NATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF LEGAL SERVICES WORKFRS NOLSW, UAW Local 2320, AFL-CIO
West Coast Regional Office
r.o. Box 20042
Riverside, CA 92516-0042
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT: Donis Borks (951) 318-6601; Carmen Goldberg (323) 600-5315
UNION WORKERS AT NEIGHBORHOOD LEGAL SERVICES OF LOS ANGE ES COUNTY
TO RAllY FOR ECONOMIC SECURITY
Members of the Pacoima United Legal Services Workers (PULSE), a unit of the National Organization of Legal Services Workers, United Auto Workers Local 2320, AFL-C10, will be holding a rally to support its bargaining team on Tuesday, November 8th , at 6:00 pm in front of the Glendale office of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County (NLSLA), located at 1102 E. Chevy Chase Drive, Glendale, CA. Management must recognize that its workers, who are the tlfront line" of the fight to ensure economic security for low-income residents of Los Angeles, are entitled to these same guarantees of economic security. PULSE represents NLSLA's Staff Attorneys, Paralegals, Legal Secretaries, Receptionists, Copy Clerks and Maintenance Specialists. These workers provide free legal services to low-income commu ities throughout Los Angeles County, helping to keep families in their homes and assisting exploited workers pursue wage claims, among other vital services. PULSE members are the individuals who ensure that NLSLA's stated vision of "a day when... access to justice is not predicated on social economic status, and everyone has income security, adequate housing, quality education, healthcare and opportunity for a happy and prosperous future" can be fulfilled. However, this vision must include income security for PULSE members as well as NLSLA's clients. Yet, PULSE members have been working without a contract since January 1, 2011. NLSLA's management is on a campaign to eliminate the step system, which provides employees with a modest salary increase each year, allowing them to provide for their families and plan for the future. PULSE members have made substantial financial sacrifices by choosing to work in legal services because they believe all people in Los Angeles deserve access to justice. However, if the step system is eliminated, PULSE members' economic security will be threatened and their salaries will fall qUickly behind their counterparts in legal services agencies in Los Angeles and other parts of the state. Additionally, the economic security provided by the step system, which is the standard at virtually every legal services program in California, has allowed NLSLA to attract some ofthe most qualified attorneys in the nation. Now, this ability is at risk due to NLSLA management's short-sighted devaluing of its dedicated staff. "Losing the step system would destroy an essential element to what a union is all about," said Carmen Goldberg, unit chair at PULSE. "Our members must be able to pay their mortgages and be able to provide for their families". "Management is trying to exploit a bad economy in order to do away with policies that have traditionally helped employees," said Donis Barks, organizer for the National Organization of Legal Services Workers. "The staff at NLSLA already makes far less money than they could in the private sector. They are willing to work for less because they believe in their clients and the mission of proViding legal services for low income people."