity

Criminal Appeals Bureau (CAB)

C:()L.!:J-<. J)ELJiJ.~fÄ-I F/\f::JAJ·.:·U U.Z:’\ HARPAZ,

IIf.::::::<I:::::J< LITTLE. ·\!·Taglieri, A2: *Blum, P., .·\_.: ·

Capital Defender Division

M6: AFFLER, ZABLOCKI, Al: Botticelli, .c\2: FL.:;:;,,

Spec Lit: W ;:,, :::;:;:: :-:·:.J(:\t:-\1’·::

Q4: :::,I::·i:::rrf’..:. DIFLUMERI, ·\!: /\:?::

Civil Division

Aging: \’ ,\ i’: \iT’ /:_ :! : .D·nr!~_:;:,n:<

Appeals!HRP: ,:\, l: U::-:hH:H_’r /:.::’.: i:\::d.:. :-::, .,

Bronx: :;.:·n n:·’:i)f:’:T:: .·\ .:. · c::;-::ct:c

Brooklyn Neighborhood Office (BNO):

Far Rockaway: iU .. :·:J:::<:·:::::k:· /: . .?: 1-J::::dxl:·:.;;

Immigration: FLOYD-MAYER_ /\ i : l:·i:::\·.r:rn:::

Lower Manhattan Neiborhood Office (LMNO): n.:)r:u::·i”-1

Queens: /\.: · .\::’ .. :;:,.::n: .. A?_ ‘i·”r~:::.d.h:;·::::·,

Staten Island: .S,\L’·/..:\·1·::::::;::;,:.: ./::.!: /:.:’:. McCann

Federal Defender Division

Appeals & SDNY: ::::.·r;\·1-SJNf:iT:::r

EDNY: P:\ -‘·\;.\>:’:::r::::U

””‘ .\.L n.o.m::H: Juvenile Rights Division (JRD)

BxD: r:C)LLFfT.




BK5: \’/.!\.SSL

Appeals/Spec Lit: :\ l.: H:<:·::.::-:n.:!.ui

H.nd::u. _ /:,_.”: I·i:::·L:.r::·. /\.:: Bronx: J:;()\•i,’\

BROOKLYN: !<.t:.?.:-:. ·:, \ :< … .i\ ; : i”–i-::;i.:;,_:;:


Staten Island: f 1:-:r.

Parole Revocation (PRDU)

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Prisoners Rights Project


Volunteer Division/(Community Law Office)

J:: .. F”:-:Tr !>-!.. LUNDGREN, Al: Carlesimo, ” ./:.:.:: :.-J··,.;’.:Jrd::-:

ALAA Delegate Council Bulletin 81 March 19, 2002 DC Meeting Page 7 of7



1. Expedited Negotiation/ Arbitration. Ratify the

expedited negotiation/arbitration comp day proposal

previously presented by the Executive Board to

management (see February 12 ALAA Union Bulletin),

i.e., to: (1) Clearly define the new policy; (2) Schedule

expedited, “last-best-offer” arbitration to be held within

a brief time-frame (e.g., 4-6 weeks) to resolve the

limited issue of the new policy; (3) Pending arbitration,

seek a negotiated resolution of the dispute; ( 4) Pending

a negotiated or arbitrated resolution, suspend the new

policy’s implementation; (5) Incorporate the results of

negotiation or arbitration into the contract effective

October 1, 2002 (Affler/Blum, P.)–Passed: 15-0-4

(hand vote).



1. Table. Move Hitchcock’s 90 Church St. report

to the end of agenda (Zablocki/Torres)–Passed (hand

vote); table to next written Hitchcock report–Passed

(voice vote).



1. UAW Convention Delegates. Adopt Albro’s

proposal to select ALAA’ s delegates to the International

UA W tri-annual convention in June [details

forthcoming] (Blum, P ./Hochberg)–Passed:

Unanimously (voice vote).

2. Meeting Schedule. Adopt Executive Board’s

proposed 2002 meeting schedule for the Delegate

Council and Executive Board [previously

distributed](Hochberg/Daley)–Passed: Unanimously

(voice vote).

3. Bylaw Revision Commission. Elect by

acclamation the following unopposed nominees to the

new Bylaw revision commission: Susan Morris

(CDD-Bk), JessicaBotticelli (CDD-Manh.), Peter Blum

(CAB/Capital/FDD )–Passed: Unanimously (voice vote).

