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Monday, May 24, 2010

A "Judges' Union" in New York?

Labor pain for Albany: A 'judges union'
The New York Post by JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN - May 23, 2010

State judges are trying to join forces with the state's largest teachers union in a campaign to get raises, The Post has learned. Maverick Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Arthur Schack is leading a faction of angry jurists talking to the United Federation of Teachers about putting judges under the umbrella of the local union or its Albany County-based parent, New York State United Teachers. "One option is having judges affiliate with a union for political clout," Schack told The Post. "We're exploring our options." Schack -- a card-carrying member of the UFT who was once a teacher -- has been joined by another Brooklyn judge, Wayne Saitta, in recruiting colleagues to unionize in recent weeks, court sources said. Such a coalition of state judges and a highly politicized labor union would be unprecedented in the country and would open a Pandora's box of ethical issues. The teachers union has had more than a dozen cases before the state bench in the last two years. Only two months ago, a Manhattan judge ruled in the UFT's favor to stop the mayor from closing 19 schools. The state's 1,300 judges currently make $136,700 a year and haven't received a raise in 11 years. They are asking to be paid on par with federal judges, who make $174,000. The judges have tried suing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Gov. Paterson and others for a raise. They've hired the lobbying firm Hinman Straub Advisors to push the issue. Some judges have even recused themselves from cases involving law firms that employ Silver and other lawmakers.

Taking matters into their own hands, some judges have billed their state expense accounts of $10,000 for frivolous expenditures like trips to Cuba and to a California meditation retreat, The Post revealed last year. The decision to seek union help at the bargaining table is seen as a sign of mounting desperation and a controversial foray into politics. Judges normally avoid contact with political groups so they can appear impartial when deciding cases. The state's judicial ethics code says a judge can't be "a member of a political organization" other than a political party. But the UFT and NYSUT are highly political, pouring $5 million a year into lobbying and campaigns to influence lawmakers. Some judges are worried by the plan. "The idea of judges participating in union activities or walking a picket line might be demeaning to the judiciary," said one judge. "Whether it's lawful is one thing, and whether it's appropriate is another thing." Schack, who has a reputation as a populist, has been active in agitating for a pay raise. He attends UFT events and has an acquaintance with the union's president, Michael Mulgrew. Schack's faction has already talked to Howard Schoor, the Brooklyn representative of the UFT, about joining the union, sources say. But because the judges' fight is with Albany, the UFT pointed them to the 600,000-member parent union. Union officials declined to discuss the matter. "Certainly, we're not advocating striking or rebelling," Schack said. The state's Taylor Law prohibits public servants, including judges, from striking. But the law is frequently challenged in court -- in cases that unions bring before judges.

13 comments:

Anyone But Andrew said...

Good for you, Judge Schack. You are right to be angry!! And don't forget to vote for anyone (including a circus clown) EXCEPT CUOMO. Andrew has continued Elliot-the-pig's way of protecting friends and ruining our system of law by ignoring corruption within the court system.

Anonymous said...

Stop trashing Cuomo. He's going to do something soon that will surprise everyone who reads this website.

Anonymous said...

do we have a date, time and confirmation on that previous post and which Judicial District?

Anonymous said...

are we going to get a Federal Phone number and office to report crimes within our court/legal/police system?

the Bastards I am dealing with figured if the double cross didn't work, we will triple cross this thing, they don't care who they harm or set up!

throw the Piggleton Pigs in Prison

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU FRANK BRADY & FRIENDS
FOR ALLOWING THE PEOPLE TO EXPOSE THESE SCHEMES IN OUR COURT/LEGAL/POLICE AGENCIES!!!!

Anonymous said...

Would Cuomo rescue the kidnapped children that are been sexually exploited as a result of a child custody switch scheme carried out by his friend Bernadette E. Lupinetti, Esq.? or is he going to continue protecting this pimp?

Anonymous said...

Cuomo has a lot of explaining to do. I'd like to see Judge Schack have a public grilling of little Andrew.

Anonymous said...

If Schack runnung around with the UFT i am guessing that would disqualify him in hearing cases involving the UFT, teachers and other unions. Thier may be a conflict of interest.
Judges should be required to have to disclose that information. Who would a regular person who had a case against one of these people that Schack was trying to make a deal with. He could show them favoritisum.

Tammanny Hall lives on

T Finnan said...

To 8:12, Which Cuomo surprise?:
1. Hari Kari because he failed the People, unlikely because he's a coward.
2. Indict Chief Judge Lippman and Ramos, unlikely because he admires corruption.
3. A Mea culpa proclamation asking God and the People's forgiveness and admitting he failed to prosecute all the NY Judges and State Lawyers he defended in Second Circuit's courts and the announcement that he's convening a grand jury to bring charges against the ones he protected.
4. An announcement that he using his campaign money to compensate all the victims of the sub prime mortgages he ordered.
See CuomoTARP.blogspot.com
5. An announcement that he is charging before a grand jury all the lawyers with actions involving NY State who contributed to his "pay to play" campaign treasury and that his "pay to play" campaign treasury was a "sting" to catch the vermin of the NY lawyers.

Or his mommy and daddy promised him to become NY Governor and then the first Italian President.

Anonymous said...

How can Andy possibly correct all the wrongs that have been going on within our State and Federal Gov't? How can Andy hold our State Agencies responsible when our Federal Agencies will not pick up the phone or let us file a complaint?

WHERE IS OUR FEDERAL PHONE NUMBER AND AGENCIES TO PROPERLY INVESTIGATE THE AGENCIES IN OUR STATE THAT HAVE FAILED AND CORRECT THE WRONGS?

Anonymous said...

How can Andy possibly correct all the wrongs that have been going on within our State and Federal Gov't? How can Andy hold our State Agencies responsible when our Federal Agencies will not pick up the phone or let us file a complaint?

WHERE IS OUR FEDERAL PHONE NUMBER AND AGENCIES TO PROPERLY INVESTIGATE THE AGENCIES IN OUR STATE THAT HAVE FAILED AND CORRECT THE WRONGS?

Anonymous said...

Where Judge Golia,the MOb Judge? He head of Judges mob suing for more money.

Anonymous said...

Justice Wayne P. Saitta & Jack M. Battaglia Proud Vito Lopez (Lopezano) connection are Communist. Saitta fly's a communist flag at his vacation house and named his son after a communist leader. UFT is getting rid of the rubber room where are these judges going to go. Corruption 101 Kings County Supreme and the Democratic Party. Justice Schack and the above all rule from the bench not from the Laws Of my land AMERICA. We need reform in these court rooms now. Ravi Batra will be a union boss robbing more from the court appointments that are not being listed on Part 36 web site by the Chief Justice. Appointments are suppose to be listed by referee or by justice. Search by Justice you get no results, I wonder WHY><. We need to Qui Tam all known illegal justice activities and appointments Now.

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2