STAFF AT THE CENTER FOR FAMILY REPRESENTATION ANNOUNCE UNIONIZATION

For Immediate Release

Contact: Alexi Shalom, 347-417-1715, ashalom@alaa.org 

STAFF AT THE CENTER FOR FAMILY REPRESENTATION ANNOUNCE UNIONIZATION

Staff members are calling on CFR to recognize their union and begin bargaining immediately

Manhattan and Queens, NY — Staff members at the Center for Family Representation (CFR), announced their intent to join the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW Local 2325 on Friday, January 24.  The 70 attorneys, social workers, family advocates, parent advocates, and administrative staff who work for CFR represent indigent clients in both Manhattan and Queens who face allegations of abuse or neglect, criminal charges in both adult and juvenile cases, deportation, custody, and housing issues.  

Staff members are calling on CFR to immediately recognize their union after an overwhelming majority signed cards indicating their support for unionization. A broad cross-section of staff across practice areas and roles announced their intent to unionize on Friday afternoon in a delegation to CFR Management. The staff’s concerns include implementing a justice-driven mission, equitable compensation, holistic supervision, emphasizing employee retention and development, increasing employee input, and organizational transparency to better serve CFR’s clients.

“A union will help make parent defense stronger in NYC by creating an environment where diverse people feel comfortable staying for the long term. Right now the city doesn’t give us enough funding to provide that, but together we can show the city that parents deserve defenders who can count on a well paid job with benefits and a manageable caseload in order to bring their all to defending parents and building their expertise,” said Molly Tenzer, Staff Social Worker

Sara Lewis, Staff Attorney, stated, “I support the Union because I believe it will build stronger avenues of communication between management and staff that will create improvements to the efficacy of our work and our ability to do that work.”

“Having a Union will enable the people that work with our clients most closely and directly in court and in the field to have their voices heard in a meaningful and productive way,” said Lauren Fazzino, Staff Attorney.

“Our newest members at the Center for Family Representation will join the thousands of non-profit and legal services workers around the country who are uniting to improve conditions across this critical industry.  We unionize not only to empower membership, but to improve representation for our clients” said Jared Truillo, President of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys – UAW Local 2325. “We congratulate our new members and welcome them to our union family.  We call on CFR management to immediately recognize the overwhelming desire of its employees to join together in a union.”

Union organizing among attorneys, legal services workers, and other professional employees has increased in the last few years, as attorneys and staff at legal services organizations like Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem and New York Legal Assistance Group 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. If their union is recognized, the staff members at the Center for Family Representation will join the 1,500 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, Youth Represent, CAMBA Legal Services, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York Legal Assistance Group, and Asian Americans for Equality.  ALAA – UAW Local 2325 is the nation’s oldest union of attorneys and legal workers.