ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

September 19, 2002

2002.09.19: Minutes of ALAA Delegate Council – September 19, 2002

2002.09.19 – Minutes of ALAA Delegate Council — OCR

Minutes of ALAA Delegate Council-September 19, 2002


Citywide Officers: Letwin (President), Albro (SecyTreasurer),

Hitchcock (Recording Secretary)

CAB: Harpaz (VP), Elgarten

CDD-BxA: Rogers

CDD-BxB: Peppito

CDD-BxC: Bomba

CDD-Brooklyn: Zuss (VP), Torres (Alt. VP and Sr.

Atty rep.)

CDD-Bkl: Bell, Newton

CDD-Bk3: Flanders

CDD-Bk4: ·Pellegrino

CDD-Bk5: Lesher, Terry

CDD-Manhattan: Mulligan (Alt. VP)

CDD-Ml: Arons, Sundram

CDD-M2: Siletti, Mitchell

CDD-M3: Collins, Vasquez

CDD-M4: Fiellman, O’Connell

CDD-M5: Seeley, Soto, Nagel (Alt.)

CDD-M6: A:ffler, Botticelli

CDD-Spec Lit.: Wasserman

CDD-Ql Morrison

CDD-Q3: Knightly

CDD-Q4: Austin, Diflumeri

Civil: Holder

Civil-Aging: Durham

Civil-Bx: Frieder

CLO/Volunteer: Lundgren (V.P.), Madhavan,


JRD: Hochberg (V.P.)

JRD-M: Lamb, Pappadopoulos

PRP: Zelermyer, Werlwas (observer)

Previous Minutes

,.. The DC unanimously adopted the

following motion by Wasserman (CDD-S. Lit.

and Hochberg (JRD): Adopt the Delegate

Council minutes of .July 23, 2002 [previously


City Criminal Contract

Letwin reported that, pending execution of

the new city, LAS continues to receive criminal

funding under its previous contract. The

Union’s litigation has not yet been formally


CAB Staffin~

Harpaz and Albro reported that voluntary

reductions in CAB staffing and office location

have generated $2m annual funding for CDD.

CDD Staffin~

Letwin reported on discussions amongst

city-wide officers, CDD union officers and CDD

management about how to spend $8.6m in

additional city criminal funding.

Based on reported feedback from CDD

offices, the Union representatives have sought to

balance needs for additional staffing (particularly

in Manhattan) with preservation of at least $2m

for staff attorney compensation increases above

and beyond 3%.

(The amount of criminal funding designated

to compensation drives the level funded for that

purpose in all divisions).

Toward that end, the Union representatives

have advocated: ( 1) Limits on new staff attorney

hiring; (2) Few, if any, new supervisors. CDD

management has supported more aggressive

hiring, of both staff attorneys and supervisors.

Albro reported that Oxford is seeking a 19%

premium increase for staff attorney health

benefits in 2003.

The DC addressed the inherent trade-offs of

these competing legitimate priorities as follows:

,.. By 10-19-9, the DC defeated the following

EB proposal: Approve the position presented

by the EB to management that CDD staff

attorney hiring should not exceed 66 (except

for 3 additional current diversity candidates)

until and unless warranted by future


,.. By of 15-6-6, the DC adopted a motion by

Affier (CDD-Manhattan) to table the following

motion by Torres and Zuss (CDD-Bk): Limit

new CDD staff attorney hiring to 85.

,.. The DC unanimously adopted the

following motion by Seeley and Siletti

Minutes of ALAA Delegate Council-September 19, 2002 Page 2

(CDD-Manhattan): Oppose all new permanent

arraignment attorney positions.

“‘”The DC unanimously adopted the

following Executive Board motion: Achieve

additional CDD supervision by redeployment

of existing supervisors, not by !tiring new


Collective Bargaining

Letwin and Albro reported that, in order to

prepare for contract bargaining, a contractuallymandated

joint Union-Management analysis is

underway concerning “the four-boro average of

total compensation received by non-managerial

AD As at yearly levels of service.”

The EB has unanimously authorized

distribution to members of: (1) Summary of

changes made in past two rounds of contract

i1egotiations; and (2) written contract surveys.


