March 8, 2019
Our union together with Legal Services NYC is forming a new joint labor-management committee to address the pervasive and systemic issues with training and support as well as evaluations of and feedback for staff of color.
One committee member explains the need for this work: “Many of our union members, both attorney and non-attorneys, come to us with complaints about the lack of training and support from management and concerns about reprimands because they do not know how to do their job properly. Staff of color are especially worried as they have seen the disproportionate treatment of other staff of color who have also had issues with training, supervision, and support. Despite evaluations/feedback, grievances, and meetings with staff, management still has not figured out a way to properly train and support new hires. It is imperative that LSNYC develop a training system that actually falls in line with our DEI efforts in order to ensure that staff can do the best work possible and are not penalized for LSYNC’s lack of both hindsight and foresight.” Another noted that her interest in participation is informed by her personal experience being thrown into her position with little to no training, being expected to intuit the particulars of how her office wanted things done, and as a person of color having her work scrutinized more harshly than that of her white colleagues.
Our committee members are passionate about this work and eager to get started. One member commented that he “was interested in joining this committee because he is committed to seeing LSNYC create an equitable and diverse workplace where managers receive the tools and training they need to support and empower staff.” Another notes that this committee will help us live up to “the values that the overall agency advocates for in serving and working with both clients and staff members.”
There will be ten union members and ten management members on the committee. This week the Delegates Assembly voted on nominations and selected the committee members: Darryl Barney, attorney in Staten Island; Fernando Mancias, attorney in the Bronx, Maria Fuentes, paralegal in Staten Island; Rita Vega, attorney in Manhattan; Robert Sanderman, attorney in Queens; Rose Morgan, attorney in Manhattan; Sonja Shield, union president; Tasnim Islam, social worker in Queens; Vance Gathing, attorney in Brooklyn; and Vianca Figueroa, paralegal in the Bronx.