4. ACLA Representative. Elect Monica Dula

(CDD-Bx) to fill vacant ACLA (Attorneys of Color of

Legal Aid) position on the Executive Board–Passed:

Unanimously (voice vote).




1. Main Motion. Adopt Executive Board’s

proposed statement in defense of civil liberties

[previously distributed](Blum, P./Hochberg)–Passed:

19-1-1 (hand vote).

Not Adopted:

1. Table. Table proposed civil liberties statement

(Zablocki/Botticelli)–Failed (overwhelming hand vote).

2. Unfriendly Amendment. Do not release ALAA

civil liberties statement in conjunction with any

statement by NYC Labor Against the War

(Daley)–Failed: 4-16-1 (hand vote).

3. Unfriendly Amendment. Disseminate civil

liberties statement via special Union committee, and

direct ALAA HQ instead to address issues of greater

concern to the Union, e.g., CDD comp time

(Zablocki)–Failed: 3-18-1 (hand vote).

March 6, 2002

2002.03.06: 90 Church Street Update

Filed under: 9/11,Health and Safety,Written Report — nyclaw01 @ 12:00 am



To: ALAA Members

From: Charlotte Hitchcock, Recording Secretary

Re: 90 Church Street Update

Date: March 6, 2002



From the very beginning, ALAA has been fully engaged, as an active participant, in the decision making of the ongoing health and safety concerns at 90 Church Street. Recently, I convened a meeting between ALAA, NYCOSH, the Society and Airtek, at which the Society openly requested the direct exchange of ideas and information from NYCOSH. As a labor advocacy organization, NYCOSH was pleasantly surprised by such a request. The Society also asked NYCOSH to assist it in providing training to management staff.

At this meeting, NYCOSH commended, not only, the collective and cooperative relationship that the Union and management have forged in addressing our environmental issues, but also the elaborate cleaning protocol that we have developed.  Our technical advisor, David Newman, told me that he is unaware of any other organization in lower Manhattan that has embraced a joint union/management approach to the WTC worker health and safety concerns.

In an effort to learn how other unions are focusing on the same issues, I reached out to DC 37 and the Mail Handlers Union which represents NYCHA and the USPS, respectively. While their unions are much larger than ours, they are not at all organized in dealing with the critical issues involving their space in 90 Church Street.

As our technical advisor, Newman also informed me that, because of the ALAA’s collective action with management, our organization is much farther ahead of other groups grappling with how to proceed. Consequently, NYCOSH has publicly used our approach as a model in advising other organizations. NYCOSH has actually referred groups and individuals to ALAA to discuss with us how to establish their cleaning protocol. Ironically, one such referral group that I recently spoke to was named “The Campaign for Clean Air”.

In addition, NYCOSH has also referred the press to us. Recently, ALAA was interviewed by the CBS Health and Safety Reporter, Paul Moniz, for a report on worker concerns at Ground Zero. Furthermore, ALAA was asked to attended a Saturday EPA hearing on the WTC Environmental Issues convened by Congressman Jerrold Nadler and EPA Ombudsman Robert Martin. I signed up to testify, but was unable to stay after waiting over five hours. ALAA expects to testify at the second EPA hearing scheduled for March 11th.

Overall, ALAA is on the right track in dealing with the anxiety provoking and sometimes overwhelming issues that have been presented to us at 90 Church Street. How do we know this to be true? Because we have been told it is true by the leading health and safety environmental organization in New York City – NYCOSH. The key to our success is that regardless of how much work or how difficult the issues become, we do not take shortcuts, but rather stay the course and work through each and every concern.


Why can paper, which is porous, be cleaned and other porous items cannot be cleaned?

The cleaning protocol was specifically designed to remove contaminants from paper. Our clearance testing confirms that we can, in fact, successfully “clean” paper.  The procedure was not intended to be used for other items.

Why isn’t an independent environmental testing company sampling the “cleaned” papers?

Airtek is an independent environmental testing company. NYCOSH considers Airtek to be very reputable.

Why weren’t the files preserved by a photocopying process in which the copies were protected from contamination by the originals?