Bylaw Amendments

~~>By 18-0-1, the DC adopted the following

motion: Adopt Bylaw amendments

unanimously formulated by the Bylaw

Revision Committee.

“‘”The DC unanimously adopted the

following motion by Harpaz (CAB): Table

further discussion concerning specific

assignment of EB representation concerning

health and safety and health benefits.

2002 Union Elections

“‘”The DC unanimously adopted the

following, modified, EB motion: Hold 2002

ALAA elections as follows: Sept


23-Beginning of 30-day nomination period;

Oct. 22-Membership meeting to close 30-day

nomination period; Nov. 6 -Election notice;

Nov. 21-0ffice balloting; Dec.

17 -Post-election membership meeting to ratifY

Election Committee report and install officers.

“‘”The DC unanimously elected the

following Election Committee: Marianne

Allegro (JRD-Manhattan)(alt: Mark Leider),

Jessica Botticelli (CDD-Manhattan), Adriene

Holder (Civil), Arthur Hopkirk (CAB), Steve

Wasserman (CDD-8pec. Lit.).

Terminated Attorneys’ Union


“‘”The DC unanimously adopted the

following motion suggested by Albro and moved

by Bomba (CDD-Bx): Pending ultimate

resolution of grievances of their termination,

continue Union membership of Alexander

Hillery and Kenneth Schaeffer

(Harlem -Civil).

Change in Union VP Constituency

“‘”The DC unanimously adopted the

following motions: Consistent with their

relocation to 111 Livingston St., assign Parole

Revocation Defense Unit (PRDU) and

CDD-8pec. Lit. to CDD-Bk vice-president’s



The DC adjourned at approximately 8:55


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.

January 14, 2002

2002.01.14 – Executive Board Agenda ALAA — OCR

Executive Board Agenda
January 14, 2002

Estimated length: 2 hours

1. Postponed: LAS Funding/Budget (with Theresa De Leon).

1.1. General.

1.2. Comp Day Change.

2. Draft Statement in Defense of Civil Liberties (attached).

3. Meeting Schedule for 2002.

Proposed ALAA Statement in Defense of Civil Liberties

January 11, 2002

As a labor union whose members fight each day for the statutory and constitutional rights of

indigent New Yorkers, The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW Local 2325, is deeply

opposed to the Bush administration’s broad assault on precious civil liberties and democratic rights.

This assault mirrors other shameful periods of racial, ethnic and/or political hysteria in

American history, among them the Alien and Sedition Acts (1798), Asian exclusion (1880s-1890s ),

“Sedition” prosecutions (World War I), the Palmer Raids (1919-1920), Japanese-American

internment (1940s), McCarthyism (1950s), the FBI’s COINTELPRO war on dissent (1960s), and

exclusion ofHaitian and Central American political refugees (1980s).

Today, these policies are reflected in the:

•”USA Patriot Act,” which authorizes the government, without meaningful judicial review,

to: designate domestic groups as “terrorist organizations”; indefinitely incarcerate or detain noncitizens

based on mere suspicion; deport immigrants for innocent association with others; and violate

confidential fmancial, medical, educational and other records without probable cause. (First, Fourth,

Fifth, and Sixth amendments).

•Mass detention of more than 1200 foreign nationals-almost all of them from the Mid-East

and South Asia–about whom the government has refused to provide information, who have often

been denied access to legal counsel or consular officials, who suffer inhumane conditions of

confinement-and virtually none of whom have been charged with terrorist acts. (Fourth, Fifth, Sixth

and Eighth amendments.)

• Detention and deportation hearings before secret immigration courts hearing secret evidence.

(Fifth Amendment.)

•Coercive and discriminatory questioning of 5, 000 young male legal immigrants men, mostly

of Middle Eastern descent, without probable cause. (First and Fifth amendments.)

•Deportation campaign against men of Muslim and Middle Eastern origin. (Fifth


•Authorization by the attorney general-without judicial review–for eavesdropping on

confidential attorney-client communication. (Sixth Amendment.)

