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LAWYERS AT CAMBA LEGAL SERVICES GO OUT ON 24 HOUR STRIKE
CAMBA Legal Services Staff are striking for a contract to address basic needs to reduce high employee turnover so clients can receive the quality services they deserve
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27, 2019
BROOKLYN, NY — Staff from CAMBA Legal Services (CLS) are striking on March 27, 2019 for 24 hours to protest management’s continued intransigence in bargaining a fair employment contract. The union members will form a picket line in front of CLS offices located 885 Flatbush Avenue at 8:00am. A picket line will also form at 141 Livingston Street at 1:00pm where the CLS union will be joined by union members of other legal services providers. Finally, the union will picket CAMBA management offices at 1720 Church Avenue at 3:15pm. The CLS attorneys and support staff have been negotiating their first contracts since unanimously voting to form a union and joining UAW Local 2325 in May 2018. Following more than six months of negotiations, CAMBA management has refused to engage in good faith bargaining on a number of key conditions of employment which are standard for legal services organizations in New York City, including paid parental leave, a step-based salary system for support staff, and competitive pay for all staff.
This lack of movement from management to address basic needs stands in stark contrast to the extravagant compensation that CAMBA executives currently take home.
“We thought we worked for a non-profit whose mission is toconnect people with opportunities to enhance their quality of life” said Brittany Daniels, Staff Attorney at the CLS Staten Island office. “We refuse to be warm bodies to a management who only cares about its top tier. We are striking because we believe in CAMBA’s mission, even if management does not.”
The poor working conditions at the CAMBA offices affect the ability of staff to provide adequate free services for its clients who are facing eviction, foreclosure, consumer, and immigration issues. “CAMBA glorifies its community efforts on the backs of their undervalued workers” said Ivette Vasquez, Paralegal at the CLS Flatbush office. “CAMBA, who boasts an overarching mission of ‘where you can’ is actually ‘where you can’t’ ever stay loyal to their employees.”
Turnover also plagues CAMBA Legal Services, which drastically affects the quality of services clients receive. “Since starting at CAMBA in 2016, I have handled cases that were previously handled by two attorneys that left” said Pooja Patel, Staff Attorney at the CLS Flatbush office. “The constant staff turnover does a disservice to our clients.”
CAMBA Legal Services, a subdivision of CAMBA, represents indigent clients in Brooklyn and Staten Island in housing, foreclosure, consumer, and immigration law.