For the past month and a half, staff at Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) have been working to prevent layoffs. Despite our efforts, the Board of Directors and Management will move forward with layoffs. These cuts will be disastrous to our staff and our communities.
At the Advancing Justice – LA all-staff meeting on August 14, 2019, Advancing Justice-LA’s Board of Directors and Management confirmed layoffs of 10-12% of all staff, citing a financial crisis. During this emotional meeting, founder Stewart Kwoh asked for staff to come up with ideas to help alleviate the financial deficit to prevent these layoffs. Throughout the following several weeks, all staff conducted an internal survey that showed staff were willing to take significant cost-cutting measures in order to prevent their fellow coworkers from being laid off:
97% of surveyed staff were willing to take some form of personal cost-cutting measure(s) in order to prevent layoffs;
82% offered to take individual furloughs;
59% offered to increase their health plan contributions;
79% offered to downgrade their current health insurance plans to a lower-tier plan;
91% offered to suspend the 2% annual cost-of-living adjustment.
The financial crisis was at no fault of the staff. However, staff overwhelmingly took it upon themselves to find solutions. Numerous staff have personally engaged in fundraising efforts to protect the organization, the services provided, and those who do such work. We have also offered cost reduction ideas such as giving up office space and landlines–to save not just the services that the organization provides, but also the people providing them. Should lay-offs occur and services cut, irreparable harm would occur to the communities we serve.
In early September, the Board and Management held meetings with staff, claiming the goal of “comprehensive internal effort to receive input, ideas, and share information.” Staff understood that Board and Management would consider and discuss staff proposed cost-saving ideas as alternatives to layoffs. These conversations seemed like a step in the right direction; however, through these meetings, the Board confirmed that layoffs would still occur, even if they accept staff proposals.
Please sign here to join staff in demanding the Board and Management:
1) seriously consider all staff proposals in efforts to avoid layoffs at all costs;
2) provide greater financial transparency for staff to propose solutions more effectively;
3) agree to a moratorium on layoffs; and
4) bargain in good faith to reach a collective bargaining agreement with the Union
Concerned Advancing Justice-LA Staff Members