The use of this methodology was discussed and considered to be a “last resort” option. While it may sound very reasonable and straight-forward, it is embroidered with complexity. Overall, NYCOSH did not support this method beyond a final contingent. Namely, the key problem was in how to ensure that the Xerox machines did not become contaminated. In addition, the possibility of  re-contamination of a copy being in contact with the original was great. Furthermore, the expense of this procedure would be tremendous.

Who supervised the decontamination process to ensure that it was being properly done?

Airtek monitored every aspect of the cleaning process, and communicated every aspect of the specifications for cleaning to ALAA for review and comment. NYCOSH has supported the decision that Airtek oversee the implementation of the cleaning protocol.

What is the decontamination process utilized for cleaning our files and papers?

Generally, decontamination consisted of two basic cleaning operations. First, “Gross Cleaning” at the point of origin of the materials (i.e., in an office, on a desk) was conducted. Gross cleaning included both HEPA vacuuming and wet wiping.  HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) vacuuming is an industry term referring to a specific type of filter that filters down to 5 microns. Wet wiping does not consist of any chemicals. Materials were then transferred to a cleaning station for “Fine Cleaning”. Fine cleaning also included both HEPA vacuuming and wet wiping. The level of cleaning required was determined by visual inspection and confirmed by clearance testing.

Specifically, if a file was taken from a closed file cabinet or a desk drawer, it was removed from the location and held closed to avoid exposing protected materials to contamination. Any dust on the surface was removed in the gross cleaning stage. The file was then placed in a labeled clean box that was placed on new plastic, not on the floor. The file was then transported in the closed box by dolly to the decontamination chamber for fine cleaning.

In the decontamination chamber the file is now opened in the clean space. The file is fanned to shake out dust. If dust is revealed, the file is cleaned page by page. The “cleaned” file is now re-boxed in the same inventory box which has been HEPA vacuumed. The box is then doubled bagged at the cleaning site. Clearance testing is done in between the bagging process. The clearance testing is conducted for the presence of all the contaminants in our space. Wet wipe and air samples are taken. The air samples let us know if the actual handing of the paper is producing air borne levels of contaminants. The cleaning station is fed filtered air to create positive pressure so that no contaminant air can leak into the decontamination chamber.

How many lots of boxes were cleaned more than once?

Materials were transported to the decontamination chamber in lots. A lot represents 100 boxes. To date, 199 lots have moved through the cleaning process. Out of 199 lots, 198 were successfully cleaned. Out of the 198 successfully cleaned lots, 175 lots were successfully cleaned on the first attempt, 21 lots were successfully cleaned on the second attempt, and 2 lots were successfully cleaned after a third attempt. Only 1 lot, from the southwest and northwest side of the 15th floor, failed to pass clearance testing after the third attempt. Upon conferring with NYCOSH and Airtek, ALAA fully supports the decision to further re-clean this lot. NYCOSH has advised the Union that our cleaning protocol procedures are technically sound and the lot in question can be successfully cleaned.

What percentage of the boxes in a lot were clearance tested?

NYCOSH and Airtek both agreed that the application of the 10% industry standard was appropriate in our situation. Thus, 10 boxes out of every lot (100 boxes) were randomly clearance tested. Specifically, clearance testing means that wet wipe samples were taken from the materials in the boxes and sent to a laboratory for testing. In addition to the 10% that were actually laboratory tested, more than 10% of the boxes were “visually” inspected during and after the fine cleaning process. ALAA has been informed that statistically 10% is a high percentage. ALAA also learned that some organizations have reduced the industry standard to as low as 5%.

Primarily, the reason that we re-cleaned several lots was because our clearance testing methodology was very stringent. To date, the government has not promulgated any standards that can be specifically applied to the WTC disaster. For this very reason, the EPA is conducting hearings on the issue. The clearance testing which we used is based on OSHA standards. However, Airtek, with comments from NYCOSH, did not believe that OSHA standards were appropriate because they were created for workers who had a continual exposure to these contaminants. Thus, Airtek felt the standards were too liberal. As a result, we developed our clearance testing standard based upon 1/10 of the OSHA standard. In essence, it is more conservative by a factor of 10. Therefore, lots which failed our clearance testing, more than likely, would have passed under the unmodified OSHA standard.

It is also important to understand that when a lot failed, it did not mean that each box in that lot failed. Again based upon our strict methodology, a lot failed if there was any one failure, for any one contaminant, for any lot. Therefore, one box could fail an entire lot consisting of 100 boxes.