•Trial of non-citizens accused of terrorism before secret military tribunals which deprive the

accused of an independent forum, their chosen attorneys, the presumption of innocence, proof

beyond a reasonable doubt, confrontation of evidence, exclusion of hearsay, a unanimous verdict,

and habeas corpus review by civilian courts. (Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth amendments; Geneva


•Heightened FBI spying on domestic religious and political organizations. (First


•Open consideration of torturing prisoners suspected of terrorism. (UN Convention Against

Torture, Fifth and Eighth amendments).

History teaches that our civil liberties and democratic rights are most endangered-and most

essential–during times of crisis. ALAA, therefore, supports and endorses all efforts to defend these

freedoms against the attacks discussed above.

Proposed 2002 ALAA Meeting Schedule

January 14, 2002

[NB: Checked for conflicting Jewish holidays, per <>%5D

Tuesday, January 9: EB

Monday, January 14: EB

Thursday, January 24: DC

Wednesday, February 13: EB

Tuesday, March 12: EB

Tuesday, March 19: DC

Wednesday, April10: EB

Tuesday, May 7: EB

Tuesday, May 14: DC

Wednesday, June 12: EB

Tuesday, July 9: EB

Tuesday, July 16: DC

Wednesday, September 11: EB

Tuesday, September 17: DC

Tuesday, October 8: EB

Wednesday, November 13: EB

Tuesday, November 19: DC

Tuesday, December 10: EB

November 23, 1999

1999.11.23: Notice of Election

Filed under: Union Democracy and Structure,Written Report — nyclaw01 @ 12:48 pm

[Original format: ELECTION2]

568 Broadway, Rm. 702A, New York, NY 10012-3225●212.343.0708●FAX 212.343.0966

Notice of Election

At-Large Executive Board Members, Union Trustees,

Pension Trustees, Affirmative Action Reps, and Delegates

Elections at the Delegate Council

Elections for the following positions will take place at the January 18, 2000 Delegate Council. Nominations should be sent to ALAA HQ as soon as possible, and must be received by the December 7, 1999 Delegate Council.

All positions require consistency and a substantial commitment of time and energy. All representatives will be provided with union training during 2000. Please email or call in nominations as soon as possible.

●At-Large Executive Board Members. The following issue/caucus representatives sit, with the union officers, on the ALAA Executive Board, for a term of three years, ALAA Bylaws, Art. VIII, § 2: (1) Affirmative Action (co-chairs the ALAA Joint Affirmative Action Committee); (2) Attorneys of Color of Legal Aid (ACLA)(nominated by ACLA); (3) Gay & Lesbian Caucus; (4) Health Benefits; (5) Health & Safety; (6) Junior Attorneys (Steps LG-4); and (7) Senior Attorneys (10 years+). Id., Art. VI, § 2.

The ACLA and Gay/Lesbian caucus representatives must be members of their respective constituencies. Id., Art. VIII, § 1.

“Except for the Health Benefits and Health and Safety representatives, the At-Large EB members will be responsible for calling regular ongoing meetings of the caucus or committee s/he represents and for arranging advance notice of such meetings to the membership.” Id., Art. VI, § 2.

●Union Trustees. Three elected union Vice-Presidents will serve as Union Trustees for a term of three years, Id., Art. V, § 1; Art. VIII, § 2, to “have general supervision over all funds and property of the Local Union.” UAW Constitution, Art. 40, § 12.

●Pension Trustees. The Society and ALAA each appoint three pension trustees to monitor and oversee the Staff Attorney Pension Plan. Union trustees are elected for a term of three years. ALAA Bylaws, Art. 8, § 2.

●Affirmative Action Representatives. Union representatives to the Joint ALAA Affirmative Action Committee include a co-chair and representatives/alternates from the following vice-presidential constituencies: (1) Civil Division; (2) Criminal Appeals Bureau/Capital Defense/Federal Defender; (3) CDD-Bronx; (4) CDD-Brooklyn; (5) CDD-Manhattan; (6) CDD-Queens; (7) Juvenile Rights Division; and (8) Volunteer Division/CLO.

