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June 2, 2016

Graduate Student Workers Resist New Attack on UAW 2865 BDS Resolution

From: mletwin
Date: Thu, Jun 2, 2016 at 10:20 AM
Subject: Graduate Student Workers Resist New Attack on UAW 2865 BDS Resolution

See attached or view online:
http://laborforpalestine.net/2016/05/27/lfp-bulletin-graduate-student-workers-resist-new-attack-on-uaw-2865-bds-resolution/

Subscribe to Labor for Palestine bulletin at:
http://laborforpalestine.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=1e9a2d49f8901a20fdac2aa16&id=416dacc103

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May 27, 2016

FYI: Union officials suppress member support for Palestinian rights

From: Torres, Azalia
Sent: Friday, May 27, 2016 11:59 AM
Subject: FYI: Union officials suppress member support for Palestinian rights

 

Important message from Palestine Legal (co-founded by Center for Constitutional Rights Board President Michael Ratner (1943-2016)), concerning escalating attempts to silence advocacy of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) for Palestinian rights, a campaign which echoes the divestment movement against apartheid South Africa. The same free speech debate has also long been an issue at our own workplace.

The particular case below involves “nullification” of a BDS resolution democratically adopted by the members of UAW 2865 (University of California graduate student workers) in 2014. Similar BDS resolutions have recently been adopted by the members of New York University Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110), University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), and Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

=============

Union officials suppress member support for BDS
May 25, 2016

UAW

CREDIT: CLYDE ROBINSON

As a growing number of local unions endorse Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) in solidarity with Palestinian workers, the United Auto Workers (UAW) Public Review Board last week affirmed a decision to nullify the BDS resolution adopted by members of Local 2865.

UAW Local 2865 – which represents over 14,000 graduate student workers at the University of California (UC) – voted by an overwhelming majority in December, 2014 to demand that their union and their employer, the UC, divest from companies complicit in human rights violations against Palestinians. A few members who opposed the resolution engaged a union-busting corporate law firm to appeal the vote. In December 2015, the International UAW, which oversees Local 2865, nullified the vote – despite its own finding that the local conducted a fair and democratic election. The local union appealed, and last week, the union’s Public Review Board affirmed the nullification.

The new decision reasons that because the UAW International president signed a letter opposing BDS in 2007, UAW now holds a position against BDS, and subordinate membership groups cannot assert a different position. But this reasoning ignores the fact that the 2007 statement was signed without any record of discussion among the Executive Board, much less any debate among the UAW’s membership.

Rank and file member of Local 2865, Jennifer Mogannam, said, “This decision cannot erase the fact that increasing numbers of UAW members stand in solidarity with Palestinian workers. … Clearly, several thousand UAW members from coast to coast disagree with the president from 2007. The International union cannot just reach into a dusty file cabinet to shut down the growing number of members who want to discuss and change the union’s position on BDS.”

Liz Jackson, Palestine Legal staff attorney, commented, “The nullification reflects the national trend of suppression. People are voting by democratic majorities to support BDS. But when higher officials disagree – like state legislators, university administrators, and presidential candidates – they resort to shutting down debate from the top. This may work in the short term, but attempts to suppress speech cannot stop a sea change in public opinion.”

Popular support for BDS is growing as three more graduate student worker organizations adopted resolutions this spring. In April, the New York University Graduate Employee Union (GSOC-UAW 2110) and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst Graduate Employee Union (GEO-UAW 2322), representing 2,000 members each, endorsed by full membership vote the call from all major Palestinian trade unions and civil society groups to impose BDS against Israel.

Last week, the Teaching Assistants’ Association (TAA/AFT Local 3220) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, representing over 9,000 graduate workers and students, also voted overwhelmingly in favor of adopting a BDS resolution.

See also:

Report on The Palestine Exception to Free Speech

Union Members Struggle for a Democratic Debate on Palestine: Statement from UAW 2865, GEO-UAW 2322, and GSOC-UAW 2110 Palestine Solidarity Caucuses on UAW 2865 BDS Vote Nullification

April 20, 2016

Urgent: Please sign and re-post widely: Respect Union Democracy and BDS in GSOC-UAW

From: Letwin, Michael
Date: Wed, Apr 20, 2016 at 10:40 AM
Subject: Urgent: Please sign and re-post widely: Respect Union Democracy and BDS in GSOC-UAW 

As labor BDS is beginning to take off, our sister UAW members of GSOC (NYU) are under undemocratic attack from UAW 2110 leadership.