Based upon our inventory system we can always identify the location from where a box came.

How safe are the 1400 boxes removed from 90 Church street in October?

NYCOSH and Airtek both support the cleaning protocol which was applied to the decontamination of the first 1400. The main distinction that exists now is that we know which metals were contaminants in our space. So the natural question is, Does this information compromise the integrity of the decontamination process used in October?  The answer is no. The cleaning protocol applied on the first 1400 boxes and the cleaning protocol applied on the remaining 30,000 boxes was an asbestos abatement cleaning. Thus, NYCOSH advised ALAA in October, as it sat at the meeting with ALAA discussing the development of the protocol, that the asbestos abatement cleaning would also effectively remove any heavy metals. Excluding the few boxes that did not effectively go through the decontamination chamber, the successful clearance testing on the 1400 boxes demonstrated that the cleaning protocol was effective. The next natural question is, What about the Mercury which was discovered in our workspace after October?  As we have all learned, Mercury is not a heavy metal. However, once discovered the presence of Mercury, we conducted extensive and very expensive sampling testing of Mercury on paper. The results showed that under the cleaning protocol implemented on the 1400 boxes, we were able to remove the Mercury from the paper. For the sake of argument, assume for the moment that Mercury was on a sheet of paper, our ongoing testing has revealed that the Mercury has evaporated in our space.


Recognizing how sentimental and in some instances irreplaceable academic degrees and professional credentials are, I wanted to ensure that they were preserved with care. Thus, upon request, Dan Kessler, agreed to absorb the cost of having all professional degrees specially cleaned together. This arrangement was contingent upon me, personally, taking responsibility for all of the diplomas.

As a result, about a month ago, I suited up and walked through every office in our space and created my own inventory of such items. I did not discriminate between diplomas belonging to union or non-union staff. I pulled everyone’s degree that I could locate. The degrees were recently cleaned and, to the chagrin of my officemate, eight large boxes were delivered to my temporary office. Obviously, I would like to confer your degree upon you as soon as possible. I will email everyone on my list to make arrangements for pick-up.

WAREHOUSE- Document Retrieval Center

Prior to any staff being allowed to retrieve property, I inspected the warehouse with Dan Kessler and Airtek. The set-up agreed upon by management and the Union addresses the ongoing health and safety concerns. Specifically, four rooms located in a suite-like area have been reserved by the Society. Three of the rooms will be used to review boxes. The fourth room will serve as a community workspace. A copier, fax, laptop, and telephones will be available for your use. Each room is climate controlled and contains long tables and chairs. For convenience, also management purchased a refrigerator and microwave. Therefore, you may want to bring lunch with you. Restrooms are located within the space. The Society also shipped supplies, including toiletries, to the warehouse. As a precautionary measure, Airtek will conduct ongoing testing of the office area as well as the warehouse storage area. To date, no test results have presented any cause for alarm. As a further precautionary measure, the Society has hired a cleaning company to wipe down, pursuant to directions given by Airtek, all of the tables and to clean the office space at the end of the day.

When you arrive to the warehouse, your boxes will be waiting for you in an office. Dan Kessler will have a member of his staff present at all times. The move from 90 Church Street generated approximately 30,000 boxes. Out of that total, about 10,000 boxes have been sent to Iron Mountain. To see the rows and rows of boxes at the warehouse, as I have, it is quite surreal. It is an amazing wonder that the inventory system that we devised works at all. Although the Society has monitored the process to the best of its ability, ALAA knows that everything will not be perfect. In the event, that you open a box and discover dust, or any other substance that makes you feel uncomfortable, simply close the box and report this at once to the LAS staff person on sight. The box will be properly removed and re-cleaned. According to NYCOSH and Airtek, cross-contamination between boxes is not likely at this point because any materials left on these files 5 months after the “Event” are stable and likely to remain where they are. Most unstable contaminants (e.g., Mercury, Volatile Organic Compounds, Polynuclear Aromatics, Benzene, etc.) are most likely to have evaporated already.

Upon reviewing your boxes, you will be asked to do the following three things: (1) Discard any items which you do not need; (2) Re-label any boxes containing material that you want delivered to you; and (3) Re-label boxes that contain archive material that should be sent to Iron Mountain. To the extent possible, you are encouraged to take with you your personal property.