Pursuant to Union contract, the Joint Committee, which began its work earlier this year, sets Society policy in regard to affirmative action. To date, the Committee has hired a new Society affirmative action officer and begun to revamp LAS recruitment. It is now organizing diversity training for K2000.

In-Office Delegate Elections

Delegates/Alternates will be elected in local offices from January 3-January 11, 2000.

The newly-elected Delegate Council will first meet on January 18, 1999, at which time it will elect the remaining Executive Board members, trustees and other representatives (see above).

The increased member/delegate ratios are as follows: 0-14:1; 15-24:2; 25-34:3; 35-:4, etc. Each unit, regardless of its size, may elect a maximum of three ranked alternates. ALAA Bylaws, Art. V, § 2. All units will be notified in advance of the number of representatives to which they are entitled.

Delegates/Alternates are elected for a two-year term. Id., Art. VIII, § 2. Their responsibilities include: (1) Convening meetings of unit members; (2) Handling grievances; (3) Promoting dialogue between unit members and the rest of the union; (4) Working with other office representatives (if any), their Vice-President, and union headquarters; (5) Participating in meetings of the Delegate Council and other union activities; and (6) Generally carrying out union policy.

(November 23, 1999)

November 26, 1996

1996.11.26: Bargaining Committee Agenda

Bargaining Committee Agenda

1. Wage Reopener.

B. Bargaining Issues.

A. Report.

1. Amount.

2. Allocation.

3. Form.

C. Scab Comparability.

A. Lawsuits.

C. Salary Information.

3. CDD Staffing.

4. Elections (Officers & Delegates).

B. Scheduling.

5. Communications & Events.

A. Newsletter.

B. Boro meetings.

C. Delegate training.

D. Party.

D. Bidders & Law Schools.

A. Candidates.

April 7, 1995

1995.04.07: Questions and Answers About CAB/CDD Staff Attorney Layoffs

1995.04.07- Questions and answers about CAB-CDD staff attorney layoffs (ALAA) — OCR



APRIL 7, 1995

Q. Will lay-off notices be withdrawn before April 14?

A. Lay-off notices will almost certainly be withdrawn next week. How many

withdrawals depends on:

1. how many Staff Attorneys sign up for buy-outs by the

specified deadline (probably the end of business on

Tuesday); and/or

2. whether the state restores some or all Legal

Aid criminal defense funding by the end of the


Q. When would those layoff notices be withdrawn?

A. Given state funding uncertainties, probably not until the end of next week.

Q. What if state funding is restored after April14?

A. At least some Staff Atton1eys would be recalled, depending on the amount of

money that is restored.

Q. What happens if there isn’t enough money to retain or recall all laid-off


A. Pursuant to our collective bargaining agreement, the Society must first retain or

recall members of the Fall1994 class. If there isn’t enough money to retain or


recall the entire class, the Society will choose individuals from that class based

on merit. The same criteria would apply if, after retaining or recalling everyone

in the Fall 1994 class, money is available to retain or recall some, but not all, of

the returned supervisors.

Q. How is “merit” defined?

A. The collective bargaining agreement mentions only “affirmative action

considerations” as a specific element of “merit.” Management, however, has

voiced agreement with ALAA’ s recently-stated view that other “merit” elements

should not include such potentially misleading criteria as the number of times an

attorney has gone to trial, or whether she failed her first effort to pass the bar


Q. How will I be notified if I am retained or recalled?

A. The Society will contact you by letter, and possibly telephone. ALAA will make

every effort of its own to immediately contact those affected. To expedite

notification, be sure that both Legal Aid and ALAA have your current address

and phone number.

Q. What unemployment benefits am I entitled to?

A. Government agencies report that laid-off employees are eligible for benefits of

approximately half of their weekly gross earnings up to a maximum of

$300/week, for up to 26 weeks. Individual benefits depend on your total

earnings over the past 52 weeks.

Q. When can I first file for unemployment benefits?

A. You can file in the first week during which you have not have worked 3 days or

earned more than $300.

Q. How do I apply for unemployment benefits?

A. Go to the NYS Labor Department nearest your home or office (listed in the Blue

Pages). Offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m (Mondays are


busiest). Bring your social security card, photo ID and Legal Aid pay stubs.

