Our 2016 National Joint Council Conference

July 1, 2016 We had 15 union members off to Las Vegas this past week for the conference of our parent union, the National Organization of Legal Services Workers. Here we are with UAW Region 9A Director Julie Kushner. We heard a personal address from Elizabeth Warren: We were inspired by progressive elected officials from […]

Blast from the Past: A 1968 New York Times Profile of MFY

June 24, 2016 “In the old melting pot streets of the New York’s Lower East Side — at Mobilization for Youth [now MFY]… — the poor are treated not as charity cases but as clients….There may be no busier group of practitioners in the city.” This 1968 New York Times Magazine article profiled MFY (then known […]

Tupac Shakur’s Mother, Former Union Member, Dies

June 17, 2016We honor the passing of Afeni Shakur Davis, the mother of Tupac Shakur, who worked as a paralegal at Bronx Legal Services and was a Legal Services Staff Association union member in the 1970s and early 1980s before moving out of state. Long-time Bronx Legal Services staff members remember Afeni as a radical […]

UAW Works to Save LSNYC & MFY Immigration Funding

June 17, 2016 At the beginning of June, LSNYC and MFY learned that the proposed City Council budget reflected a severe cut to significant immigration funding. This IOI (Immigrant Opportunities Initiatives) funding was money that both legal services providers had been receiving for a number of years and had come to count on. LSNYC was […]

Standing with Locked-Out Honeywell Workers

June 17, 2016 Several members of LSSA, along with many other UAW members, traveled to upstate New York on Wednesday to stand in solidarity with the workers at Honeywell corporation who have been locked out of their jobs by their employer for almost six weeks. Honeywell wants to break their union, and is trying to […]

Our Annual Delegate Training

June 10, 2016 We held a new delegate training this week, and among other topics our delegates got hands-on experience in how to check the salaries for LSNYC staff to make sure that members are being paid on the right step and getting raises at the right time. Here they are working through practice exercises, […]

LSSA Bylaws Amended to Build Strike Hardship Fund

June 9, 2016 The delegates have voted to amend our governing bylaws to change how our dues are allocated. The crucial change is to remove the $300,000 cap on our strike hardship fund. This will allow our strike fund to continue growing along with our membership. We will also front-load some of this growth by transferring […]

Nydia Roman Retires After 37+ Years

June 3, 2016 On Friday, June 3rd, the Bronx office held a retirement party for Nydia Roman, who began working at Bronx Legal Services in November of 1978, and since then has dedicated many years of services to our clients, as well as humor and enjoyment to her colleagues. Nydia, thank you for your commitment […]

Determining the Salary and Anniversary Date for Lawyers and Social Workers

May 27, 2016 Our union has reached agreement with LSNYC management on the method for determining the salary and anniversary date for lawyers and social workers that will result in salary increases and retroactive payments for a number of staff hired in the last seven years. Our union contract states that attorneys and social workers […]

LSNYC Selects New Retirement Provider

May 20, 2016 Our union has long pressed LSNYC to take the financial health of our retirement accounts seriously. In 2015, taking a significant step towards this goal, LSNYC agreed to the union’s request to ask for bids on our retirement contract. In February 2016, our union, along with LSNYC management, interviewed four companies (Mass […]

Big Win Protecting Our Fellows

May 20, 2016 Last week, we learned that the Immigrant Justice Corps fellowship program planned to radically change their fellowship program. Instead of the fellows being on staff at LSNYC, IJC wanted to make them staff of the IJC program. That would have meant that instead of being paid a union salary and benefits, with the […]

We Still Remember

May 15, 2016 Three years ago, LSNYC management chose to terminate, without notice, the health insurance of our LSNYC members who were on strike. Our members received a shocking surprise when we went to our pharmacies and doctors’ offices only to learn that we could not get our prescriptions, physicals, and even chemotherapy because our health insurance had been cut […]

Mobilizing Labor to Help Puerto Rico

May 14, 2016 Puerto Rico’s situation is dire. The UAW represents thousand of workers and retirees on the island who are suffering at the hands of hedge funds and other financial speculators who are exploiting the evere economic crisis. Retirees face the loss of their modest pension and the island as a whole is suffering […]

Members Vote to Bolster Strike Hardship Fund By Raising Dues

May 13, 2016 Following an extensive assessment of our union’s finances, we identified that although our finances are healthy and have been handled prudently, we have not been able to save additional money in the last two years, since the national UAW began taking a larger share of our dues. We brought this issue to […]

Gaining a Voice in Upper Management Evaluations

May 13, 2016 Many of our members have thoughts about the job their Project Director is doing. But that does not mean that anyone from the LSNYC Board of Directors ever asked them for their feedback. Up until this point, staff feedback about Project Director performance has been solicited inconsistently from office to office. Often, […]

Union Members Chosen for Strategic Planning Committee

May 6, 2016 The Delegates Assembly voted this week to choose union members for the LSNYC strategic planning committee. They are: Brooklyn – Vance Gathing Bronx – Robert Gruenwald Central – Jay Ackley Manhattan – Mary McCune Queens – Jessica DeStefano Staten Island – Liliana Gutmann-McKenzie Congratulations and thank you to these members, who will be responsible for representing the concerns, interests, […]

We’re 400 Members Strong!

May 1, 2016 In the last few weeks, we reached a new era in Legal Services Staff Association history: we now have over 400 members!! Both Legal Services NYC and MFY have grown rapidly, and we are so thrilled to welcome our new members into our union.  

LSSA to Pay Membership Fees for Members to Join AFL-CIO Constituency Groups

April 2016 LSSA2320 Union Members: Are you a person of color, LGBTQ, a woman, or a veteran? You can join an AFL-CIO constituency group and connect to other union members working to address the challenges that workers from diverse backgrounds face. These groups reach out to the communities they serve, build solidarity, help out with […]

New Member and Education Committees Revived

April 15, 2016 There are lots of opportunities to get involved with the union and help shape our direction. Here are two ways: New Member Committee: We are looking to get our new member committee revitalized. If you’ve a relatively new staff member and you’d like to participate — or take a leadership role! — please […]

LSNYC Middle Managers Announce They’re Forming a Union

April 1, 2016 We have just learned some significant news — the middle managers at LSNYC have decided to unionize. Until this point, middle managers had been at-will employees with no job protections. Esther Peterson, Unit Director in LSNYC’s Randall Island’s benefits unit, said “For too long, middle managers have had no real power to […]

Memberwide Discussion of Possible Dues Increase

March 18, 2016 Treasurer Jay Ackley, President Sonja Shield, and other members of the Executive Committee will be visiting all LSSA shops in April to discuss the proposed dues increase with members. The Executive Committee and Delegates Assembly are proposing to raise dues by a quarter percent (.25%), to be implemented in July. This will help […]

LSSA2320 in Albany

March 4, 2016 Eight LSSA union members traveled to Albany this past week to join UAW union members from across New York as we met with our state elected officials. Our eight teams alone met with almost 150 state senators and assembly members. Our whole UAW group met with over 200 elected officials. We encouraged […]

Updated Child Care Reimbursement Guidelines

January 8, 2016 The Delegates Assembly this month voted to update our union’s child care reimbursement guidelines. You can be reimbursed for child care expenses incurred when you attend a union meeting. The new guidelines raise the reimbursement rate from $15/hour to $20/hour, expand the reimbursement to include elder care (if you need to pay someone to stay […]