Personal items that were unable to be cleaned were inventoried and photographed. The inventory and photograph(s) will be returned to staff as soon as possible. Hopefully, this information will assist anyone in preparing a homeowners insurance claim.


As previously reported, NYCOSH and ALAA were developing the following training seminars for ALAA members:

Training I:   Introduction to Occupational Health and Safety

This session will focus on basic toxicology and the hierarchy of controls (the methods used in addressing hazards). NYCOSH will specifically discuss the contaminants known to exist in our workspace.

Training II: Regulatory Standards

This session will address regulatory standards and discuss how they may or may not apply to the WTC situation. NYCOSH will also provide an overview of the current environmental status in lower Manhattan.

Each of the above two seminars will be conducted in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx during lunchtime. The seminars will be held from 1:15-2:30 pm. The dates were finalized by NYCOSH on March 4th.  The scheduled dates for Training I are March 19, March 26, March 28, and April 2. The dates for Training II are April 3, April 11, April 18, and April 25.  As soon as conference room reservations have been completed in each borough, the locations will be posted. Of course, 1199 members will be invited to attend all the trainings.

December 22, 1993

1993.12.22: Evaluation of 1992 Contract Strategy and Options for 1994

1993.12.22- Evaluation of 1992 Contract Strategy and Options for 1994 — OCR

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January 30, 1992

1992.01.30: As Suspects Wait, the Fear of Tuberculosis Rises

New York Times, January 30, 1992

As Suspects Wait, the Fear of Tuberculosis Rises


In the basement of the New York City Criminal Courts Building in Brooklyn recently, so many men were crammed into four small holding pens that most had only enough room to stand.

It would be at least one or two days before they were arraigned on charges as disparate as loitering and murder. And prisoners’ rights advocates and health experts worry that while they waited, some of them could have become infected with tuberculosis.

Crowded spaces. Poor ventilation. A large population infected with the AIDS virus. Few places have under one roof so many factors associated with the spread of tuberculosis as jails and prisons, health officials say. And although health experts say infection usually occurs through prolonged exposure to someone with active tuberculosis, they stress that even the court pens, with their short-term incarceration, can be breeding grounds for infections. ‘Like a Polluted Stream’

“There are certain people who are extremely infectious and we usually don’t know which people those are, so it’s possible to get infected with relatively low contact,” said Dr. Tom Frieden, a medical epidemiologist with the Federal Centers for Disease Control and member of a multi-agency task force looking at the TB problem in the city’s correctional system.

But New York City’s court pens and jails, from which 70 percent of New York state’s prison inmates come, are ill-equipped to combat a public health threat that once seemed near elimination and is now found at five times the national average.

“You can’t breathe,” said Julius Trowell, a 35-year-old who spoke through the bars of one of the 8 1/2-by-14-foot windowless cells in Brooklyn that held 19 men.

The situation, many agree, heightens the risk for the general community and for those who work in the criminal-justice system. Several pregnant legal aid lawyers, for example, have taken disability leaves rather than risk possible infection with the germ, and court interpreters have begun to worry whether their proximity to inmates during trials puts them at risk.

Of the 213,000 to 247,000 people a year charged with a crime in New York City, 120,000 to 140,000 go to jail, and half of those are back out in two weeks or less, according to the New York City Health Department.

“The criminal justice system is like a polluted stream that can spread its poison to the larger body of water,” said Robert Gangi, executive director of the Correctional Association of New York, a nonprofit watchdog group. “The system is not only not preventing but it’s contributing to the problem.”

The Centers for Disease Control says cases of tuberculosis in correctional centers arise at rates at least three times higher than in the general population. Last year, a drug-resistant strain killed 13 inmates and a guard in New York state prisons, and four inmates in New York City jails.

The problem in New York City is all the more urgent because a substantially high proportion of the city’s inmate population — an estimated 26 percent of the women and 16 percent of men — are at higher risk of developing active tuberculosis once infected with the germ because they carry H.I.V., the virus that causes AIDS, health officials say. It is not yet known whether those who are infected with H.I.V. are also at a higher risk of catching the germ, health experts say.