Q. Will I be paid for unused comp days?

A. Yes, except for the first five days you earned after October 1, 1994.

Q. Will I be paid for accumulated vacation days?

A. Yes.

Q. When will laid-off attorneys be paid for comp, vacation accrual and

outstanding reimbursement requests?

A. Hopefully during the week of April 28.

Q. What severance benefits am I entitled to?

A. All Legal Aid staff being laid-off or bought-out will receive the following



<1 $3,150 6 months of paid health

1-5 $6,750

benefits (you continue to

pay a contribution under

5-10 $7,650 the indemnity plan),

10-15 $9,000

followed by an 18 month

option to maintain that

15-25 $11,700 coverage at your own

25+ $13,500


Q. How will cash severance be paid out?

A. You will receive severance in the form of a regular bi-weekly paycheck, rather

than as a lump-sum payment.


Q. For how long am I entitled to recall if Staff Attorney positions later become


A. Eight months.

Q. Can the Society hire new attorneys during that period before offering it to


A. No. Laid-off atton1eys must be given the right of first refusal for such new


Q. Do laid-off attorneys ltave to vacate their offices by April14?

A. No. Management has indicated that attorneys will be allowed to remain in their

offices at least until the status of state funding is clarified.

Q. What assistance is available to laid-off attorneys other than unemployment


A. ALAA’ s Hardship Fund may be able to provide very limited assistance in cases

of extreme, proven financial hardship .

Note: Please contact ALAA for further information. ~ ..-


March 31, 1995

1995.03.31: ALAA/1199 Update #29

Original format: 29UPDATE



ALAA/1199 UPDATE #29
MARCH 31, 1995

568 BROADWAY, RM. 702A, NY, NY 10012-3225•212.343.0708•FAX 212.343.0966


The first news story about state Aid to Defense funding appeared yesterday in the New York Law Journal, which announced that Republican State Senator Dale Volker acknowledges the need for at least some funding restoration. Volker’s statement appears to have been a result of Union/Society lobbying efforts.  Lobbying teams will go to Albany again next week.


On Tuesday night, representatives of Supervisors, Exempt staff, Staff Attorneys and Support Staff addressed the Board of Directors concerning the impact of any state cuts.  The Supervisors and Exempt Staff each made their presentations out of the presence of all other constituencies.  ALAA and 1199 made a joint presentation.

UNION PRESENTATIONS.  The Unions’ central theme was that Legal Aid would forfeit its increasingly-tenuous status as primary defender were it to lose any further Staff Attorneys or Support Staff in the criminal divisions.  That, said the Unions, would threaten the criminal divisions with gradual — or even rapid — extinction.

ALAA further stated that the loss of former supervisors (who would be laid-off first) would sacrifice needed experience, while laying-off recent Staff Attorney classes (who would be laid-off next) would wreck CDD’s team concept and undermine the Society’s future ability to attract essential new Staff Attorneys.

ALAA reported that Management’s preliminary proposal for CAB, which called for no Staff Attorney lay-offs, is sensible in light of growing Staff Attorney seniority in CAB, the small size of recent entering classes, implementation of teaming and other staff-based cooperation, and a resulting Supervisor:Staff Attorney ratio that would still be significantly higher than other appellate defender offices, such as that in Chicago.

Both Unions opposed any Support Staff lay-offs in CAB.

In order to ensure quality representation under these reduced ratios, ALAA detailed its previously-reported proposal for a staff-based mentoring/training program.

1199 identified those job classifications that would be particularly impacted by the cuts.

The Unions also stressed the need to consider a scenario in which the state restores some, but not all, funds.

BOARD ACTION.  In a presentation to the ALAA and 1199 Bargaining Committees on Thursday afternoon, Danny Greenberg and Human Resources Director Elaine Kurtz reported that the Board (which met until after midnight), agreed that the Society would not be able to handle all the criminal work under a worst-case state cut scenario.  It also explicitly delegated to Management decisions about how to implement any state budget cuts that may occur.

Greenberg and Kurtz also reported that the Board had discussed, but has not reached a decision on, whether to offer buy-outs and/or severance beyond that already provided for by existing agreements.

