On January 30, 3015, the unionized employees of MFY Legal Services, Inc. (MFY) voted to reject management’s contract offer and went on strike.
MFY’s employees demanded a contract that ensured that low-income New Yorkers would be served by an experienced, knowledgeable staff. The union sought fair pay and manageable workloads for the organization’s lowest-paid employees, family-friendly policies, and other provisions to retain experienced staff and recruit new employees who reflect the diverse communities the organization serves.
“We are fighting for a contract that works for our clients, that works for our lowest paid and most vulnerable members, and that raises the working standards of legal services workers,” said Jota Borgmann, a Senior Staff Attorney in MFY’s Disability and Aging Rights Project. “Management, on the other hand, wants to lead a race to the bottom. By doing so, they refuse to acknowledge that quality work comes from retaining experienced workers and that a social justice organization must ensure justice in its own workplace.”
After a tremendous show of solidarity, and several weeks of record-breaking cold, on February 24th the union members of MFY ratified the tentative agreement reached with management late in the night of February 23rd. Our efforts during the strike won a contract that ensures our clients will be served by experienced staff, that creates a family-friendly workplace, and that respects the experience and dedication of our paralegals and administrative support staff.