To support them, please sign here: Union officials attempt to cancel elections and silence support for BDS

Union officials attempt to cancel elections and silence support for BDS

NEW YORK: Late Friday night, graduate student workers at New York University were shocked to receive notice from UAW Local 2110 Executive Board that the Local was cancelling the scheduled elections and installing a slate of members to the executive body of the graduate union, GSOC, by default. The incident in Local 2110 could cause major setbacks for UAW efforts to organize graduate workers at other universities. This sudden suspension of union democracy coincides with a much-publicized GSOC referendum on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement, scheduled to take place during elections this week. The news also comes after months of preparation for the elections to GSOC’s Assembly of Stewards and Local 2110’s Joint Council, long scheduled to take place from Monday, April 18, to Thursday, April 21.

February 23, 2015

2015.02.23: RE: Follow-up from Union Meeting Today

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Monday, February 23, 2015 10:29 AM
Subject: RE: Follow-up from Union Meeting Today

Some essential background on our union’s previous unfortunate acceptance of bonuses, AKA givebacks:

2011.12.05: Re: Vote No On Tuesday in Solidarity with 1199
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2011/12/05/2011-12-05-re-vote-no-on-tuesday-in-solidarity-with-1199/

2011.11.21: RE: Questions about this extra day PLEASE READ!!!!
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2011/11/21/2011-11-21-re-questions-about-this-extra-day-please-read/

2007.10.29: Reasons to Vote Down the Contract
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2007/10/29/reasons-to-vote-down-the-contract/

2007.05.15: The Real Issues in This Election
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/2007/05/16/the-real-issues-in-this-election-michael-letwin/

And earlier resistance to bonuses:

1999.03.26: History of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys UAW Local 2325
https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/1999/03/26/history-of-the-association-of-legal-aid-attorneys-uaw-local-2325/

July 29, 2014

2014.07.29: Updated Signers (173) of Mass Free Speech Grievance

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2014 1:25 PM
To: ALAA Members, 1199 Members
Subject: Updated Signers (173) of Mass Free Speech Grievance

­On July 29, 2014, the ALAA Joint Council voted to “authorize this grievance to proceed through the third step of the grievance process.”

Additional individual endorsers from both ALAA and 1199 will continue to be listed below.

 

Mass Free Speech Grievance
July 15, 2014
List in formation: 173 Signers: 130 ALAA members (including 54 ACLA members*) and 43 1199/SEIU members

The undersigned members of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW Local 2325 and 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East hereby join in grieving Legal Aid Society management’s attempt to ban “non-work-related matter involving the current situation in the Middle East,” as reflected in the two warnings (attached below), concerning messages to the ALAA email discussion list.

This censorship is just the most recent reflection of more than twelve years of pandering to complaints and threats by those seeking to silence antiwar and Palestine human rights opinion at Legal Aid.

Regardless of our individual political views, the targeted speech — like earlier opposition to racial segregation, the Vietnam War, or South African apartheid — is protected under ALAA Collective Bargaining Agreement §§ 3.5 (“Free Speech”) and 1.5. (“Union Activities”), and under relevant 1199SEIU contractual provisions.

In addition, such discrimination contributes to a broader hostile work environment for Arabs, Muslims, Palestinians and other people of color, in violation of ALAA Collective Bargaining Agreement § 3.1.1. (“Non-Discrimination”), CBA § 3.1.2. (“Affirmative Action”), relevant 1199SEIU contractual provisions, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.

It is irrelevant that ALAA has agreed to eventually relocate its discussion list from the Society’s email system. As long as the current list exists, management may not selectively censor particular views or entire topics, while at the same time turning a blind eye to innumerable political and “non-work-related” messages — often sent by the very same list members who demand censorship of others.

There is no “heckler’s veto” or “Palestine exception” when it comes to free speech.

Moreover, since recipients can easily delete, or configure their individual Outlook settings to automatically “opt-out” of, Palestinian rights (or any other) messages, management may not engage in selective censorship under the guise of additional, unfathomable, unspecified “op-out” procedures.

We call on management to rescind this ban, and respect our free speech rights.