As a result, any buy-out offers would probably be made available only after lay-off notices are issued.  Buyouts would then reduce the number of effective notices.  On Thursday, The Society had a preliminary discussion with the City on how buyout and/or severance could be funded.

On Monday, Society representatives with meet with Criminal Justice Coordina¬tor Katy Lapp to explore her previous offer to expedite admission of Legal Aid attorneys to the 18-B panel in the event of lay-offs or buy-outs.

Management also said that there will be no lay-off notices prior to the next Board meeting, which will take place on Tuesday morning.


Both Unions strongly urge their members to join a mass Walk for Justice on the 27th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., to be held this Tuesday, March 4, 2 p.m. (flyer attached).

The march will go from City Hall Park to Wall Street.

The protest is sponsored by numerous churches, unions, students, and advocates for the poor.  It demands that the Pataki administration “stop the budget cuts, repeal tax cuts and end corporate welfare.”

The ALAA/Legal Aid Chapter 1199 contingent, with our Unions’ signs and banners, will gather at 2 p.m. sharp, directly in front of 15 Park Row.

All members are invited — officers, delegates, alternates and other interested members from nearby offices (lower Manhattan, downtown Brooklyn) are particularly asked to attend, so that we may bring attention to the cuts at Legal Aid, and oppose all the other cuts which we and our clients face.

February 1, 1995

1995.02.01: ALAA/1199 UPDATE

Original format: 20UPDATE



FEBRUARY 1, 1995


568 BROADWAY, RM. 702A, NY, NY 10012-3225•212.343.0708•FAX 212.343.0966


On January 23, by a vote of 369-88-3, ALAA members ratified the proposed contract settlement unanimously recommended by the ALAA Bargaining Committee [for specific terms, see previously-distributed Summary of Tentative 1994-1998 Contract Submitted for Membership Vote — January 23, 1995].

On January 30, 1199, by a vote of 311-59-4 support staff ratified their new contract, which had expired on September 30, 1993. The 1199 settlement contains a 2% salary increase effective February 1, 1995, and a bonus of $300 effective February 15, 1995. The new contract also promises that the Society will seek agreement with the Union in regard to the redesign of job classifications.


On January 24, one day after ALAA ratified its new contract, City Corporation Counsel Paul Crotty informed Legal Aid Board Chair Tom Brome that:

[b]ased on our progress in renegotiating the criminal defense contract, the City hereby rescinds such termination as to the contracts with the Department of Social Services and Department of Aging and extends such termination as to the criminal defense contract until the date of registration of the renegotiated Modification Agreement, unless sooner terminated according to the terms of the existing contract.

As reported in last Sunday’s New York Times, it is expected that the Society’s new City contract will be signed when final language is agreed upon.


Will the health election period be extended? Society Human Resources Director Elaine Kurtz has announced that the deadline to elect health coverage has been extended through this Friday.

Is maternity care covered by the indemnity plan? Note that some of CIGNA’s plan summaries erroneously state that the indemnity plan does not cover maternity care. Such care is in fact covered by the indemnity plan.

Will attorneys on leave of absence lose 5 vacation and/or pay days this year? Those on leave of absence will make a pro-rata contribution, based on the time of return to staff.

Can former supervisors keep vacation days? Former supervisors now returned to staff will keep vacation days based on the value at which they were originally earned.

What if my pension statement seems wrong? Buck Consultants says that all of the attorney statements it has been asked to examine have been correct. They have, however, suggested to the joint Pension Trustees that the statement be redesigned for greater clarity. If, nonetheless, you believe that your statement is wrong, contact Human Resources at 577-3308.

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

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 12.12.38 AM

October 5, 1992

1992.10.05: 1992 Bargaining Report #14

1992.10.05- Bargaining Report #14- Membership Ratifies First On-Time Contract (ALAA) — OCR

Officers/Delegates: Please Copy & Distribute Immediately to All ALAA & 1199 Members

1992 Bargaining Report #14 – October 5, 1992 ·@·65

The Association of Legal Aid Attorneys • District 65 • UA W • AFL-CIO

13 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003-6980 • (212)674-4188 • FAX: (212) 475-6091

Membership Ratifies First On-Time Contract

Record Turn-Out for October 1st Meeting

On Thursday, October 1st, by a vote of 536-268, the membership ratified the terms of the new contract.

