July 17, 2023 (Brooklyn, NY) – Today, the Children’s Law Center (CLC) staff announced that they are on strike. CLC is a 26-year-old, non-profit law firm, and the first organization in New York City dedicated primarily to the representation of children in custody, visitation, and guardianship litigation. Their attorneys, social workers, and other staff are dedicated to ensuring that the children whom they represent have a voice in the legal proceedings that have a critical impact on their lives.
In 2020, faced with enormous caseloads and low wages that did not meet industry standards, CLC staff voted overwhelmingly to unionize with the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys, UAW Local 2325, which represents 3,000 members at 25 non-profit legal services providers primarily in New York City.
In March 2021, CLC’s union presented its initial contract proposal to management. In the 838 days since, CLC Management has failed to bargain in good faith, only making a first insulting and abysmal salary offer last week and forcing the union to call for a strike.
CLC is not alone in calling for higher wages and better working conditions. Legal and human services organizations across the city have chosen to organize in recent years. The importance of our legal and social work cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, the way that CLC’s Management and Board of Directors have treated staff at the bargaining table demonstrates that, ultimately, they do not value staff’s significant experience, expertise, and dedication to improving the lives of some of New York City’s most at-risk children.