Signers (List in Formation)
*Denotes Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA) member

Michael Letwin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former President, ALAA/UAW 2325

Noha Arafa*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Azalia Torres*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Sr. Attorney & Attorneys of Color (ACLA) Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Noor Ahmad*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Susan Olivia Morris
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jane Sampeur*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Pooja Kothari*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lucy Herschel
Criminal Defense-Queens
Delegate, 1199SEIU

Marlen S. Bodden*
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
ALAA/UAW 2325

Nora Carroll
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Antonia Codling*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Affirmative Action Rep., ALAA/UAW Local 2325

Laurie Dick
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Monica D. Dula*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lisa Edwards*
Civil-Harlem
ALAA/UAW 2325

Taylor James*
Housing Help Program, Civil-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Daniella Korotzer
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Vice President and Health & Safety Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Rebecca Kurti
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Patrick Langhenry
Civil-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kristin Lew
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Former Negotiating Committee Member, 1199SEIU

Florence Morgan*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Mimi Rosenberg
Civil-Brooklyn Neighborhood Office
ALAA/UAW 2325

Steve Terry
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Alexandra Smith
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bahar Ansari*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Luke Schram
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Stephanie Pope
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Brittany Thomas*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Antonio Villaamil*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Claire Nicolay
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Antoinette Kirwan*
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kathryn Thiesenhusen
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lauren Katzman
Juvenile Rights-Broklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Elena Roberts
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Aurea Gonzalez
Paralegal 1
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Rigodis Appling*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Donella Green*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Dale Ventura*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jawaid Stationwala*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Greg Johnston
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Katherine Fitzer
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Julie Fry
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325

ManI Tafari*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Ferdinand Cesarano
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Eric Meggett*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Steven Wasserman
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Willliam Brosh, LCSW
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Roslyn Morrison*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lisa Pitts*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Titus Mathai*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Hilary Dowling
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgett Holloman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Anna Boksenbaum
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Steven Kliman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bernadette Jackson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joseph Lavine
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Asmika Dangol
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Claudia Diez
Paralegal II
Criminal Appeals
1199SEIU

Jeffrey Sugarman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Adrian Lesher
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Grover Francis
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Scott Rudnick
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn|
ALAA/UAW 2325

Warren Deans
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Steven Douglas Levine
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lois Jackson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Cynthia Pong*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Erin M Bannister
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Genesis Fisher*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Tajuana B. Johnson*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bina Ahmad*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Naila Siddiqui*
Parole Revocation Defense
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Marie Mombrun*
Civil-Queens
Alt. Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Stephanie J. Fields
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jacob Rolls
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Rumzi Araj
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Fazeela Siddiqui*
Civil-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Zoie T. Mair*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jeremiah Schlotman*
Civil-Brooklyn Neighborhood Office
ALAA/UAW 2325

Rodrigo Santelices*
Civil-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Anne Oredeko*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Junior Attorney Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Samantha Seda*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Ivan Pantoja*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Middle Attorney Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Shahar Azoulay*
Parole Revocation Defense
ALAA/UAW 2325

Andrea Ibrahim*
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Femi Disu*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Affirmative Action Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Robert Newman
Criminal Defense-Special Litigation
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bobby Codjoe*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Cory Walker
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Daniel Moore
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Jason Wu*
Civil-HCLO
ALAA/UAW 2325

Mark Weiner
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Laura Rose Bull
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate and Junior Attorney Alt. Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Alison Schill
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Kayla Simpson
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgette Bissonnette
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
LGBT Caucus Alternate Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Alma Magaña*
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Vice President, ALAA/UAW 2325

Candace Graff
Paralegal II
Juvenile Rights-Special Litigation
1199SEIU

Amy Dallas
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Susan Light
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Nadine Griffin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Imtiaz Hossain*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Svetlana M. Kornfeind
Criminal Appeals
ALAA/UAW 2325

Frederic Pratt
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Former Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Hernscica Vincent
Paralegal
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joshua Carrin
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Madeline Porta
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lori Masco
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Melissa Leigh Ballowe
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
Alternate Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Alicia Thomas*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Cynthia LaCaprucia Taylor
Civil-Harlem
Alternate Vice President (Civil Div.), ALAA/UAW 2325

Juan Charbonier
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU

Hasan Shafiqullah*
Civil-Immigration Law
LGBT Caucus
Former delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Helen Frieder
Civil-Bronx
LGBT Caucus Alternate Rep., ALAA/UAW 2325

Nada Geha
Civil-Staten Island
ALAA/UAW 2325

Richard Blum
Civil-Employment Law
ALAA/UAW 2325

Young Woo Lee
Civil-Employment Law
Alternate Vice President (Civil Div.), ALAA/UAW 2325

