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. (Updated 12/15/21)
After you submit your membership card, you must also pay dues in order to become a full member. Dues are on a sliding scale based on salary. 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 with new rights on the job. CMAs’ pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment should not be changed unilaterally, which means without negotiating with ALE. 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 will be fighting for a strong first contract with protections that address issues important to ALE members.
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 hopeful that other titles will soon be able 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 will decide to join ALE. Click here to sign-up, and read on about how to pay your dues. Not becoming a member will not affect your terms and conditions of employment, but only members may participate in the internal life of the union.
5. What sorts of things might be included in our first contract?
You and other members will determine what we fight for, but it is extremely likely that compensation and benefits will be a top priority. Other possibilities include a comp and/or flex time policy, COVID-19 health and safety policies, a mechanism for addressing workplace issues, and exploring procedures regarding instances of possible termination, childcare assistance, and more.
6. What are the dues?
Being a union member entails a dues contribution each pay period. ALE members voted to approve the dues rate in October 2021. After careful study of other unions’ dues rates, we adopted rates that are substantially lower, approximately a third of what other professionals pay to public employee unions in the City. This is one of the benefits of being an independent union. In particular, our dues will support legal representation, which is critical to protecting all staff.
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
To reduce administration before ALE is enrolled in the City's payroll deduction system, ALE is gathering dues payment in monthly installments (calculated as two 2-week pay periods). One month of dues must be paid in order to run or vote in elections. Dues may be paid by Venmo (@nyccouncilunion), Zelle (firstname.lastname@example.org) or a check made out to “Association of Legislative Employees” and mailed to: Association of Legislative Employees c/o Dina Kolker, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, 180 Maiden Lane, New York, NY, 10038. If you submit a check, please email email@example.com telling us the check number, amount, and date you mailed it. To ensure that every payment is tracked, we are unable to accept cash.
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?
Our major expense is primarily legal, for services that helped us win certification, and now as we prepare to bargain a first contract. Dues are a down payment on a higher salary and job protections under a strong union contract. Our lawyer has also played a pivotal role in advancing advocacy on COVID health and safety, as well as in defending members on the job who have grievances. Additionally we will incur additional technology, accounting, insurance, office space, communications and member services expenses as we build our union. Our rates continue to be approximately a third of what other professionals pay to public employee unions in the City, thanks to remaining unaffiliated from a parent union and being fiercely frugal with expenses: from the beginning, the entire Core Committee 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. 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 has been meeting directly with the Speaker’s Office to advocate for COVID health and safety everywhere where staff work. On September 21, following ongoing discussions with ALE, City Council delayed the return of Central Staff to 250 Broadway from October 4 to October 18. This is a reflection of our determined health and safety campaign so far, but there are still important changes we need to see. We know that Council Member Aides are not getting the communication and support they need in District Offices that are currently open, and that there has been at least one COVID exposure as a result of a public hearing. ALE wants the City Council to be a safe place for all staff and the public. We are pressing for:
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.
COVID Safety Survey: Closes Sept. 30
ALE has launched a new COVID Safety Survey that includes important questions about vaccinations and COVID testing. Please complete the survey and share it with your co-workers: https://bit.ly/ALEsafety. The survey will close on September 30 and we encourage you to submit as soon as possible. Survey data will steer our advocacy on important health and safety issues.
Want to get more involved in shaping our response? Join us at the Stewards and Grievances Committee, and email us to let us know you're interested 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 build our union’s infrastructure and prepare for 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 helping collect dues
Getting involved in ALE Committees, which work on a range of advocacy projects: COVID safety, grievances in offices, a resume bank for Member Aide job transitions, anti-harassment, writing the Constitution and bylaws, organizing membership socials and informational events (like Town Halls and picnics), and more!
Running for the Executive Board
Most importantly, we hope you will join our historic new union of, by, and for staff at the City Council. Submit your membership card and dues today!
Questions? Just email ALE at email@example.com.