The vote followed lengthy debate over whether to accept the contract or strike effective Thursday at


The settlement concluded a successfully-executed contract campaign begun in May and culminating

with the October 1st “No Contract, No Work” deadline, during which ALAA members stood firmly with

each other and with Local1199 support staff who recently settled their own contract. The campaign and its

results will be analyzed further in coming weeks.

The Bargaining Committee wishes to express its deep-felt thanks to all members for this support

throughout negotiations.

Settlement Summary

While awaiting formal contract language, please call the Union if you need clarification on the

following summary of the main elements of the contract.


• First Year. Average salary increase of 4.75% (as shown on management’s final wage chart), an

amount which will increase if, as is anticipated, assistant district attorneys receive raises in coming months.

• Second Year. Raises tied to those received by assistant district attorneys and increases in the

differential between steps 10-11, 11-12, and 12-13 to $1,000, $1,000 and $2,500 respectively.

• Delay in Step One. The transition from Law Graduate to Step One will now take effect upon bar

admission, rather than bar passage.

Health Benefits

Under both the GHI and modified CIGNA options, management will guarantee the benefits level

for the life of the contract. During October, the membership will make a group choice between the two types

of health insurance, during which time management will maintain the existing CIGNA health plan as is.

• GHI. Management will pay up to $340 per member/per month to fund the plan as envisioned by

the Union.

• CIGNA. A modified version of the existing plan. For those choosing indemnity coverage (i.e. to

see your own doctor): deductibles of $250/$500 individuals and families respectively, stop-loss of $5,000,

15%/30% premium contributions for individuals and families respectively (limited to initial dollar amount

during the first year, and by management’s agreement to absorb the first $200,000 in the second year), drug

card increase to $10 and $12 for generic and brand name drugs respectively, and a possible change to managed

mental health care. HMO options without premium contributions will be made available for those who wish

to elect for them annually.

1992 Bargaining Report # 14


• Domestic Partner Coverage. Health insurance coverage for the domestic partners of lesbian and

gay attorney, when such coverage becomes available.

• Elimination of Jointly-Trusteed Health Fund and Fund Broker.

• Restriction on Continued Coverage for those who Resign.

• Resolution of Dependent Coverage. Comparability determination will take into account spousal

contributions to other coverage.

Affirmative Action

• Diversity training for all attorneys, based on consultation with Joint Affirmative Action Task Force;

• Provision of greater information to Task Force.


Management must take all reasonable steps to protect clients and staff from exposure to tuberculosis,


• Twice annual PPD testing and follow-up procedures;

• Masks and mask training;

• General TB training;

• Safe rooms in offices to conduct safe interviews with infected clients;

• Steps to ensure TB testing and treatment for clients;

• Reimbursement of out of pocket medical expenses for treatment of staff for TB under CIGNA,

and subject to discussion if GHI is chosen;

• Consideration of exemption from normal work of those with compromised immune systems.

Conditions of Ratification

Following the initial ratification vote, the entire membership further voted to reconsider acceptance

if management reneges on any material term of the agreement, or if management retaliates against any

member for Union action taken prior to the settlement.

Choosing Health Insurance

This week Union representatives will meet with City officials to discuss the viability of the GHI health

plan option. As soon as the GHI option becomes clearer, the Executive Committee will exercise the

discretion granted by the membership meeting to call a membership meeting or office balloting on which

health option to choose.

As we attempt to finalize the details of the GHI proposal, it would be helpful if members would

systematically submit their questions or concerns about the plan by sending your written questions or concerns to

the Union office during the week of October 5th. Once the details of the proposal are finalized, there will be

an additional opportunJty to ask questions or voice concern..s about the plan.

One-Day Strike Pay Checks

Most members have received their check for the July 15th one-day strike. This is a final call delegates

to submit the names of members who have not yet received their checks.

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