Jane Fox
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Todd Smith
Juvenile-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Felicia Leak
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jeremy E.W. Fredericksen
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridgett Holloman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Mitchell Paolo Esteller*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jodi Smith*
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Vanita Martin
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Monique Fleury-Brown
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Rachel Messer
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Robert Soriano-Hewitt*
Civil-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Lauren Monosoff
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Margaret Garrett
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Crystal Baker-Burr
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Genitha Wint
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Deborah Pollack|
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
1199SEIU

Bharati Narumanchi*
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Grace Oboma-Layat*
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Robin Gordon Leavitt
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Erin Tomlinson
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Alix Willard
Criminal Defense-Bronx
Delegate, 1199SIEU

Makeysha Woodman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Lejla Bajrami
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Leah Maloney
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Michelle McGrath
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Yvonne Nix
Criminal Defense-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2235

Alyssa Cose-Primus
Forensic Social Worker
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Diane Akerman
Queens CDP
ALAA/UAW

Anthony Posada*
Queens CDP
ALAA/UAW

Valerie LeBrew
Civil-Queens
1199SEIU Delegate

Omar Garcia
Civil-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate

Jamaal Burnside
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate

Aisha King
Criminal Defense-Staten Island
1199SEIU Delegate

Javier Chuck
Civil-Harlem
1199SEIU Delegate

Magnus Mukoro
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU Delegate

Shawn Bosler
Juvenile Rights-Bronx
1199SEIU

Terence Davidson
Criminal Defense-Central Admin.
1199SEIU

Anastasia Taketomo
Juvenile Rights-LGBT Law and Policy Initiative
1199SEIU

Mily Rosa
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU

Lasalle Jones
Criminal Defense-Bronx
1199SEIU

Adriano De Gennaro
Civil-Prisoners’ Rights
1199SEIU

Abida Chaudhry
Criminal Appeals
1199SEIU

Phillip Guttman
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Susan Yousefi
Civil-Brooklyn
1199SEIU

Joseph Rivera
Criminal Defense-Queens
1199SEIU

Liliana Canela
Civil-Queens
1199SEIU

Michael Pate
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
Delegate, ALAA/UAW 2325

Pauloma Martinez*
Criminal Defense-Queens
ALAA/UAW

Cheryl Williams*
Criminal Appeals
ALAA/UAW 2325

Emily Poppish
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Sarah Marie Young
Parole Revocation Defense
ALAA/UAW 2325

Jess Braverman
Juvenile Rights-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

Catheranne Wyly
Juvenile Rights-Manhattan
ALAA/UAW 2325

Susan Sternberg
Civil-Lower Manhattan
Alternate Senior Attorneys Representative, ALAA/UAW 2325

Joshua Norkin, Esq.
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Bridget McDevitt
Criminal Defense-Bronx
ALAA/UAW 2325

Catherine Norris
Civil-Harlem Community Law Office
ALAA/UAW 2325

Alexander Smith
Criminal Defense-Brooklyn
ALAA/UAW 2325

——————————­——————————­——————–
ATTACHMENTS

From: Fox, Allan
Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 4:16 PM
To: Letwin, Michael
Cc: Wright, Deborah
Subject: The Society’s email policy

In 2009 and 2013, The Legal Aid Society entered into agreements with the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys to achieve compliance with the Society’s longstanding e-mail policies and to clarify the parameters of Article 1.5 of the collective bargaining agreement with respect to ALAA’s use of the Society’s e-mail system.  (See copies of the attached agreements.)  The 2009 agreement provides that on an interim basis, the Society agrees to permit ALAA members to create personal e-mail groups, provided however that before and after setting up a personal e-mail group any and all potential or existing members of the personal e-mail group must be given an opportunity to opt out of the personal mail group.  Yesterday and today, we received several e-mails to ALAA members about a non-work-related matter sent by you involving the current situation in the Middle East, along with complaints from several ALAA members who received such communications who have elected to opt out of receiving them under the 2009 agreement.  As we have previously advised you, it is a violation of the Society’s e-mail policy and the 2009 agreement to send unwanted non-work-related communications to Society employees who have opted out of receiving such communications.  We are directing you to cease such actions and expect you to abide by your obligations under the 2009 agreement with ALAA and the Society’s e-mail policy. (Emphasis added.)