While only 1 in 10 healthy people who become infected with the TB germ will ever develop the disease, people with the human immunodeficiency virus have impaired immune systems and are more likely to develop active TB. It is those with active TB, a chronic wasting illness characterized by coughing, fevers and weight loss, who can infect others, experts say. ‘Right From the Streets’

Many wonder about the cumulative hazard posed by their routine contact with inmates. Corrections officers, usually more concerned with the threat of a violent attack from their charges, now worry more about catching a deadly disease.

“At least in an institution they go to a clinic and they are de-liced and they get a full medical exam, but here they’re right from the streets,” said Denise Strother, 34, a Correction Department officer.

The growing tuberculosis problem in the city — new cases rose 38 percent from 1989 to 1990 — prompted the creation of a task force late last year to recommend ways to control the disease in jails and holding pens. The increase has also emphasized the need for coordination and joint efforts among city agencies that deal with the same high-risk populations, city health officials say. Thirty percent of the city’s inmates, for instance, are homeless and pass through the shelter system.

But measuring the extent of the problem has proved difficult. Transfers Stall Readings

Dr. Steven Safyer, a doctor at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx who also directs health services at Rikers Island, said that although all inmates are examined when admitted to jail, checking them for TB is hampered because they are often moved around the jail system.

The standard TB test entails injecting a harmless tuberculosis protein under the skin, and waiting 48 to 72 hours to see if a small lump forms indicating infection. But many inmates are either released or transferred to another jail within that time. As a result, Dr. Safyer said, it can take weeks rather than days to get a reading.

In addition, a high number of inmates test negative for tuberculosis even when they are positive because the test can be unreliable when done on people with abnormal immune functions, like those infected with H.I.V. Drug-Resistant Strain

Health officials say that 15 to 25 percent of the city’s inmates test positive for the TB germ, compared with less than 3 percent for the general community. At Rikers Island, 125 to 150 inmates are on anti-tuberculosis medication at any given time, compared with 35 three years ago.

Twelve inmates died from TB in city jails last year, up from 7 in 1990, 10 in 1989 and 2 in 1988. Four of the 1991 deaths were caused by a drug-resistant strain, which develops in people who do not take their medication consistently and in those they infect.

But the court pens may be the best breeding ground for the disease because the physical conditions are poorer and there is no medical screening for detainees.

During a tour of court pens in Brooklyn and Manhattan this month, the air exchange units in Brooklyn that were supposed to compensate for the lack of windows were shut off, and in Manhattan a fan provided the only air movement for as many as four pens. Although detainees are supposed to appear before a judge within 24 hours of their arrest, some said they had waited for two days.

In Brooklyn, one detainee said he had TB and complained that he had not been able to take his medication since his arrest the day before. But officers said his complaint that day was the first they had heard of.

Raul Jardines, 32, a correction officer for seven years who works in the Manhattan courthouse, tested positive for TB two years ago and is convinced that he caught the germ on the job. Preventative Measures

“You can’t avoid the contact,” he said. “If I treated you like you’re a germ it would cause undue hostility.”

Members of the TB task force say some prevention steps are easy.

“If you open a window you’re going to cut down on TB transmission,” said June S. Binney, assistant commissioner for correctional health services in the New York City Health Department.

But the task force, which is headed by the city Health Commissioner, Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, and includes representatives from the Department of Correction, the Centers for Disease Control and the Mayor’s office, is also looking into more substantive steps, including keeping inmates in the same place for at least 72 hours until the TB tests are read.

City health officials have already noted that the jails are in dire need of at least 100 isolation beds — they have none now — and the Correction Department has been ordered by the court to provide 42 of those by May. Detection and Treatment

Advocates for prisoners’ rights say on-site medical evaluations should be instituted in the court pens to spot those with symptoms and determine health and medication needs.

City health officials say that part of the urgency of tackling TB in the criminal-justice system stems from the fact that jails could be the best place to identify cases early and treat them effectively.

But some say most of the measures under consideration should have been in place long ago.

“It was always inhumane to keep people like that,” said Michael Z. Letwin, president of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, which is pushing for TB testing of its members every six months, rather than once a year.

“But now it poses a threat to the entire city,” he said.

Photo: Crowded spaces like the holding cell above at Centre Street in Manhattan prove to be perfect for the spread of tuberculosis. While health experts say that infection usually occurs through prolonged exposure, some people are extremely infectious. (Dith Pran/The New York Times)

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