Brooklyn, NY — Staff attorneys and law graduates at CAMBA Legal Services (CLS) have won their union after reaching a card check agreement with CAMBA management. The 25 attorneys who work for the legal services department of the large social service provider, CAMBA, Inc. represent indigent clients facing eviction, foreclosure, immigration issues, and consumer fraud in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The twenty-five staff attorneys announced their intent to unionize two weeks ago in a delegation to CAMBA General Counsel Elizabeth Miller. Among the attorneys’ concerns are fair compensation, increased training and workforce development, better facilities and a higher standard of representation for CAMBA’s clients. CAMBA agreed to recognize the Union following the mobilization of their staff, if the majority of employees signed Union cards, commonly called “card check.” After verification by a neutral third party this afternoon, the arbitrator announced that the Union had secured 100% support from CAMBA Legal Services lawyers. CAMBA and the Union will now begin meeting to draft and ratify a first contract.
“We congratulate our newest members at CAMBA Legal Services on their victory” said Deborah Wright, President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW Local 2325. “We look forward to sitting down with CAMBA management and negotiating a fair contract which upholds the dignity of the members and their clients. We encourage other legal services professionals and support staff to join the growing movement in our industry to secure justice for our colleagues and our communities.”
Union organizing among attorneys, legal services workers, and other professional employees has increased in the last few years, as attorneys at legal services organizations like Youth Represent and Lambda Legal have joined graduate teaching assistants at multiple universities, and newsroom staff at media organizations around the country to improve working conditions in their respective industries. The new union members at CAMBA Legal Services will join the 1,200 members of ALAA who are employed at the Legal Aid Society of New York City, the Nassau County Legal Aid Society, Federal Defenders of New York, The Legal Aid Society of Orange County, and Youth Represent. ALAA – UAW Local 2325 is the nation’s oldest union of attorneys and legal workers.