May 24, 2024 | News Story

MFJ Union Ratifies Contract Offer, Ending Historic 13-Week Strike

On Monday, 72% of participating union members at Mobilization for Justice (MFJ) voted to ratify a contract offer presented by MFJ Management last week. The agreement concluded the Union’s nearly three-month strike — the longest NYC legal services strike since 1991 — with major victories including double digit raises for MFJ’s lowest paid workers.

“We presented contract demands to Management in November, aiming to promote racial and economic justice by lifting wages, sustaining healthcare, and improving workplace equity,” said Union Bargaining Team member and paralegal Ella Abeo. “Management responded with demands for givebacks, antagonistic counter-offers, and repeated violations of their duty to bargain in good faith. Striking was our only option to compel them to honor MFJ’s mission.”

The Union’s recent pressure campaign on MFJ’s funders and other stakeholders led to Management meeting several core Union demands, including a starting base salary of $60,000. This sector-leading victory results in a 17% raise for administrative staff and a 13% raise for paralegals. Law graduates will receive an 18% raise, while other staff—including attorneys, social workers, and specialists—will receive a 4% increase for 2024. All unionized staff will receive 3% annual raises in 2025 and 2026, along with a one-time ratification bonus. The strike also expanded protections for the Union’s most vulnerable members.

Union members formed strike committees and used direct actions, boycotts, and relentless picketing to pressure Management into a fair agreement. “Management pushed us, but we pushed back harder,” said Abeo. “This strike shows that when workers unite, we will win.” Read more here and here!