______________________________________________

From: Fox, Allan
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 3:05 PM
To: Herschel, Lucy
Subject: Email Policy & Usage

 

As we reiterated in an e-mail to all staff on June 26, The Legal Aid Society’s e-mail system is to be used for work-related communications. Our e-mail policy is clearly set forth in the Employee Handbook, which has been posted on LASnet for many years. Relevant portions were quoted in an e-mail today to all LAS staff. You recently sent a non-work-related e-mail communication to all ALAA and 1199 staff about recent events in the Middle East, and we have received a number of complaints from staff members who object to the communication. We are directing you to cease sending non-work-related communications that violate the policy and expect you to abide by your obligations under the Society’s e-mail policy. (Emphasis added.)

 

July 24, 2014

2014.07.24: ALAA Rule Applicable to Mass Free Speech Grievance

From:  Letwin, Michael
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 12:11 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS; 1199 Members
Subject: ALAA Rule Applicable to Mass Free Speech Grievance

As Azalia Torres pointed out yesterday, ALAA should, on principle, adopt the Mass Free Speech Grievance.

But she is also correct that, under our own rules, official ALAA approval of grievances is not required to file a grievance, but only for submitting it to outside arbitration. (“No grievance will be arbitrated without [the Joint Council’s] approval.” ALAA Bylaws, Art. V, § 1.)

For example, pursuant to this rule:

1. In 2003, Staff Attorney [T] filed an individual grievance to challenge his termination for sending racist and sexist e-mails to a top LAS official. Even though his behavior was indefensible, the grievance went forward until blocked by the union (upon counsel’s advice) in response to his arbitration request.

2. In 2013-2014, ALAA members in Criminal Defense and Civil offices filed two separate grievances concerning the distribution of office space. Although these grievances opposed each other, union leadership did not seek to block either from being filed.

Thus, *requiring* approval of this particular grievance as a precondition of going forward would violate both ALAA’s own Bylaws (above), and its legal duty of fair representation to refrain from “conduct toward a member of the collective bargaining unit is arbitrary, discriminatory, or in bad faith.” Vaca v. Sipes, 386 U.S. 171, 190 (1967).

March 19, 2013

2013.03.19: ALAA E-Mail Group

From: Michael Letwin
To: Deborah Wright, ALAA MEMBERS
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 16:25:41 -0400
Subject: ALAA E-Mail Group

In January, Brooklyn Criminal members voted 51-2 to propose points 1-2 below concerning ALAA e-mail communication to the ALAA Joint Committee. (Point 3 was not originally part of that original proposal, but is included here to implement its intent.)

—————-

Brooklyn Criminal Proposal

If ALAA votes to create an independent email system, apart for management’s, ALAA will:

1: Subscribe (and keep current) all ALAA members via their LAS e-mail address. Members will have the individual choice to substitute a different e-mail address, filter messages, and/or remove themselves (“opt-out”) entirely from the list.

and 2: Other than reasonable “terms of use” and the individual options discussed above, there will be no content-based censorship, filtering, classification or segregation of messages.

and 3: The existing LAS-based e-mail discussion list will not be discontinued until the new independent ALAA e-mail discussion list is operational.

—————

From: Michael Letwin
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 11:27 AM
To: Wright, Deborah; ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: RE: Joint Council Meeting on 3/19

Prior to tonight’s meeting, please provide the language of any proposals regarding the ALAA listserv.

—————

From: Deborah Wright
Sent: Monday, March 18, 2013 6:32 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Fwd: Joint Council Meeting on 3/19

Another friendly reminder about tomorrow night’s JC Meeting.

Working agenda:

1) Adoption of minutes from January 29, 2013 Joint Council Meeting

2) UAW CAP Report

a) report on endorsement candidate interviews and endorsements

3) State Budget Update

4) ALAA Office Move

5) ALAA Email Listserv

a) stay on management’s system or create our own email system?

Begin forwarded message:

From: Deborah Wright
Date: March 11, 2013, 10:54:23 AM EDT
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Joint Council Meeting on 3/19

Just a friendly reminder that we have a Joint Council Meeting scheduled for March 19, 2013, starting at 6:30 pm. Pizza and soda will be served.

The biggest item on the agenda is the issue of what ALAA plans to do regarding the ALAA listserv, especially whether or not we will be creating our own email system. This agenda item was tabled from our January Joint Council Meeting and must finally be discussed and voted upon.

