Become a Member Today!
If you are a Council Member Aide or Finance Analyst, you are eligible to become a member of ALE. Click here to complete your online membership and dues authorization -- no paper form required.
Payment of union dues is required to be a full member. Dues are calculated on a sliding scale based on salary. After submission of your membership card, dues will be deducted automatically every pay period. See FAQ #6 for more information.
About the Union
A staff union at the Council is a major step toward securing long-needed improvements in salaries and benefits, compensation for overtime, an effective way to address bullying and harassment and other workplace issues, and protection from termination without cause.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does the union mean for me and my colleagues?
Our union status immediately provides ALL Council Member Aides and Finance Analysts with new rights on the job. CMA and Finance Analysts' pay, benefits, and other basic terms and conditions of employment should not be changed unilaterally, which means without negotiating with ALE.
All CMAs and Finance Analysts also now have a right to union representation when facing possible disciplinary action. If you have a question or issue, reach out to ALE at email@example.com.
Now that the City Council has recognized the union, you have ALE in your corner and we can work together on a solution. ALE is fighting for a strong first contract which addresses the issues most important to Council staff.
2. Who’s in the union at Council?
Currently, ALE is the exclusive bargaining representative for Council Member Aides, Finance Analysts, and Senior Finance Analysts. We are in active discussions with other titles who seek to join ALE. Please contact us if someone you know in another job title at the Council is interested in unionization.
3. Why should I become a member of ALE?
Membership means you have a say in all union matters which means you have a say in your workplace. This includes electing union leadership and our contract bargaining committee, helping to determine our priorities as a union and within our contract, ratifying our first contract, and more.
4. Am I automatically a union member?
No, but we hope all Council Member Aides and Finance Analysts will decide to join ALE. Click here to sign-up, and read on for information about how dues are calculated and paid. Union membership does not affect your terms and conditions of employment, but only ALE members may participate in the internal life of the union.
5. What sorts of things might be included in our first contract?
ALE has extensively surveyed staff to determine what we will fight for, and our contract bargaining committee is elected by union membership. Compensation and benefits are a top priority. Other priorities include a comp and/or flex time policy, hybrid flexibility for all staff, employee input on the Council's COVID-19 health and safety policies, a clear step-by-step mechanism for addressing workplace issues, protection from termination without cause, support for caregivers, and more.
6. What are the dues?
Being a union member entails a dues contribution each pay period. Your dues are paid automatically via the City's payroll deduction system. One month of dues must be paid in order to run or vote in union elections.
ALE members unanimously approved the dues rate in October 2021. After careful study of other unions’ dues rates, we adopted rates that are substantially lower, approximately one-third of what other professionals pay to public employee unions in New York City. This is one of the benefits of being an independent union.
The following are the adopted dues rates:
0.8% of annual gross salary for staff earning $49,999 and under
1% of annual gross salary for staff earning $50,000 or more
Staffer A: $45,000 salary x 0.008 dues rate = $360 annually / 26 pay periods = $13.85 per pay period x 2 pay periods = $27.70 will be due monthly.
Staffer B: $60,000 salary x 0.01 dues rate = $600 annually / 26 pay periods = $23.08 per pay period x 2 pay periods = $46.16 will be due monthly.
7. What are dues for?
In particular, member dues support legal representation, which is critical to protecting all staff and negotiating a strong union contract. Dues are essentially a down payment on our contract demands, such as higher salaries and job protections.
ALE's attorney has played a pivotal role in advancing our advocacy on COVID health and safety, as well as in defending union members with a variety of workplace issues. Finally, legal representation was essential in our successful fight to establish ALE.
Member dues also pay for technology, accounting, insurance, communications, and member services expenses as we build our union. Our dues rates are low relative to other public employee unions in New York City, thanks to remaining unaffiliated from a parent union and being fiercely frugal with expenses. Until recently, ALE has been an all-volunteer organization. Moving forward, we need resources to negotiate and enforce a strong contract.
8. What’s in the Constitution?
Following ten deliberative meetings between May 2020 and August 2021, the Constitution Committee unanimously recommended our Constitution, which was written by staff. ALE members voted unanimously to adopt the Constitution in October 2021. You can read the Constitution here: https://bit.ly/ALEconstitution.
Equity@ALE: For a summary of ALE’s emphasis on equity and how we will apply it in practice, please see the Equity Summary here: https://bit.ly/ALEequity.
9. What is ALE doing for COVID Safety?
ALE continually presses the Speaker’s Office regarding COVID health and safety issues at Council headquarters and in the 51 Council district offices. We successfully delayed the return of Central Staff to 250 Broadway, blocked the Council's attempt to end hybrid flexibility for Central Staff, advocated for paid hours for staff who receive vaccination boosters, and demanded better communication from the Council to employees regarding safety measures.
This is a reflection of our determined health and safety campaign so far, but there are still important changes we need to see. Council Member Aides have no hybrid flexibility, unless it is provided by their individual Council Member. Insufficient communication and support for staff in District Offices remains a pressing issue. ALE wants the City Council to be a safe place for all staff and the public. We are pressing for:
Hybrid flexibility for all staff.
Council oversight of COVID safety compliance in District Offices.
Direct communication from the Council -- not individual Council Members -- regarding safety measures for both the District Offices and 250 Broadway, including vaccination/testing requirements.
A clear system to report COVID cases and receive urgent updates.
Clear and robust guidelines pertaining to air quality and ventilation.
Consistent and clearly communicated mask requirements for all Council offices and public spaces, including the Chambers and hearing rooms.
Consistent and clearly communicated protocols for non-staff/members of the public in all Council offices, including District Offices.
Want to get more involved in shaping our COVID response? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10. How can I get more involved?
With union certification successfully completed, we are now in an important transition period where we are building ALE’s infrastructure and bargaining our first contract. There are a range of important roles that we need members to step into for a strong union. These include:
Being a shop steward in your office to serve as a bridge between ALE and staff.
Signing up new members, and organizing membership socials and informational events (like Town Halls and picnics).
Getting involved in one of our ongoing projects: COVID safety, tracking workplace issues, a resume bank for Member Aide job transitions, drafting anti-harassment and other by-laws for our Constitution, and more!
Running for the Contract Bargaining Committee.
Most importantly, we hope you will join our historic new union of, by, and for staff at the City Council. Submit your membership card today!
Questions? Just email ALE at email@example.com.