Brooklyn Boro

CAMBA Legal Service attorneys win battle to unionize

May 31, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Twenty-five staff attorneys from CAMBA Legal Services, which provides legal representation for indigent Brooklynites, announced that they won union recognition this week. Photo courtesy of the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys

Earlier this month, staff attorneys at CAMBA Legal Services, a social services provider in Brooklyn, announced their intentions to unionize. Approximately two weeks later they announced that they have won union recognition after a card check agreement was reached.

The 25 staff attorneys, who represent indigent clients facing eviction, foreclosure, immigration issues and consumer fraud in Brooklyn and Staten Island, had concerns about fair compensation, training opportunities and wanted better facilities.

They were also concerned that their work would be stretched too thin as New York City has begun to guarantee attorneys to income-eligible people facing eviction, a project that will be phased in through 2022.

“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 at 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.”

CAMBA agreed to recognize the union after a majority of employees signed union cards. After verification, an arbitrator announced that the union has secured 100 percent support from the staff attorneys.

The two sides are now in negotiations on a new contract.

The 25 CAMBA staff attorneys will join the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, which already has approximately 1,200 members who are employed at the Legal Aid Society of New York City and other local defender services. It’s the nation’s oldest union of attorneys and legal aid workers.

 

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