I am working on the rest of the agenda and will send it around closer to the meeting.

Thanks,

Debbie

** Follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/alaa2325 and on Twitter @alaa2325

Deborah L. Wright, Esq.
President
UAW Local 2325 – Assoc. of Legal Aid Attorneys (AFL-CIO)
568 Broadway, Suite 702a
NY, NY 10012-3223
Phone: (212) 343-0708
Fax: (212) 343-0966
Email: Dwright@legal-aid.org
Cell: (609) 712-3818

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Michael Letwin
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 17:08:49 -0400
Subject: Proposed Correction of Jan. 19 JC Meetings

In response to a motion from Brooklyn Criminal, the January 19, 2013 Joint Council meeting reaffirmed an earlier policy of providing members with written minutes of Executive Board and Joint Council meetings. However, minutes of the January 19 meeting (attached) include only those comments in favor of the proposed collective bargaining agreement, while omitting those against.

This violates the fairness requirements of Robert’s Rules of Order § 47, which states that minutes “should never reflect the secretary’s opinion, favorable or otherwise on anything said or done, and that “[w]hen ‘minutes’ are to be published, they should contain, in addition to the information described above, a list of the speakers on each side of every question, with an abstract or the text of each address.”

Before adoption at tonight’s JC meeting, therefore, I request that the January 19, 2013 minutes be corrected to list the names and comments of those (Azalia Torres, Susan Morris, Michael Letwin and any others) who spoke against the content and/or process of the proposed collective bargaining agreement.

January 29, 2013

2013.01.29: Thank you [K.]: Bargaining 2013

From: Edwards, Lisa
Sent: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 9:26 AM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Thank you [K.]: Bargaining 2013

At tonight’s JC’s meeting lets have a talk about process.  I do not know [K.] personally, but I want to thank her for calling into question the actions of the union leadership publicly and demanding that the EB return to the bargaining table. She was criticized harshly for “mischaracterizing” the actions of the EB.  However, but for her actions, we would not be where we are today, deciding on a negotiated contract offer, albeit a very poor one.  So thank you [K.] and everyone else on the EB whose vote was overruled but who knew sending that sorry initial offer to the membership was a cave in.  We should all thank her.

Once again,  I call for general membership meetings when issues arise that impact us union wide and that such meetings be scheduled in a timely manner during work hours.  We should also have monthly bargaining updates whether there is a lull in negotiations or not.  Lastly, we should have a candidates forum for elections during which both contested and non contested candidates can field questions, express their reasons for running for office and their plans for the future.  Process, transparency and process.  You can never get around that.

BTW.  Brooklyn, you are not alone.  Represent!!

In solidarity,

Lisa R. Edwards

Harlem Community Law Office

Former EB member and delegate from way back.

January 24, 2013

2013.01.24: Re: Trees and the fruit they bear

From: [D.]
Sent: Thursday, January 24, 2013 9:05 PM
To: [REDACTED]
Cc: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Re: Trees and the fruit they bear

I was on the EB for 2 bargaining negotiations under two different Union presidents.

While there are certain aspects of bargaining that should remain within the EB for reasons that should be obvious to a bunch of lawyers who negotiate for a living, there is nothing wrong with having an open debate about various options. In this day and age e-mail is the obvious vehicle for that. Sometimes it isn’t the worst thing in negotiations for the opposite side to hear that some folks aren’t jumping at the first offer on the table. And I don’t care if some supervisors hear that there are union members who don’t want them to get a bonus. I don’t know that I personally agree with that position but I’m sure glad it is out there.

Lastly, I am tired of some EB members hiding behind this idea that if we all know how they voted then negotiations will go down in flames. What a convenient, yet non-existent, rule. Since when shouldn’t we know if our elected representatives did a good job representing us? As a Senior Attny I’d sure like to know who voted against my interests, and I want to know that my Senior Attny reps did a good job advocating for me. If not, they won’t have my vote in the future.

January 17, 2013

2013.01.17: Samples of past updates on bargaining

From:  Morris, Susan
Sent: Thursday, January 17, 2013 12:06 PM
To: ALAA MEMBERS
Subject: Samples of past updates on bargaining

The following link provides samples of updates on contract negotiations the were regularly disseminated to the membership.

This is from 1999 bargaining, and the archive links lead to other years’ bargaining and status reports as well.

https://alaa2325.wordpress.com/1999/03/

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